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UPDATE: Bioanalytical researcher opening lab in Indianapolis

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Advion BioServices, a subsidiary of Ithaca, N.Y.-based Advion BioSciences Inc., announced Tuesday morning it will collaborate with Eli Lilly and Co. to open a 22,000-square-foot drug discovery bioanalytical laboratory at the Purdue Research Park of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis-based Lilly will move its own drug-discovery bioanalytical operations to Advion as part of the partnership and retain some oversight.

Advion, a provider of bioanalytical research, is expected to open the laboratory in May with 49 employees. The lab could employ as many as 66 employees by 2015, the company said.

Advion said it will spend $6.1 million to lease and equip the facility.

An estimated 26 Lilly employees will be affected by the drug maker’s decision, but will have the opportunity to apply for limited jobs within Lilly or for openings at Advion’s Indianapolis lab, Lilly spokeswoman Christine Van Marter said. The employees let go by Lilly also will be eligible to receive a severance package.

“This strategic business decision will help Lilly to improve productivity, reduce fixed costs and increase flexibility in order to speed up the flow of new molecules through the pipeline and ultimately deliver innovative medicines to patients more quickly,” Van Marter said in an e-mail.

Advion will focus on earlier-stage, drug-discovery bioanalytical services, which evaluate how a potential new medicine is absorbed and metabolized in experimental models. Much of the activities performed at the lab are required for the preparation of a molecule’s entry into clinical testing.

“The establishment of this laboratory in Indianapolis further strengthens our relationship with Lilly as a key partner in bioanalytical services while positioning Advion to be one of the largest and most respected bioanalytical service providers in North America,” Advion BioSciences President and CEO David B. Patterson said in a prepared statement.

Advion will take up 40 percent of the 55,000-square-foot research park near Indianapolis International Airport.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Advion up to $650,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $30,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. Develop Indy will provide additional training funding and support property-tax abatement from the city of Indianapolis.

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