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November 11, 2009
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A panel of medical advisers recommended against wider use of Zimmer Holdings Inc.’s spine stabilization device, according to Reuters. In a 5-1 vote, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel said the data for Zimmer’s Dynesys Spinal System were unclear and left them with questions about the device’s durability and propensity to break. Warsaw-based Zimmer already markets the device, which is a series of screws and flexible spacers that help align and support the spine, for patients who have received fusion surgery. The company is seeking FDA approval to market Dynesys for stand-alone use. FDA officials will weigh the panel's recommendation before making their final approval decision.

New Jersey-based Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to sell its specialty pharmaceutical business, along with its Indianapolis manufacturing facility, to Italy-based Sigma-tau Group. As of January 2008, Enzon’s facility in Indianapolis employed about 150 workers. It made four medicines, which treated certain kinds of leukemia, meningitis, fungal infections and the immunodeficiency malady known as “bubble boy disease.” Sigma-tau paid $300 million for the business, as well as royalties and other payments contingent upon future sales and development achievements.

Arcadia Resources Inc. sold nearly 16 million shares of stock in a registered direct offering that raised $11.1 million. Arcadia Chief Financial Officer Matt Mittendorf said the Indianapolis-based company would use the cash to fund the rollout of its DailyMed pharmacy service to customers of Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint Inc. in Virginia and soon in California. The company needed more cash, as its reserves had dwindled to $517,000 at the end of the second quarter, down from $2.4 million a year earlier.

California-based Beckman Coulter Inc., which makes biomedical testing instrument systems, said it is relocating its precision plastics injection molding operation to Park 100. The move will add about 100 jobs to the 400 people the company already employs in Indianapolis. The jobs will pay $22.30 an hour, on average. In 2007, Beckman Coulter closed its 220-employee centrifuge development and manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., and moved operations to the Indianapolis area.

For the 14th straight year, St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital won a Consumer Choice award from the National Research Corp. The award identifies hospitals that health care consumers have chosen as having the highest quality and image in more than 300 U.S. markets. No other Indianapolis hospitals won the award this year.

As pharmaceutical giants re-evaluate their pipelines and seek to sell off products that no longer fit their strategies, it gives opportunities for pharmaceutical startups. Such divestiture of pharmaceutical products will be discussed Tuesday at the Life Sciences Lunch at the Barnes & Thornburg LLP law firm in downtown Indianapolis. The lunch will include three speakers: Reed Tarwater, director of pharmaceutical consulting services at  Carmel-based Anson Group LLC; Ron Ellis, CEO of Endocyte Inc. in West Lafayette; and Eli Lilly and Co.'s Pete Robins. The lunch costs $10 per person and begins at 11:30 a.m.

Former President George H.W. Bush will come to Indianapolis Nov. 19 to speak at a $250-per-person fund raiser for Alzheimer's research. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Money will also go to the Deane F. Johnson Center Foundation at the University of California at Los Angeles, a clinical trial center that supports the research of such companies as Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. Bush's speech, which will occur at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, is sponsored locally by Fishers-based Ambassador Healthcare and the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Ticket information can be found here.


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