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.

News

Cook Pharmica Grows in Monroe County

Posted July 20, 2015

Cook Pharmica Grows in Monroe County

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (July 20, 2015) – Cook Pharmica, LLC, a privately-held contract development and manufacturing organization serving the biopharmaceutical industry, announced plans to expand its operations here, creating up to 70 new jobs by 2020.   The company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomington, Indiana-based Cook Group, will invest $28 million to renovate and equip its facility in Bloomington, which is built on the grounds of the former RCA television assembly plant. With the addition of an additional drug product line, the company will fill drug product into syringes, vials (both liquid and lyophilized) and cartridges for Cook Pharmica’s clients. Readiness activities for the new line have already begun, with plans to have the new line operating in early 2017. With its additional capacity, Cook Pharmica will better serve the growing, global biopharmaceutical industry.   “With a $59 billion economic impact in Indiana, the strength of our life sciences industry has a tremendous effect throughout the state,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Here in Indiana, we’re passionate about developing products that make our world a healthier place. We offer the business environment companies like Cook Pharmica need to thrive and in turn, create excellent jobs for Hoosiers.”   Cook Pharmica currently employs 575 associates, part of more than 13,000 Cook Group employees worldwide, and has already begun hiring for its growth. Interested applicants may apply via the careers tab on the company’s website at www.cookpharmica.com.   “Cook was founded in Bloomington more than a half century ago, and we are thrilled to continue our company’s deep connection with the state of Indiana and the city of Bloomington,” said Tedd Green, president of Cook Pharmica. “Working with our partners at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the city of Bloomington, this expansion will continue Cook’s commitment to providing world-class biopharmaceutical manufacturing services to customers here and around the world.”   The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Cook Pharmica, LLC up to $275,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $400,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Bloomington approved additional incentives at the request of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation.   “Cook Pharmica is an economic force in Bloomington, attracting continued national and international recognition of our life sciences sector,” said Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan. “Cook Pharmica’s commitment to expansion in equipment, site improvements and workforce and the city’s support through this tax abatement will further solidify the appeal of Bloomington to a talented workforce, attract additional private sector investment and increase the awareness of Bloomington’s economic strengths internationally.”   More than 1,700 life science companies like Cook Pharmacia operate across Indiana today, employing more than 56,000 Hoosiers and delivering a $59 billion economic impact in the state, according to BioCrossroads.   About Cook Pharmacia Cook Pharmica is a privately held contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that provides the global biopharmaceutical industry with a unique one-source, one-location model for contract development, clinical or commercial cell culture manufacturing, formulation, parenteral product manufacturing and secondary packaging. Centrally located in Bloomington, Indiana, Cook Pharmica is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cook Group, which includes the largest privately held medical device manufacturer in the world, Cook Medical.   About...

read more

BioCrossroads New Venture Competition Announces 2015 Call for Entries

Posted July 2, 2015

BioCrossroads New Venture Competition Announces 2015 Call for Entries

BioCrossroads New Venture Competition Announces 2015 Call for Entries The BioCrossroads New Venture Competition, an early stage business competition awarding more than $60,000 in prizes to life sciences and health information technology companies, is now accepting applications at www.biocrossroads.com. Since 2012, the competition has awarded more than $180,000 to twelve start-up companies which have been able to secure nearly $7 million in follow-on funding.   Early-stage biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, ag-biotech, and health information technology companies developing innovative products and platforms are eligible to apply for the New Venture Competition. For consideration, companies must either be Indiana-based or be able to demonstrate a significant Indiana presence.   The winner receives a cash prize of $25,000 and receives access to the Indiana Seed Fund II staff and the fund’s network of resources to provide business planning and early-stage strategic support. They will also have the opportunity to make a presentation to the ISFII investment committee. The fund has invested in several of the previous winners, collectively totaling over $1 million.   The winner will be announced at the Indiana Life Sciences Summit Innovation Capital Day on October 14, 2015 and have an opportunity to pitch their business to the conference audience. Second and third place companies will be awarded cash prizes of $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. There will also be a Pre-Venture prize of $10,000 for a promising technology that is very early in its development.   Applications are available at www.biocrossroads.com and must be submitted by August 17, 2015. Companies invited to the next round will be notified by August 28 and must submit their pitch deck by September 11, 2015. Presentations will be held from September 14-18, 2015. The finalists will then present to a panel of expert judges before the Indiana Life Sciences Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 14.   Previous Winners include: Anagin, Dianotes, and Spensa...

read more

Cook Medical welcomes progressive Medical Device Single Audit Program

Posted June 16, 2015

Cook Medical welcomes progressive Medical Device Single Audit Program

Bloomington, Ind. — Cook Medical is pleased to be one of the global medical device companies to collaborate internationally with regulatory authorities on the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP).   The value of developing a global program to audit and monitor medical device manufacturing for patient safety was recognized at the International Medical Device Regulators Forum inaugural meeting in 2012. That meeting led to the creation of MDSAP.   MDSAP International Coalition Organizations: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Health Canada Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) Australia Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) Brazil Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) Japan   “This progressive approach to regulatory oversight is very exciting,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical. “We recognize that good collaboration among regulatory agencies and industry enables more efficient and flexible use of both regulatory and company resources.”   The MDSAP enables regulatory oversight of manufacturers’ quality management systems while minimizing the regulatory burden on industry. It also promotes more efficient and flexible use of regulatory resources through work sharing and mutual acceptance among regulators while respecting the sovereignty of each authority. It also leverages, where appropriate, existing conformity assessment structures.   The Cook Medical plant in Limerick, Ireland, was chosen to trial this new auditing approach. The facility, which employs over 800 staff, underwent a two-day initial certification audit in April, which was led by TÜV SÜD of Germany. It is the first Irish site to take part in MDSAP. This audit is one of six global MDSAP audits to date.   About the Medical Device Single Audit Program: It is based on a three-year audit cycle. The initial certification audit constitutes a stage-one and stage-two audit of a quality management system. A partial surveillance audit takes place in each of the following two years. A complete recertification audit is performed after three years. 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 and LinkedIn.   Source: Cook...

read more

IU, IU Health Bloomington Hospital Announce New Health Complex

Posted April 15, 2015

IU, IU Health Bloomington Hospital Announce New Health Complex

Agreement outlines regional academic health campus and new IU Health Bloomington hospital location     Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana University, IU Health and IU Health Bloomington Hospital today announced they have reached an agreement to create a regional academic health center in Bloomington, which will include a new home for IU Health Bloomington Hospital.   The centerpiece of the project, announced this morning on the IU Bloomington campus, is the decision to locate IU Health Bloomington Hospital on the current site of the IU golf driving range on 75 acres just off the SR 45/46 bypass adjacent to the IU Technology Park.   “This is an incredibly exciting time in our hospital’s history. This collaboration will provide many benefits for our community, our hospital and IU,” says Mark Moore, President of IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the South Central Region. “We’ve been working with the community in Bloomington to determine how best to serve and deliver value to our fellow citizens, and this plan provides an extraordinary solution for meeting the emerging healthcare needs of the region,” he said. “This synergism will create tremendous opportunity for all parties concerned and especially our patients.”   Dan Evans, president and CEO of IU Health, said the project will strengthen the impact of IU Health’s tripartite mission in southern  Indiana.   “The creation of a regional academic health campus in Bloomington increases our ability to improve patient care by providing more opportunities for collaboration among our clinical, research and medical staff and faculty. It strengthens our partnership with the IU School of Medicine and our ability to develop a robust research program to bring more clinical trials and innovative treatment methods to the people of southern Indiana and beyond,” he said.   Though still in the early planning stages, the proposed health complex is expected to employ thousands, not only in construction positions but also in patient care and support services. It also will allow IU to expand its medical education programs and research opportunities on the Bloomington campus to keep up with increasing demand for practical experience from students in health-related disciplines, especially social work, nursing, hearing and speech therapy and dentistry.   “This is a momentous moment for Indiana University and IU Health – and for the city of Bloomington,” said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. “This plan will lead to the creation of the most comprehensive academic health campus in the state outside of Indianapolis and will bring together most of the IU Bloomington health science programs, and possibly additional programs, into one place co-located with the new IU Bloomington Hospital. This will considerably expand the opportunities for health sciences education and research at IU Bloomington, for innovative new programs in inter-professional education and for new clinical services at the new hospital.”   Hospital leadership will remain the same, and the hospital will remain an IU Health entity. Bloomington Hospital earlier announced plans to build a replacement hospital to address an outdated facility and bring cutting-edge health services to the region. The proposed health campus affords adequate space for future expansion, including ancillary business, research, education and technology facilities.   The location provides easy access to State Road 45/46 and State Road 37 and is on current public transit routes. The driving range on the IU Golf Course will...

read more

First Annual IUB Innovation Conference to be held April 24

Posted March 20, 2015

First Annual IUB Innovation Conference to be held April 24

The new Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology will be hosting its First Annual Innovation Conference at the Indiana Memorial Union, Frangipani Room on April 24 from 12:30 – 6:30pm. The event will feature a variety of speakers and topics, including an overview of the SBIR/STTR programs, the Spin-up Program at IURTC, angel investing, and more.  To register for the event, visit http://jceb.indiana.edu/opportunities.shtml. The mission of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology (JCEB) is to enhance translational research and industry partnerships at IU Bloomington.   Speakers & Topics include:   “State of Indiana SBIR/STTR Programs” “Overview of the SBIR/STTR Program, IUPUI “ Kristen Parmelee President, Parmelee Consulting Group, Inc.   “State of Indiana SBIR/STTR Programs” Lisa Hoverman, Ph.D. SBIR/STTR Program Specialist, Indiana PTAC, Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship   “Spin-up Program at IURTC” Joe Trebley, Ph.D. Head of Startup Support and Promotion, Indiana University Research & Technology Corporation   “Working with IU Spin-up to Start a Small Business” Yvonne Lai, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Hohmann Laboratory, and Navigator, Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute   “The Indiana Ecosystem for Lifescience Entrepreneurism “ Jay McGill, Ph.D. Senior Director, LRL Operations – Science and Technology Partnerships, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company   “Angel Investing” Guest speaker TBA   “Antibody-based Prevention and Therapy for Infectious Diseases” Kevin Whaley, Ph.D. CEO, Mapp Biopharmaceutical,...

read more

IU’s Beaker Bubbleth Over with Global Chem Events

Posted December 1, 2014

IU’s Beaker Bubbleth Over with Global Chem Events

Hopeful new medicines, potential options to battle obesity and cutting-edge methods of studying the chemistry inside all of us—these were among the topics that drew a crowd from around the world to the small city of Bloomington. Smaller still is Indiana University’s Department of Chemistry, but IU chemists say its prestige is evident, judging by the crowd and the ability to bring international experts from around the globe—or even from down the hall—to participate in two recent events.   The Fifth Annual Watanabe Symposium in Chemical Biology drew a crowd of about 150 to focus on advancements in chemical biology that could lead to new medicines. Close on its heels was the 2014 Gill Symposium and Awards, a conference that covers a different topic within neuroscience each year.   “Indiana University is a world-renowned institute for chemical sciences,” says IU’s Linda & Jack Gill Chair of Biomolecular Sciences Dr. Richard DiMarchi. “It advertises to the external world who we are and distinguishes Indiana as a center that’s interested, active and leading in the biomedical sciences.” Listen   This year’s Watanabe Symposium in Chemical Biology was characterized by discussion about new technologies that allow chemists to dig deeper into human biology. DiMarchi describes chemical biology as the interface among chemistry, biology and human health.   “[The symposium] addressed the emergence of enabling technologies—chemical synthesis and chemical analysis of physical structure,” says DiMarchi. “At the core of biology is the need for tools to study biology. Chemistry is a requisite skillset. What we heard at this meeting was cutting-edge science in terms of preparing and studying those reagents that allow us to understand biology at a much higher level.” Listen   Both annual events fall under the leadership of DiMarchi, a chemist with an international reputation himself. He’s co-founded two startups, one of which was sold to Roche for more than $500 million. He helped commercialize six pharmaceuticals and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame to honor his discovery and development of the designer insulin Humalog. Most recently, he was one of four scientists in the world to win the 2014 Erwin-Schrödinger-Prize for his role in developing a new treatment for type 2 diabetes.   Going hand-in-hand with type 2 diabetes is obesity, which was the topic for this year’s Gill Symposium. DiMarchi says the event hosted several world-renowned biologists in the field of obesity research and examined sophisticated new methods that may be able to control the disease.   “Obesity is a huge global problem. It’s an epidemic of disease with as many as a quarter of all adults globally overweight, and as much as 10 percent who are clinically obese by international standards,” says DiMarchi. “[At the symposium], we saw the early stages of drug candidates that can control obesity in a way that cannot be controlled other than by surgical means—gastric bypass surgeries and things of that nature.”   Despite the caliber of scientists and speakers at the symposiums, DiMarchi believes students are the most critical attendees. He says the events are an opportunity to recruit them to Indiana or encourage them to continue their higher education in the state. Listen   “That may be the most important thing we do,” says DiMarchi. “If you’re interested in economic growth in Indiana, it’s unbelievably important that...

read more

Bloomington Companies win New Venture Competition

Posted October 31, 2014

Bloomington Companies win New Venture Competition

Bloomington Companies win New Venture Competition A company striving to find a better treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a startup creating video games to help rehabilitate stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients claimed the top prizes at the recent BioCrossroads New Venture Competition. Aiming to discover the most promising life sciences startups in the state, the competition also awards cash prizes and access to business resources to help smooth the often bumpy road to commercialization.   Leaders of Indianapolis-based Anagin believe the great need for a new method of treating PTSD was one factor that led their startup to win the competition. Co-founder and Indiana University School of Medicine Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Anantha Shekhar says the need to better treat this vulnerable population grows each day.   “There are several areas where there are wars and people coming back from combat duty—that’s the most obvious [need],” says Shekhar. “But there’s been an ongoing epidemic of unrecognized trauma in all kinds of daily living situations—urban trauma and trauma policemen or firefighters face every day.”   Shekhar says current treatments are only effective in about one of every three patients, and the drugs target only the symptoms of PTSD. Anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications are the most commonly prescribed, and Shekhar says they have debilitating side effects. Also led by IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Dr. Yvonne Lai, Anagin says its treatment takes aim at the source of the disease, rather than treating just the symptoms.   “Our treatment works on a very specific nerve cell mechanism that is critical for developing the whole disorder,” says Shekhar. “[Our drug] treats one of the fundamental mechanisms that causes the disease…and disrupts the mechanism within the cell that perpetuates the symptoms.”   In addition to the $25,000 cash prize, BioCrossroads will provide Anagin various business development support services; Anagin leaders say this builds critical momentum for attracting future funding, and ultimately, moving their drug to the marketplace.   “The most exciting part for me is finding a treatment for an illness I’ve struggled to treat for 30 years,” says Shekhar. “It’d be phenomenal if we could find something that really works for PTSD, but if our theory is correct, it might work for many other serious brain diseases. This could open up a whole new field of drugs for brain disorders.”   Capturing second place and the $15,000 prize at the competition, Bloomington-based Wellplay Health says its video game technology will help stroke and TBI patients with the challenging and arduous rehabilitation process. Compliance data shows only 31 percent of patients typically perform rehabilitation exercises as prescribed, says Wellplay Health Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pete Grogg. Patients face the additional challenge of obtaining sufficient insurance coverage, which Grogg says typically ends after a limited number of therapy sessions and requires patients to show they’re making progress.   Wellplay Health uses the Microsoft Kinect gaming system to create a “virtual” environment where patients can complete rehabilitation exercises. The games, tailored for each patient by their therapist, aim to accomplish the same goals of traditional rehabilitation methods, such as balance, coordination and range of motion.   “The games are more interesting and engaging, so patients get involved and start challenging themselves,” says Grogg. “They have more fun; [the exercises] aren’t...

read more

Growth Expected in Bloomington Life Sciences Companies

Posted September 9, 2014

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...

read more

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

Posted July 28, 2014

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 percent of hepatitis B patients are cured, requiring most infected individuals to take these anti-virals for the rest of their lives.   The hepatitis B virus one of the smallest human pathogens but one of the largest public health problems in the world. As many as 360 million people have chronic hepatitis B, with about 2 million of those in the United States. Chronic infection can lead to cancer and other serious liver diseases, contributing to the estimated 600,000 deaths associated with hepatitis B annually.   Assembly Pharmaceuticals has been supported by Indiana’s life sciences initiative, the venture capital firm BioCrossroads, which includes IU President Michael A. McRobbie and retired...

read more

Cook Medical Video

Posted July 18, 2014

  Sideporting: It’s kind of a big deal. from Cook Medical on Vimeo.

read more