Company news

February 3, 2010

The federal Medicare program will conduct a demonstration project using the Indianapolis-based Indiana Health Information Exchange to examine the impact of a multi-payer quality reporting and pay-for-performance incentives. Medicare will feed its patient data into IHIE’s Quality Health First program, which combines data from health insurers with patient medical records to help physicians track the quality of their care. Already, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana is offering bonus payments based on how well doctors do at managing their patients’ health in key areas. The Medicare program will allow IHIE to share in a portion of Medicare savings achieved once quality of care and cost objectives are met.

St. Vincent Health made it official on Feb. 1. Washington County Memorial Hospital in Salem is now St. Vincent Salem Hospital. The 25-bed facility will cost Indianapolis-based St. Vincent $3.5 million over five years in a lease-to-buy agreement. St. Vincent executives have been managing the hospital for 18 months, including during its bankruptcy reorganization, which began in June. The Salem hospital is the 18th in St. Vincent’s statewide network.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute has awarded Teri Belecky-Adams, professor of developmental biology at IUPUI’s School of Science, a $1.25 million grant to study astrocytes in the optic nerve. Astrocytes are cells that make it difficult for the brain to heal and to overcome injury or disease. By understanding what kind of factors regulate certain gene expressions in astrocyte cells in the optic nerve, scientists hope to gain a deeper knowledge of brain injuries and the brain’s response to disease and injury. The study is a collaborative effort between the IU Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine, scientists within the IU School of Medicine, and researchers at the University of Wisconsin.

Biologics LLC, which makes mobile labs and manufacturing buildings for biotech firms, will locate its headquarters in Brownsburg, and plans to create at least 50 jobs by 2013. The company plans to invest $14.6 million in machinery and equipment and lease 7,500 square feet in the Brownsburg Motorsports Park before constructing a manufacturing plant in 2011. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Biologics up to $550,000 in tax credits to support the company's job creation.  Hendricks County and the town of Brownsburg will consider additional property tax abatements.

AMPATH, a joint partnership between Indiana University School of Medicine, Moi University School of Medicine and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, has received another $5 million USAID grant to expand health care services in western Kenya. AMPATH, which stands for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, received a $60 million grant in 2007 from USAID, or the United States Agency for International Development. More than 100,000 Kenyans receive HIV/AIDS treatment through USAID-AMPATH’s system of community health workers in 23 full-time clinics and 23 satellite clinic locations.

New Jersey-based Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. closed on the sale of its specialty pharmaceutical business, including a plant in Indianapolis, to Italian-owned Sigma-Tau Group. The deal could be worth up to $300 million. Locally, Enzon’s plant at 6925 Guion Road makes drugs to treat leukemia, meningitis, fungal infections and the “bubble boy disease” immune disorder. The plant employs about 100 workers, and the manufacturing operations will remain in Indianapolis, Sigma Tau spokesman Marc Tewey said.

Fourth-quarter profit fell 19 percent, to $69 million, at Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences as the company spent more on research and marketing expenses related to its seed business ramp-up. Revenue rose 17 percent, to $1.1 billion, from the same period in 2008. For all of 2009, Dow Agro, a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., reported revenue of $4.5 billion, down from $4.6 billion in 2008. Annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped to $577 million from $892 million.