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November 18, 2009
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Indiana companies achieved second- and third-place finishes in Purdue University’s life sciences business plan competition this year. Nano-Rad LLC, based in West Lafayette, won $36,000 for being runner-up. It is developing low-dose radiation therapy for zapping edges of tumors left over after surgery. The third-place finisher was Lafayette-based Glytrix Inc. It won $14,000 for its plan for therapies that reduce skin scarring after surgery. The winner was Massachusetts-based Novophage Technology, which is developing a corneal-repair device for patients’ eyes as an alternative to expensive corneal transplants. It took home $30,000.

Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, still a bit player in the seed business, continues to partner with its larger rivals to expand its market presence. Dow Agro, a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement to share its herbicide-tolerant trait for soybeans with Delaware-based DuPont and its Pioneer unit. In exchange, Pioneer is licensing non-exclusively its Optimum GAT herbicide-tolerant trait for soybeans to Dow Agro. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

St. Vincent Health and OrthoIndy are the latest hospital and physician groups to run into each others' arms in response to the reform winds coming out of Washington, D.C. The Indianapolis-based organizations announced Friday they will create a management company to handle physician work at St. Vincent's hospitals in Indianapolis. St. Vincent also acquired a minority stake in OrthoIndy's orthopedic hospital, located a few miles west of St. Vincent's flagship facility on West 86th Street. All doctors face a 21-percent cut to Medicare reimbursement next year unless Congress steps in to change it, which it has done in the past. And with Congress spending nearly $1 trillion to expand health insurance coverage, doctors have small hopes that reimbursement from federal programs will reverse their recent trends of falling or staying flat.  “Clearly, when we did this transaction, we had an eye on health care reform,” said John Martin, CEO of OrthoIndy, a group of more than 70 physicians who specialize in bone, joint and spine therapy.

Arcadia Resources Inc. lost $4.1 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $3.2 million, or 2 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue fell 4 percent, to $25.6 million. Indianapolis-based Arcadia is trying to grow its DailyMed pharmaceutical service, which packages the right dosages of prescriptions into individual packets, to make it easier for patients on numerous medications to stick to their regimens. Arcadia announced Monday it is rolling out DailyMed in California. While Arcadia's pharmacy revenue grew slower than expected, it still soared 181 percent over the same quarter last year, to $3.4 million. Profit margins in that business also grew to 15.1 percent, up from 11.1 percent in the previous quarter.

The National Institutes of Health have given $1.3 million to Indiana University to establish the East African Center of Excellence in Health Informatics. The new center will help East African countries use electronic health records to increase the efficiency and quality of health care.

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