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Venture capitalist Neff replacing Evans as AIT chief

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Indianapolis venture capitalist Matt Neff is the new chairman and CEO of AIT Laboratories, the once-thriving drug-testing lab founded by Michael Evans.

It’s the latest in a string of leadership changes for the firm. Evans stepped aside as CEO in early 2012 and was replaced by Ron Thieme, who had been vice president of information technology. But the move didn’t work out, and Evans returned to the top job that fall.

Now, Evans, 69, is stepping aside again, and Neff is becoming chairman, president and CEO, effective Aug. 5.

Neff, meanwhile, is stepping down as CEO and president of CHV Capital, the venture capital arm of Indiana University Health, a post he held for six years.

Neff and Evans were not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.

IBJ reported in January that AIT was in turnaround mode after failing to respond quickly to deep cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for basic drug tests.

AIT, founded in 1990 by Evans, then an IU School of Medicine professor, had caught fire about 10 years ago when it became the nation’s pioneer in urine drug tests to help doctors monitor patients taking narcotics for chronic pain.

The company landed on Inc. magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies five years in a row.

In 2009, Evans sold the company to employees for $90 million, with payments to him staggered over a number of years.

Evans used much of his windfall to pledge $48 million to Marian University’s new medical school.
 

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