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May 31, 2013

New Indiana Institute Targets Metabolic Disorders

  • Eli Lilly and Roche Diagnostics are among anchors of a new $360 million public-private research institute being launched by Indiana life-sciences and government leaders, with the twin goals of studying metabolic disorders and growing the Hoosier State’s biopharma industry.

    The new Indiana Biosciences Research Institute will initially focus on four metabolic disorders: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and nutrition. Joining Lilly and Roche Diagnostics in launching the institute are Cook Medical, Dow AgroSciences, Biomet, and Indiana University Health, along with the office of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; academic institutions that include Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame; and BioCrossroads, a nonprofit that promotes life-sci growth statewide.

    The nonprofit institute said in a statement it “is anticipated to be supported largely by corporate and philanthropic funding,” with oversight from a “largely” donor-based board of directors representing the life sciences industry, the state of Indiana, academia, and nonprofit donors.

    The state will spend $25 million over the next two years toward start-up costs for the institute. Another $25 million in start-up funding is being sought from industry and philanthropic sources, in part to recruit a “nationally recognized” CEO and research leaders or “Indiana Fellows” who will head interdisciplinary teams of scientists and partner with industry and universities on research projects. The teams will include expertise in bioengineering, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and agriculture, and work both at institute labs and onsite at industry and university labs.

    The remaining capital funding will be sought from corporations and philanthropic sources, with ongoing operating costs to be funded through an institute endowment, as well as industry-sponsored and federally funded research.

    “The institute will help us nurture our partnerships across the country and develop more intellectual capital here in Indiana, allowing us to keep more research dollars in the state, attract more federal research funds, and draw top scientific minds to feed our research pipeline and local economies,” Bart Peterson, svp at Lilly, said in the statement.

    Indiana’s life-sci industry accounts for some 55,000 jobs and more than $50 billion in overall economic impact, including $9.3 billion in exports, according to BioCrossroads’ 2012 Annual Report.


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