Company news

January 14, 2013
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BioCrossroads Inc.’s newest seed fund has plowed $750,000 into two Indianapolis-area life sciences companies. Esanex Inc. received $500,000 to help it develop a therapy that inhibits the ability of cancer cells to grow and survive. The investment will be used to complete a Phase 1 study in patients with tumors and to conduct multiple Phase 2 trials. Esanex is part of the portfolio of Lilly Ventures, the venture capital firm spun out of Eli Lilly and Co. in 2009. Algaeon Inc., meanwhile, received $250,000 to develop a technology for making micro-algae-based products used in human supplements and in animal and fish-feed stocks. The company will use the investment to expand operations and produce additional products. Algaeon is located on the northwest side on West 82nd Street. BioCrossroads, the Indianapolis-based life sciences development group, launched Indiana Seed Fund II in April after raising $8.25 million to help fledgling life sciences companies grow. Its first seed fund raised $6 million that was invested in 11 companies.

WellPoint Inc.’s plan to raise rates that small employers in California pay for medical insurance was criticized as unreasonable by the state insurance commissioner, who said customers are being charged this year to cover U.S. health-law taxes that won’t begin until 2014. According to Bloomberg News, WellPoint’s Anthem Blue Cross unit in California is raising those rates an average of 10.6 percent. Indianapolis-based WellPoint sells small group policies that cover 284,000 California employees. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones accused WellPoint of overstating future medical use and cost trends, and improperly including next year’s taxes. The commissioner provided his findings last month to the insurer, which plans to proceed with the rate increase. Anthem Blue Cross said rates will go up an average of 6.5 percent and the increase is lower than not-for-profit competitors. Around the country, Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Centene Corp. and other health insurers have proposed large increases on small businesses and individual buyers in recent months, citing rising costs for medical care and greater requirements of the health-care law. The Obama administration has said provisions in the law have kept increases from being even higher.

Johnson & Johnson won the backing of an FDA advisory panel for a diabetes pill the company is seeking to make the first in a new family of drugs for managing blood sugar, putting it ahead of Eli Lilly and Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca plc, which all are trying to develop similar drugs. According to Bloomberg News, New Jersey-based J&J received a 10-5 vote from the panel to support its drug canagliflozin, although the panel also said the drug raises concerns about heart risks. The once-a-day pill is part of a treatment group known as SGLT2 inhibitors that are intended to have fewer side effects, such as low blood sugar and weight gain, than current diabetes drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to decide on canagliflozin by the end of March; the agency usually follows recommendations of its advisory panels, but it does not have to. Lilly’s drug, which it is developing with Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim Gmbh, is called empagliflozin. The two companies plan to file for FDA approval later this year.

Catheter Research Inc. has acquired assets from Illinois-based Marshall Medical Systems & Equipment Inc., one of the distributors of medical equipment for a subsidiary of Catheter Research called Thomas Medical Systems. Thomas Medical makes medical devices for reproductive and OB/GYN care. Catheter Research did not disclose the purchase price.


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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...