Company news

December 16, 2009

Carmel-based Dormir Inc. acquired a string of sleep-study centers and equipment stores in California, Oregon and Utah, making it the nation’s second-largest provider of sleep-diagnostic services in the country behind SleepMed Inc., headquartered in Columbia, S.C. The sleep centers and equipment stores were part of two subsidiaries of Australia-based Avastra Sleep Centres Ltd. They give Dormir 85 locations in 16 states. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eli Lilly and Co. said it won approval for a new long-acting version of its bestselling antipsychotic Zyprexa. The new version has patents that could extend until 2018. Investors have shunned Lilly's stock this year because they say Indianapolis-based Lilly does not have enough new drugs to offset the loss of Zyprexa revenue that will occur after the drug loses its patents in 2011. Lilly issued a forecast for 2012-2014 that suggested its profits could fall by as much as one-third from their present levels.

Lilly Endowment Inc. will give $60 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine to implement its new Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative that aims to turn discoveries that could improve human health into products and treatments that benefit patients and produce new businesses. Dr. David Wilkes, executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine, will direct the Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative. Its biggest goal is to recruit 20 physician-scientists to the IU med school to focus on cancer, neurosciences and diabetes/vascular disease.

Scientists have made chemotherapy drugs better at reducing side effects by engineering them to bind only to cancerous cells. But researchers at Purdue University are taking an entirely different approach. They used cold and magnetic particles to create nanorods—about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. They then coated these rods with the breast cancer drug Herceptin and inserted them into breast tumors. Professor Joseph Irudayaraj and graduate student Jiji Chen wrote about their work in the journal ACS Nano.

The Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation gave $1 million to Indiana University to form a school of public health at IUPUI. Indiana University will build the school using faculty from its medical school and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Two Fort Wayne consulting firms are joining forces in an attempt to do more work for financially strapped doctors and hospitals. MedOptima and Ruffolo Benson LLC now offer expertise in improving billing and other processes, as well as finding capital.

In the latest combination of fitness and physicians, St. Vincent Health has opened a rehab therapy clinic at the Fishers YMCA. The 3,900-square-foot clinic will offer orthopedic, neurological and general rehab care. The first local example of such a partnership is the Westview Healthplex Sports Club on Guion Road operated by Westview Hospital. Also, Hendricks Regional Health is working with YMCA to build a joint facility in Avon.