INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's life sciences initiative is boasting a strong 2018 for the sector, reporting year-over-year increases in areas including workforce, wages, exports and venture capital funding. BioCrossroads says the state's life sciences industry's economic impact is now at $79 billion. The report shows the sector supports more than 56,000 jobs in the state with an average annual wage of over $97,000. Vice President of Communications Lori LeRoy says Indiana "maintains (its) standing as one of the top five states in the life sciences."

LeRoy says 2018 was a record-breaking year for venture capital investment in the sector. She says 34 startups attracted $115 million in investment. The report also highlights other big funding developments: BioCrossroads launching its third seed fund installment and Elanco spinning out from Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) through an initial public offering.

The organization is also reporting more than $10.2 billion in life sciences exports from Indiana last year, which it says ranks Indiana second in the United States. The Indiana Biosciences Research Center says 85 new products from Indiana gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Another highlight for the state came in January, when the IBRI said a collaborative research project it was involved in led to the discovery of a new disease. DHPC Deficiency can lead to neurodevelopmental delay and seizures.

You can see the BioCrossroads 2018 Annual Report by clicking here.