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April 15, 2013
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Eli Lilly and Co. wants the city of Indianapolis to give it $30.6 million in tax breaks on a $400 million project that includes a new manufacturing facility and improvements to existing operations downtown. The Metropolitan Development Commission will weigh two Lilly requests for 10-year tax abatements at its meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Over the last several months, the pharmaceuticals giant has rolled out plans for a manufacturing plant southwest of downtown where the firm will manufacture cartridges for insulin. Construction is already under way for the 164,000-square-foot plant on South Harding Street, adjoining Lilly’s existing manufacturing complex known as Lilly Technology Center. Lilly’s investment in the project is estimated at $320 million. In addition, it is planning a new inspection facility that will add another 30,000 square feet to the project, plus renovations to existing buildings on the Lilly Technology Center campus and the Lilly Corporate Center. As a result of the project, the firm said it will be able to retain 175 Indianapolis employees who will earn an average of $30.96 per hour, according to the abatement requests. Over the 10-year period of the two abatements, Lilly still would pay $22.2 million in taxes on the new construction, renovations and equipment.

Matrix-Bio Inc., a Fort Wayne-based diagnostics company, has signed a licensing and marketing agreement for a breast cancer test with New Jersey-based giant Quest Diagnostics. Under the agreement, Quest will have the rights to use metabolic breast cancer biomarkers developed by Matrix-Bio to create a new lab test to detect the recurrence of breast cancer. Quest will co-fund clinical studies with Matrix-Bio and, if those are successful, market the test as a lab service in the United States and other countries. Quest also has the option to pursue an appropriate regulatory pathway for an in vitro diagnostic version of the test. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Two Purdue University professors have received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to understand why some children grow out of stuttering. They will use their findings to develop a speech therapy screening tool to identify which preschool children are not likely to recover from stuttering and should receive therapy immediately. Professors Anne Smith and Christine Weber-Fox will use the five-year grant to follow 100 children who stutter. Their research, which began with Smith in 1988, has been funded by the NIH's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for more than 25 years and has received more than $13 million in grant awards.

Ball State University's School of Nursing is partnering with Indianapolis-based hospital system Community Health Network to create the Nursing Academy, an accelerated degree program designed to increase the number of registered nurses in Indiana. The Nursing Academy will kick off this fall by offering students classes at Ball State, online and via video conferencing. Its students also will work at Community’s eight hospitals. The Community Health Network Foundation will fund scholarships for the 24 students representing the academy's inaugural class. The academy hopes to ramp up to enroll 48 students each year.

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