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BioCrossroads Report: Steady Growth for Life Sciences in Indiana

Xconomy Indiana — 

BioCrossroads, a public-private collaboration that supports Indiana’s life sciences industry, released a report this week highlighting the sector’s economic activity in 2016—and the numbers indicate steady, incremental growth, says project director Brian Stemme.

BioCrossroads’ most recently available data show the economic impact of Indiana’s life sciences industry—comprised of companies focused on pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; agbiosciences; clinical research, testing, and medical laboratories; and biologistics—has risen to $63 billion. More than 56,100 employees work at 1,687 life sciences companies, where the average wage increased to $98,934 per worker.

Indiana’s life sciences sector also exports nearly $10 billion in products—the second-highest in the U.S. after California—accounting for 28 percent of Indiana’s total manufactured exports, the report found. Research and discovery at Indiana companies and universities stayed strong, Stemme says, with 1,089 patents granted for life sciences-related innovations, and 77 new products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the Indiana Biosciences Research Center.

On the investment capital front, 27 early-stage life sciences companies raised more than $89 million in 2016. Stemme says BioCrossroads’ Indiana Seed Fund II invested in several companies in 2016, including SpeechVive, a startup developing medical devices to improve the speech of Parkinson’s patients, and Allinaire Therapeutics, a Indiana University spinout developing novel therapeutics for pulmonary disease.

In addition to the positive numbers, Stemme says there are other indications that the industry continues to grow in Indiana. Notable additions to the sector in 2016 included Roche Diagnostics’ completion of a $300 million expansion at its Indianapolis headquarters; the IBRI’s decision to locate in the 16 Tech innovation district circling downtown Indianapolis; and the migration of Assembly BioSciences (NASDAQ: ASMB), a publicly-traded biotech company whose science originated in Indiana, from New York City to Carmel, IN.

Stemme says the report shows the “really outsized impact” the life sciences sector is having on job creation and economic growth in Indiana. Part of the industry’s success stems from the healthy supplier base that sprung up to serve huge local corporations like Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Cook Medical, he adds. “They aren’t the companies you see on the news, but the underlying supplier base is driving the employment growth in our state,” Stemme says.

While Indiana has long been known as a hub for pharmaceutical and medical device companies, he’s excited about the breadth of what the life sciences sector is doing. “It’s not just pharma and devices,” Stemme says. “It’s research and development services, agbio, therapeutics, and food and nutrition. There’s a lot to be positive about.”

The BioCrossroads report was culled from from the most recent data available from the Indiana Business Research Center at the IU Kelley School of Business, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, and other sources. See below for a list of the Indiana companies that received the largest life sciences investments in 2016, which BioCrossroads put together by searching SEC databases.

Chondrial Therapeutics ($22.5 million), the developer of orphan drugs for mitochondrial diseases.

LifeOmic ($20 million), a cloud-based healthcare portal to store and manage data for the precision medicine sector.

NICO ($15 million), the developer of devices for cranial, ENT, spinal, and otolaryngology surgeries.

On Target Laboratories ($5 million), developer of small molecules that specifically target and illuminate cancer tissue.

Wellfount ($3.2 million), the provider of a remote dispensing system and pharmacy consulting services for long-term care facilities.

Springbuk ($2 million), cloud-based analytics software that provides insights into medical claims, pharmacy, biometric, payroll, and activity data.

NeuroFx ($1.8 million), the developer of technology derived from adult stem cells that can be used in non-neurological conditions, such as musculoskeletal, dermatologic, and cardiovascular.

Animated Dynamics ($1.7 million), the developer of medical imaging technology to help doctors get a better view of the cancers that they’re treating.

—AgenDx Biosciences ($1.5 million), a molecular diagnostics platform that enables the commercial expansion of screening, diagnosing, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring.

Smart Med Reminder ($1.5 million), a prescription medication monitoring system in the form of a bottle cap that tracks and reminds users to take medicine on time.