Welcome! The Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership is a collaborative effort dedicated to continued life sciences business growth in greater Bloomington, Indiana - a nationally recognized leading metro area in medical devices, contract pharma, biotechnology, basic research and life sciences workforce development.
Growth Expected in Bloomington Life Sciences Companies
Sep09

Growth Expected in Bloomington Life Sciences Companies

BLSP Survey Results | August 9, 2014   The Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership (BLSP) recently released the results of its 2014 employer survey aimed at identifying trends, business opportunities and projected economic impacts of the local life sciences industry. Twelve Bloomington-area life sciences companies responded, including medical device manufacturers, bio pharmaceuticals, nutritional chemistry, consulting, and research and development companies.   According to survey respondents, employment is expected to grow in the next two years, with 75% of companies reporting they will make new hires. Of those companies, two thirds predicted hiring between 1 and 10 employees, and one third reported hiring between 101 and 200 employees. New hires are expected to require a broad range of skills, including GMP, HPLC and FDA familiarity, analytical chemistry, CNC machining, math and technical skills, and soft skills. Companies also expressed interest in utilizing Indiana University and Ivy Tech interns in the fields of biology, biotechnology, chemistry, IT/computer science, and business.   Results also identified some of the greatest obstacles facing growth at local operations. These challenges are federal policy and regulatory issues, finding skilled labor/technical talent and funding. Local resources like the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences, the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Bill and Gayle Cook Center for Entrepreneurship are local resources that work towards filling skilled positions like these. The survey also indicated that 40% of companies use the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences and 30% of companies use the free BLSP jobs board.   The Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership is a collaborative effort dedicated to continued life sciences business growth in greater Bloomington, Indiana – a nationally recognized leading metro area in medical devices, contract pharma, biotechnology, basic research and life sciences workforce...

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IU Biochemist’s Work Helps New Company Focus on Potential Hepatitis B Cure
Jul28

IU Biochemist’s Work Helps New Company Focus on Potential Hepatitis B Cure

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., July 15 — Indiana University-Bloomington issued the following news release:   An Indiana University biochemist’s discovery of a class of anti-viral small molecules that target the function of a virus DNA hidden in the infected livers of hepatitis B patients may lead to a cure for this viral infection that kills more than 600,000 people annually.   Adam Zlotnick, a professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, and four colleagues — chemistry professor Richard DiMarchi and biochemistry visiting scholar William Turner, both of IU Bloomington; Indianapolis biotechnology entrepreneur Derek Small; and infectious disease researcher Dr. Uri Lopatin — formed Assembly Pharmaceuticals in 2012 to develop new anti-viral drugs based on Zlotnick’s discoveries. Novel compounds based on these discoveries, known as Core Protein Allosteric Modulators, or CpAMs, are capable of altering the activities of a core hepatitis B protein that is essential for the virus’s continued survival.   Despite the early stage of its pipeline, the promise of Assembly’s novel approach attracted the interest of Nasdaq-listed Ventrus Biosciences. Last week, Ventrus stockholders voted to merge with Assembly to form a new company, Assembly Biosciences, which is now trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “ASMB,” catapulting the firm from new start-up to public company in less than two years.   Assembly’s anti-viral technology is based on Zlotnick’s work at IU focusing on the biophysics of virus self-assembly. Many viruses have a shell, or capsid, that is made of many copies of a virus-specific protein. The Zlotnick lab has shown how purified hepatitis B core protein can spontaneously assemble, in a matter of seconds, to form soccer-ball shaped complexes that are identical to capsids in the infectious virus. By examining the mechanism of assembly, the lab’s research has led to the discovery of a number of families of small molecule CpAMs that can selectively and effectively reduce viral load and key viral antigens, considered to be the best marker of a functional cure. Reduction of those viral antigens is and will be a key clinical endpoint in new drug development, Zlotnick said.   In the case of hepatitis B, CpAMS combat the virus by affecting multiple aspects of the viral lifecycle, including the function of a special viral DNA called covalently closed circular DNA, or cccDNA, that is the viral reservoir hiding in the nuclei of infected liver cells. This cccDNA serves as a template for the production of viral proteins and additional copies of the viral genome, contributing to the persistence of the infection. The cccDNA is not affected by current hepatitis B therapies, which is why only 3 to 5...

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Indiana University, Industry Leaders Discuss Collaboration
Jul18

Indiana University, Industry Leaders Discuss Collaboration

Bloomington, Indiana (July 2014) – The  Biotechnology Degree Program, the new Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology, state-of-the-art facilities, and access to highly skilled recent graduates at Indiana University-Bloomington were among the topics of discussion at last week’s meeting between Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and local industry leaders.   In attendance were representatives of local life science companies, research entities, the City of Bloomington, and University faculty and staff. The collaboration was in response to recent discussion at an advisory meeting of the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership (BLSP), an initiative of the BEDC whose mission is to retain and attract life sciences job growth in the area.   “The entrepreneurial community in Bloomington/Monroe County is attractive for new business start-ups, and having access to the expertise at one of the world’s leading research universities is pivotal,” stated Dana Palazzo, Project Manager of the BLSP/BEDC. “Continuing to foster and strengthen the relationship between Indiana University-Bloomington and local industry will always be a top priority of the BLSP.”   Dr. Cheng Kao, Director of Biotechnology and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, described the program’s rigorous curriculum and increased laboratory experience. Students are also exposed to industry through the Biotechnology Seminar Series, which features representatives of local companies who discuss day-to-day realities of biotechnology careers. Dr. Keith Davis was introduced as Director of The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology, whose mission is to facilitate IUB faculty interactions with the IURTC, the Office of Research Administration and industry partners to enhance translational research activities and accelerate the commercial development of IUB-based technologies.   Industry leaders toured the research facilities located at Simon Hall that are available for use at an established fee structure. Amenities include, but are not limited to, macromolecular crystallography equipment, transmission electron microscopes, nuclear magnetic resonance laboratory space, and physical biochemistry instrumentation software. For more information on the Department of Biotechnology at Indiana University-Bloomington, Research Facilities, visit http://www.indiana.edu/~mcbdept/home/ or contact Dr. Cheng Kao at (812) 855-7959 or...

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Bloomington MSA #1 in Medical Device & Equipment Employment
Jun27

Bloomington MSA #1 in Medical Device & Equipment Employment

Indiana’s Life Sciences Continues its U.S. Leadership in Life Sciences Industry   New BIO/Battelle report highlights depth and breadth of state’s sector   Indianapolis, June 24, 2014 –  Nearly 58,000 Hoosiers work in the life sciences industry, making Indiana one of the top ten states for the number of life sciences employees, according to a Battelle/Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Report “State Biosciences Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014” released today at the BIO International Conference in San Diego.  The State also stands out in employment concentration, ranking fifth in the U.S.  In addition, Indianapolis/Carmel is the only metropolitan area in the U.S. with a specialized employment concentration in all five biosciences subsectors that are measured.   The report measures growth in the bioscience sector from 2007-2012 and includes several indicators for success, including the numbers of employees and companies, average wages, research and development dollars and patents.   In the past five years, employment has increased in the agricultural and medical device areas; and the research, testing and medical labs subsector had double-digit growth, up 12 percent over the last five years. The drugs and pharmaceutical subsector saw a loss of 2,500 employees.  However, a significant portion of this decrease was due to reclassification of employees from this subsector to other subsectors based on increased outsourcing and employee “re-badging” to strategic partners by Indiana companies.   “Given the dynamic nature of the life sciences industry, Indiana has stayed strong in critical areas like employment, production, and economic impact,” said David L. Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, an organization dedicated to advancing Indiana’s signature life sciences strengths.  “This $55 billion industry with nearly $10 billion in exports is celebrated by impressive depth and breadth across all five subsectors.  We will continue to capitalize on our strengths and find opportunities to grow other areas.”   The number of companies dropped slightly from 2007 to 2012, due to a decreased number of biologistics companies, although company formation was up significantly in the agricultural (35.3%), medical device (27%) and research, testing and medical lab (33.8%) areas.   The report also shows an opportunity for Indiana to increase academic bioscience research expenditures and to attract more National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, as numbers in those areas are in the middle and low middle range nationally.   An effort to combat the lower research funding, the new industry-led Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), was established in 2013 to catalyze relationships between Indiana’s research institutions and the diverse cross-section of life sciences companies in order to garner more federal research dollars and industry-sponsored relationships.  IBRI is featured in the report as a state innovation initiative which is supporting...

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Bloomington Economic Development Corporation Announces New President
Jun24

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation Announces New President

Bloomington, Indiana (June 23, 2014) – The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) Board of Directors announced today that Lynn Coyne has been named President.   A search committee comprised of BEDC members and local stakeholders spent considerable time and effort reviewing resumes and interviewing qualified candidates. Ultimately, the Board of Directors selected Interim President Lynn Coyne to be the full-time President. Mr. Coyne will continue to carry out BEDC’s mission of retaining, developing and attracting quality jobs in Monroe County.   “The search process was wide-ranging and thorough, lasting several months. We wanted to make sure the next leader of the BEDC would bring experience in economic development, would be able to maintain and build upon the relationships with local stakeholders and local and state government, and was also an individual who cared deeply about the long term needs of our community,” stated Kevin Halloran, Chairman of the BEDC Board. “With Lynn, we are extremely confident that we found that individual.”   Mr. Coyne has a long history of involvement in local economic development and commitment to the community which includes former work as Assistant Vice President for Real Estate and Associate Counsel at Indiana University, Adjunct Instructor at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a local attorney, and past Chair of the BEDC Board. As Interim President since February of this year, he skillfully carried out the President’s duties and expanded on opportunities and programs.   “After serving as Interim President, I found the tremendous work of the BEDC and that of the staff to be vital to our community’s future and wanted to continue the work where I feel I can play a significant role,” Mr. Coyne stated.   Mr. Coyne replaces Ron Walker who resigned from the position after seven years with the organization to work as Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at CFC Properties in Bloomington.   About the BEDC The BEDC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information, visit www.comparebloomington.us. ###   Media Contact: Lynn Coyne, President, BEDC (812) 335-7346, lcoyne@comparebloomington.us...

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Cook Medical launches Instinct™ Endoscopic Hemoclip
May09

Cook Medical launches Instinct™ Endoscopic Hemoclip

Bloomington, Ind., April 21, 2014 – The Instinct™ Endoscopic Hemoclip is now available to gastroenterologists in major global markets. The clip is used to stop gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding, which is a condition that can be challenging to treat because of the variations among bleeds. The Instinct clip has two specific features that can help a physician achieve hemostasis more quickly and easily. First, the Instinct clip rotates 360 degrees so that a physician can more easily place it in an ideal position. Second, the clip has the largest span on the market so that a physician can cover a large bleeding area with one clip. “The Instinct clip is a major advance in the area of endoscopic hemostasis,” said Dr. David Carr-Locke, Chief, Division of Digestive Diseases at Beth Israel Hospital, a member of the Mount Sinai Health System.  “Its wide opening, ability to rotate reliably, ease of deployment and secure mucosal attachment make it an essential component of our hemostatic tool kit.” The Instinct clip is MRI conditional up to 3 tesla, so patients that have an Instinct clip can still have MRI procedures done if necessary. An estimated 500 patients per day in the United States  are denied an MRI because they have an implanted device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. “Cook Medical has always made a priority of listening to physician needs and developing products that answer those needs,” said Barry Slowey, global business unit leader for Cook Medical’s Endoscopy division. “More than 400,000 clips are placed every year in the U.S. alone, and physicians now have an additional tool that will help them stop GI bleeding in a targeted and effective way.” About Cook Medical Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family-owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at www.cookmedical.com, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Dr. Carr-Locke is a paid consultant for Cook Medical. 1Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Equipment: A Global Strategic Business Report. San Jose, CA; Global Industry Analysts, Inc.: 2011. GIA publication...

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