In a report featured in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, Indianapolis is profiled, among other new industry hubs across the country drawing entrepreneurs, investors, and offering start-ups support and safety in a turbulent economy, as a leading region for life sciences. Read the complete report here:
INDIANAPOLIS: LIFE SCIENCES
Indianapolis used to be the quintessential Rust Belt city. Now it’s at the center of a statewide boom in the life sciences business.
The state has added 8,800 jobs in the life sciences in recent years, and today some 825 medical-device companies, drug manufacturers and research labs call Indiana home.
Indianapolis, which is home to big names in the field such as Eli Lilly & Co. and health insurer WellPoint Inc., is leading the transformation. Corporations like these have added the lion’s share of the state’s new life-sciences jobs. Now they’re helping smaller companies get off the ground, too—by spinning off new businesses as well as by backing independent start-ups. Eli Lilly, for instance, has contributed roughly $60 million to seed and venture funds that are supporting entrepreneurs.
That isn’t the only way big companies are easing the way for small ones. With new firms arriving to supply the large drug makers, start-ups are getting access to a range of services at competitive prices.
“We have access to companies in Indiana where we can outsource functions like toxicology, analytics and clinical supply,” says Ron Ellis, president and CEO of Endocyte Inc., a 65-employee firm that’s testing a cancer treatment.
Many small firms, meanwhile, are helping others get off to a good start. David Broecker, president and chief executive of BioCritica Inc., an Eli Lilly spinoff, says his peers have referred employees, suggested work space and given information on tax and financial incentives.
It’s just the environment he hoped for when he left the East Coast to build a company. He considered other spots but settled on Indianapolis because “it’s all new and exciting here for these folks, so there is a hunger for doing this type of thing.”