Yesterday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence joined Indiana-based global life sciences and research university executives to unveil the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, the first industry-led collaborative life sciences research institute in the country.
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a statewide public-private partnership advanced by BioCrossroads and led by Indiana’s life sciences industry, with support from the State of Indiana and partnerships with Indiana’s research universities to discover, develop and deliver biosciences innovations in Indiana. The Institute will serve as the centerpiece project of the BioCrossroads public-private collaboration through its attraction of world-class scientific leaders and life sciences research dollars to Indiana, while focusing on human health solutions for improving the lives of Hoosiers and people around the world.
“Indiana has built a life sciences ecosystem unlike any other state and faces a new season of opportunity as a result,” said Governor Pence. “The Institute will strengthen Indiana’s reputation as a global life sciences hub and produce breakthroughs that will attract new investment to our state and create good-paying jobs for Hoosiers.”
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is the result of leadership from industry executives from Eli Lilly and Company, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Cook Medical, Indiana University Health and Biomet and the Governor of Indiana, with active support in initial development by BioCrossroads. Indiana’s research institutions, including Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame also are participating in the development process.
“This Institute comes at a pivotal time in our state’s evolution as a global life sciences leader. With a bioscience sector that now contributes more than $50 billion a year to the Hoosier economy, Indiana is ranked by BIO and Battelle as one of the top five states in the nation in terms of our total number of life sciences companies and employees. Through the Institute, BioCrossroads believes we have found a bold way to raise our game in Indiana by building the platform that will truly take us to the next level of success,” said David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, an organization focused on investment, development and advancement of the state’s signature life sciences strengths.
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is developing a novel operating model, with industry providing a major source of funding and defining the Institute’s research focus to optimize commercialization opportunities. The Institute also draws on a life sciences industry cluster that is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation, with global companies that are developing next-generation drugs and pharmaceuticals, diagnostics tests, medical devices, cell-based therapies, agricultural biotechnology and animal health and production solutions. This diversity of industry capabilities creates opportunities for Indiana-based life sciences companies to work in collaboration – not competition – toward common scientific discoveries.
“The research institute will change the bio-landscape of our region,” said Bart Peterson, senior vice president at Eli Lilly and Company. “Indiana’s life sciences companies spend billions of dollars in research and development each year to advance health care innovations for improved human health. The Institute will help us nurture our partnerships across the country and develop more intellectual capital here in Indiana – allowing us to keep more research dollars in the state, attract more federal research funds, and draw top scientific minds to feed our research pipeline and local economies.”
“Having the best talent and the best scientific minds is crucial for growing our life sciences industry cluster in Indiana,” said Steve Ferguson, chairman of Cook Group, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “World-class scientific talent at the industry and academic level is one of the state’s most powerful economic development tools. Just as companies like Lilly and Cook Medical started as small, entrepreneurial operations, we expect the Institute to draw the best and the brightest to Indiana to further deepen our life sciences industry roots and grow more business opportunities.”
As part of the Institute development process, industry leaders have defined common scientific interests for research and discovery. The Institute will initially focus on the most pressing global and local interrelated human health issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and nutrition. These interrelated metabolic disorders are a major economic burden and a leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors, such as high blood pressure and insulin resistance, allow for early disease detection, and timely preventive actions, such as through improved nutrition, and early intervention can slow or prevent the onset of disease. This is an important scientific discovery subject for the approximately 35 percent of Americans who suffer from cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders, and is a significant risk for Hoosiers who suffer disproportionally from these diseases.
“We have an opportunity to not only help millions of people around the world who are battling these metabolic disorders, but we can have significant impact on Hoosiers who suffer more than the average American from diabetes and who rank 8th in the nation in terms of obesity,” said Jack Phillips, president and CEO of Roche Diagnostics. “The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute will provide the platform to deliver significant scientific advancements that could improve Hoosier lives.”
“The ability to better understand metabolic disorders impacts the work of nearly every life sciences company in Indiana,” said Antonio Galindez, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences. “Together, we can develop a deeper understanding of the pathways leading to metabolic disease and apply those discoveries to not only medical interventions, but also to greatly enhanced nutritional sources developed through advanced crop improvement technologies and other advancements in human health.”
“Patients and clinicians have much to gain by the success of this critically important new venture,” said Daniel F. Evans Jr., president and CEO of Indiana University Health. “The discoveries and inventions generated by the Institute will be used by our physicians to care for patients. To accelerate the pace of innovation from lab bench to patient bedside, we are pleased to make our healthcare system available to researchers to test potential new treatments and therapies.”
The estimated $360-million Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a non-profit entity that is anticipated to be supported largely by corporate and philanthropic funding with oversight from a largely donor-based board of directors representing the life sciences industry, the state of Indiana, academia and nonprofit donors. The State of Indiana has appropriated $25 million for the biennium for start-up costs. An additional $25 million in start-up funding is being sought from industry and philanthropic sources, which will be used in part to recruit a nationally recognized CEO and research fellows. The remaining capital funding will be sought from corporate and philanthropic sources, and ongoing operating costs will be funded through Institute endowment proceeds, industry-sponsored research and federally funded research.
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute will attract local and national scientific leaders beginning with the CEO and the recruitment of research “Indiana Fellows.” These research fellows will lead teams of scientists and partner with industry and universities on research projects. These teams will consist of experts across a spectrum of competencies, including bioengineering, bioinformatics, nanotechnology and agriculture. These cross-functional teams will share resources and research laboratories at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and will work onsite at industry and research university labs with academic and industry scientists.
“As the scientific discovery process increases in complexity, more companies are looking outside their own walls for multi-disciplined team members to help move innovation forward, at a faster rate, in order to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace,” said Jon Serbousek, president, Biomet Biologics. “A cross-industry, statewide partnership focused on commercially translatable innovation on the cutting edge of basic and clinical science will help the state’s life sciences industry move to the next level.”
“The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute provides a new and exciting opportunity for our research universities to work with our statewide life sciences industry,” said Bill Stephan, vice president for engagement at Indiana University. “The Institute will bolster our ongoing efforts to recruit highly regarded local and national researchers and graduate students. We envision the dynamic of researchers from the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute working alongside researchers in industry or university labs, strengthening long-term collaborative research and funding opportunities.”
More information about the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute can be found at www.indianabiosciences.org.