Indiana’s deep and diverse life sciences research and commercial bases are important drivers for the state’s overall economic health. The continuing vitality of this sector depends on innovation from various research settings — universities, nonprofit research institutes, and industry – all of which require funding. In 2020, a year of uncertainty and economic challenges, Indiana’s life sciences companies accessed more than $9 billion to grow innovation. 

This funding came from a variety of sources including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards, venture capital, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. Indiana’s life sciences companies raised over $400 million in investment in 2020 and start-ups had their best year ever for raising venture capital, including:

  • $12.6 million SBIR awarded to 21 companies.
  • $262 million in venture capital invested in 44 companies.
  • $141.8 million accessed through public markets by three companies.

This funding supports the discovery and development of therapies and cures for diseases, adding to our community for life sciences entrepreneurship and innovation.

Another indicator of strength was the market capitalization for 12 Indiana public life sciences companies, including Eli Lilly and Company, Anthem, Zimmer Biomet, Elanco, Acacia Pharma, Brickell Biotech, Orthopediatrics, Acura Pharmaceuticals, Assembly Biosciences, Hill-Rom Holdings, Nanosonic and Bioanalytical Systems. Unique in its diversity including therapeutics insurance, animal health, medical devices and capital equipment, and services, these Indiana companies had a combined market capitalization of $297.6 billion as of December 31, 2020, a gain of 17 percent from the prior year.

These numbers provide a gauge of the amount of activity and connectivity within the ecosystem. It’s also an early indicator of future innovation – all important for the growth of our life sciences sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of a well-connected life sciences ecosystem.  Indiana’s companies advanced diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and medical devices to address serious health needs not only for Hoosiers, but for the nation and the rest of the world. 

Success relies upon continued and significant investment over the long haul. It also requires highly trained and specialized workers along with adherence to regulations to ensure safety and efficacy. Our solid research base and industry anchors support the formation and growth of new life science companies that enhance the quality of life for Hoosiers, boost the regional economy, and provide a proactive means of response in the face of public health emergencies. 

Whether we work in the Indiana life science sector or not, the past year and a half proves we all have to gain from its success.

Nora Doherty is Executive Vice President of Finance at BioCrossroads. She’s also Managing Director of the Indiana Seed Funds. The Indiana Life Sciences Capital 2020 report is available on the BioCrossroads website.



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