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June 23, 2014
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More than 100 Indiana firms since January have told federal regulators they plan to offer up ownership stakes or take on debt. That’s approaching a year’s worth of activity in less than six months, based on the state’s performance the past few years. Firms selling equity or debt include numerous health care firms, such as RepuCare, HC1.com, Indigo BioSystems, SonarMed and Wellfount. Indigo CEO Randy Julian boiled his firm’s investment timing down to, “It was time to mash the pedal to the floor and go.” The 47-employee company, which develops software for medical laboratories, secured $8.5 million earlier this month. “I do think if you look around,” Julian said, “the other companies that have raised money have had some component of that story that’s the same.”

Carmel-based Mainstreet has built 14 short-term rehabilitation facilities—usually near hospitals—and has 17 more under construction or in planning stages. That rapid building helped drive the company from $11 million in revenue in 2011 to more than $66 million two years later, making it the fastest-growing private company in the Indianapolis area. “We’re in the right place at the right time. We’ve invested heavily into our systems and our designs and now are really bearing the fruits of a lot of years of labor,” said Mainstreet CEO Zeke Turner. Beginning in 2015, rather than only build facilities that others operate, Mainstreet will begin to operate some facilities that it builds. The first two Mainstreet-operated facilities are scheduled to open in Carmel and Bloomington.

Shares of central Indiana pharmaceutical firm Endocyte Inc. lost 15 percent of their value last week after industry giant Merck & Co. Inc. gave up on developing Endocyte cancer drug vintafolide. On Tuesday evening, West-Lafayette-based Endocyte said it had regained worldwide rights to vintafolide from Merck. The move essentially meant Endocyte lost Merck’s financial backing and sales muscle for the drug. The treatment failed a key study last month, leading to a 62-percent single-day drop in Endocyte's share price on May 2. Endocyte and Merck announced May 19 that they were terminating a clinical trial of the drug, after an analysis showed vintafolide didn’t demonstrate efficacy when treating patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Endocyte said it will continue to test vintafolide for lung cancer. Shares of Endocyte closed Friday at $6.55 apiece.

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