Jennifer Finefield of IURTC to appear on Inside Indiana Business TV!

Jennifer Finefield (IURTC) and Elizabeth Hagerman (Rose-Hulman Ventures) sit on one side of a curved desk branded "Inside Indiana Business" across from Gerry Dick, the show's host.
Jennifer Finefield (L) of IURTC and Elizabeth Hagerman of Rose-Hulman Ventures speak with Gerry Dick of “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick” about the collaboration between the organizations.

Jennifer Finefield, senior technology manager at Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., will appear on “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick” alongside Elizabeth Hagerman of Rose-Hulman Ventures.

They will speak with Gerry Dick about the collaboration between the two organizations, which culminated in a record eight prototypes being developed in the 2016 calendar year.

WFYI, the PBS station in Indianapolis, will broadcast the interview Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. WTIU, the PBS station in Bloomington, will broadcast it Saturday, February 25 at 4:30 p.m. The complete listing of “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick” broadcast days and times is available here.

A news release about the record year for the IURTC/Rose-Hulman Ventures collaboration is available here.

Well done, Jennifer!

Drone tech company that received Innovate Indiana Fund investment announces partnership

PrecisionHawk, which received an investment from the Innovate Indiana Fund, has more great news!

The company has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime® MC Series embedded modules to enable global LTE connectivity for its Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS) platform, which enables safe drone operation on a broad scale.

Congratulations to PrecisionHawk! You can read a news release here.

CEO of company that licenses IU cancer pharmaceutical research scheduled to speak in Philadelphia

Steve Carchedi, President and CEO of Apexian Pharmaceuticals, is scheduled to speak March 1 at Drexel University’s Healthcare Guest Lecture Series in Philadelphia.

headshot of Steve Carchedi
Steve Carchedi, President and CEO, Apexian Pharmaceuticals

“Drexel has a wonderful history of developing leaders in the healthcare industry,” Carchedi said. “We are honored to partner with faculty at Drexel to attract talent to pursue development of life-saving medicines, like our lead molecule, APX3330, that is ready to advance into the clinic. Hopefully, some of these students will be leading the effort for future breakthrough medicines.”

Apexian Pharmaceuticals, formerly ApeX Therapeutics, recently announced acceptance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of an Investigational New Drug Application to evaluate the tolerability and anti-tumor effects of APX3330, a small molecule in development to treat late stage cancer. The company licenses IU-discovered research through Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

A news release about Carchedi and Drexel University’s Healthcare Guest Lecture Series is available here.

From BioCrossroads: $63B economic impact of statewide life sciences sector

BioCrossroads, the state of Indiana’s initiative to grow the life sciences, reports that the life sciences sector had a $63 billion economic impact on the state according to the most recent data available.

“For the biotech sector, national and even global forces drive constant change for business models, product approvals and investments, and ultimately, innovation, but Indiana’s life sciences industry maintained its strong leadership position over the past year with an outsized number of employees, companies and exports,” said David L. Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads.

BioCrossroads Infographic 1 Impact
Courtesy BioCrossroads

The complete news report is available here.

Hepatitis B drug developed by Assembly Biosciences advances through early safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic evaluation

Assembly Biosciences Inc., a Carmel-based biotech company with numerous ties to Indiana University and the Hoosier State — has successfully completed part of a Phase I study for a lead drug being developed to treat chronic cases of hepatitis B.

The opening half of the study evaluated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics (studies of how organisms affect a drug) of a compound known as ABI-H0731 in healthy volunteers. The second half of the study will assess safety, pharmacokinetics and preliminary antiviral efficacy of the drug in patients with chronic hepatitis B. The results of the first half of the study will be reported at a scientific conference later this year.

Founded in 2012, Assembly — which employs about 100 workers and consultants — is built in part around the research of Adam Zlotnick, a professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry at Indiana University Bloomington and co-founder of Assembly. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the capsid assembly of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), it is hoped that the chronic liver infection that it causes — which kills about 786,000 people annually and affects about 240 million people globally according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — can be eradicated.

Other Assembly officials with IU or Indiana ties include:

  • William W. Turner, who co-founded Assembly with Zlotnick and is a former visiting scholar in biochemistry at IU-Bloomington. Turner is head of discovery chemistry at Assembly and served for 35 years as a research chemist at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co.
  • Derek Small, a co-founder, CEO and director of Assembly, who earned a bachelors degree in business from Franklin College.
  • Richard DiMarchi, an Assembly director who is the Cox Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences at IU-Bloomington.
  • Micah Mackison, Assembly’s vice president of corporate development and strategy, who earned his bachelors degree in finance from IU.
  • William Ringo, an Assembly director who also serves as a director for BioCrossroads, an Indiana initiative and public-private collaboration that focuses on growing, advancing and investing in the life sciences.

For more information, including details on upcoming Assembly conference presentations, click here.

Several companies with IU ties among nominees for 18th annual Mira Awards

Nominees for TechPoint’s 18th annual Mira Awards were recently revealed, with half of the 180 applications received advancing in this year’s competition.

The Miras honor the “Best of Tech” throughout Indiana and many of the nominees — as one might well imagine — have Indiana University ties.

One such company, nominated for Innovation of the Year, was Arrythmotech, whose co-founders are Dr. Peng-Sheng Chen and Shein-Fong Lin of the IU School of Medicine. Launched with the help of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.’s Spin Up program, the company is developing a device capable of detecting, on the skin, the nerve activity that is responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response. Its platform technology could potentially be widely used in the medical field.

Also nominated for Innovation of the Year was IndyVitals by The Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. A new digital monitoring tool for Marion County, IndyVitals is powered by SAVI, an interactive database created and managed by The Polis Center within IU’s School of Liberal Arts in partnership with The United Way of Central Indiana.

Nominated as Tech Educator of the Year was the Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. IDEW is a workforce development initiative with the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI in collaboration with communities throughout Indiana — plus IU business partners and high schools.

A full list of Mira nominees is available here. Winners of the Mira Awards will be announced at a black-tie ceremony set for Saturday, April 29, at The Westin Indianapolis.

As 1 of 5 Readiness Challenge Grant winners, Indianapolis – along with key university, government and business partners – stands poised to boost innovation, inclusion and investment

Indianapolis is one of five cities recently awarded Readiness Challenge Grants from the Smart Cities Council — a development that paves the way for each city to use smart technologies to boost local innovation, inclusion and investment activities.

The Circle City joins Austin, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia as grant winners, emerging from a pool of 133 applicants. The winning cities each demonstrated the ability to break down organizational “silos” and work across departments to solve problems, said Jesse Berst, chairman of the Smart Cities Council.

“Breaking down the departmental silos is a key challenge in developing a smarter city,” Berst said. “Our coalition of world-class experts looks forward to working with each of these enterprising cities to help them make smart use of technology to become more livable, workable, sustainable, and resilient.”

As part of the grant, each city receives a workshop to plan how to use smart technologies to advance innovation, inclusion, and investment programs — along with products from such companies including Ameresco, AT&T, CH2M, CompTIA, Dow Building and Construction, IDC, Qualcomm, Sensus, Telit, TM Forum and Transdev.

Indianapolis will use its grant to broaden its use of smart utilities and transportation. According to, Marion County recently approved development of the nation’s first electric bus rapid transit system — and is building a comprehensive Internet of Things hub known as 16 Tech that will contribute to the city’s digital infrastructure.

“Indianapolis’ culture of innovation and rapidly expanding tech industry provide strategic advantages to our smart city planning, specifically in the areas of water, energy, and transportation,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “I am proud to see Indianapolis recognized as a national example of the potential for these technologies to improve local neighborhoods.”

One of the reasons behind Indianapolis’ success in evolving as a “smart city” is early engagement with partners such as Indiana University, Purdue University, IUPUI and other institutions of higher learning, state and local government and the business sector.

“We have a unique opportunity to show national leadership in deployment of smart solutions for water, energy and transportation,” said Erik Hromadka, CEO of Indianapolis-based Global Water Technologies, which is an affiliate of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. “This recognition reflects years of hard work and investment in Indianapolis to create a world-class city.”

“We have a wonderful group of stakeholders who are actively engaged – from the state level to the university level and different government departments,” said Lauren Riga, assistant administrator of redevelopment for the City of Indianapolis. “One of my tasks has been to help formulate a team around what ‘smart cities’ is and what it means for Indianapolis. In order to set up cities of the future, we need to know what that looks like. We’ve been working at the intersection of economic development, emerging technology and next-generation infrastructure.”

Read more about the Readiness Challenge Grants and the Smart Cities Council here and here.

Please welcome Dan McNerny, the newest IURTC technology manager!

headshot of Dan McNerny, IURTC technology manager
Dan McNerny, technology manager, IURTC

Dan McNerny, previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and co-director at Photo Affinity LLC, has been hired as a technology manager at Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.!

“IURTC has an excellent team in place, led by CEO Tony Armstrong and Marie Kerbeshian. Everyone is highly motivated to connect IU innovations with industry,” he said.

Please join us in welcoming Dan, as he strengthens IURTC’s ability to evaluate, protect and market innovations from Indiana University researchers!

More about the hiring, including quotes from Dan and Marie Kerbeshian, is available here.