Center Taps Into 'Huge' Life Sciences Assets

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(Image Courtesy of the Indiana University School of Medicine.) (Image Courtesy of the Indiana University School of Medicine.)

The director of the new Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovations in Indianapolis says it is not simply another incubator. JaiPal Singh says the institute will help equip high-potential startups and entrepreneurs with the business tools and skills that the academic sector traditionally can't provide. The center features a "council of advisors" made up of 18 high-level health care industry professionals from some of the state's top companies, who will provide business development and entrepreneurship mentoring.

Singh says Indianapolis and the state possess "huge" life sciences assets. These include Indiana University Medical School, which has 900 researchers and produces more graduates per year than any other med school in the U.S., companies such as Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Cook Medical in Bloomington and major hubs like the "Orthopedics Capital of the World" in Warsaw.

The center will serve as a biomedical incubator and is designed to help move discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. It is located in the former Methodist Research Institute at IU Health Methodist hospital near the IUPUI campus. Singh says its is a unique entrepreneurial space. "It is not simply a building where you incubate your startup. It's a collaborative ecosystem bringing entrepreneurs, life science experts and investors together." In addition to the medical school, IU Health and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute are involved. It will also partner with IU School of Medicine's Industry Collaboration Program.

One key aspect of the new center is the connections among the entrepreneurs, advisory council and industry. Singh says it will open up pathways for startups and investors. The initial class includes eight companies focusing on specialties such as post traumatic stress disorder, emphysema, stroke, heart disease, cancer, regenerative medicine and pulmonary embolism. Singh says he expects to have to turn away potential startups in the future.

Singh tells Inside INdiana Business the state is well-positioned for continued life sciences success.
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