IBJNews

BioCrossroads rolls out orthopedic initiative

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

With job growth surging in Warsaw’s orthopedic cluster, the life sciences development group BioCrossroads Inc. set out to find a way to keep the party going.

It also wants to make sure new technological breakthroughs and federal efforts to pinch health care spending don’t shut down the party entirely.

BioCrossroads’ prescription? Spawn a copy of BioCrossroads for the north-central Indiana region, dubbed OrthoWorx, to promote the industry and the things it needs to keep growing.

The recommendation is detailed in a new report documenting the strengths and challenges facing Zimmer Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., Biomet Inc. and the other orthopedics companies in Warsaw. BioCrossroads also supports a beefed-up research initiative, called IN-OrthoNet, that would strengthen ties between Indiana universities, orthopedic surgeons and the Warsaw companies to help launch the next wave of innovations to the joint-replacement implants made in Warsaw.

“The Warsaw-based orthopedics sector represents a significant force globally—one that both needs and merits support to realize expanding opportunities and address the many challenges facing the region and the industry as a whole,” reads an executive summary of the report, which is being released today.

The concentration of orthopedics revenue in Warsaw is impressive. The worldwide industry had revenue of $32.5 billion in 2007, BioCrossroads determined, and $10 billion of that flowed to companies headquartered in Warsaw. The second-largest cluster, around Kalamazoo, Mich.,, pulled in half as much revenue.

Medical-device firms and the companies that serve them employ more than 6,000 people in Kosciusko County, of which Warsaw is the capital. From 2001 to 2007, employment growth in the medical device sector surged 39 percent.

But the Warsaw cluster faces two major challenges. First, health care reform and increased federal regulations could squeeze the profits of orthopedic implant makers. And that puts pressure on them to outsource operations to lower-cost regions.

David Johnson, CEO of BioCrossroads, wants to create as many local “roots” as possible in Indiana so it’s easier for the companies to grow in Warsaw and harder for them to grow anywhere else. Some of those things could include a sterilization facility (most companies now use one in Dayton, Ohio), an orthopedic surgeon-training facility to help roll out new products, and independent testing facilities.

The second challenge comes from cell-regeneration technologies and the self-healing potential of stem cells, which could one day render artificial hip and knee replacements unnecessary. The Warsaw companies are working to make those breakthroughs, rather than be broken by them.

To make sure they’re the innovators, the Warsaw companies need to attract the most talented people they can. But the community of Warsaw, with only 12,500 people, cannot possibly offer all the amenities that many highly skilled workers will expect. To address this workforce challenge, BioCrossroads suggests the new OrthoWorx organization work to promote cultural and educational institutions—not only in Warsaw, but also in nearby Fort Wayne and South Bend.

“The medical innovation coming out of Warsaw is some of the best in the world, so it’s critical that we have a plan for sustainability and growth,” said Cheryl R. Blanchard, chief scientific officer at Zimmer. “With true and widespread business and community participation, BioCrossroads has created a roadmap to move us forward.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

ADVERTISEMENT