Company news

December 1, 2010

Hey, it worked for the U.S. Army, why not for hospitals too? According to the Zionsville Times-Sentinel, the Witham Health Services Foundation is offering to give out school loans to aspiring medical professionals that can be paid off simply by working for the Lebanon-based Witham hospital for at least one year after graduation. Otherwise, the student must repay the loan with interest. It’s a way for Witham, a growing but small hospital system, to compete for workers in a crowded Indianapolis-area hospital market. Students can obtain $2,000 through the loans, or $1,000 per semester. Only Boone County residents can apply.

Roche Diagnostics will develop a tool to use alongside the Tarceva therapy for lung cancer patients, a drug made by Roche’s pharmaceutical business. The companion diagnostic tool got the green light last month after Swiss firmRoche negotiated a license of intellectual property from Massachusetts-based Genzyme Corp., which will help it identify patients with gene mutations that activate EGFR, the epidermal growth factor receptor, leading to cancerous growth of cells. Roche wants Tarceva approved as a first-line treatment for such patients. The test, which is being co-developed with OSI Pharmaceuticals, would use the Cobas system that Roche sells to hospitals and other health care providers. Roche Diagnostics runs its North American sales and marketing out of its Indianapolis campus.

Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot Inc. has continued its recent growth by expanding into Michigan, with locations in Brighton and Grand Rapids. Earlier this year, the company added stores in Lafayette and Greenwood; Chicago and Bloomington, Ill. The company now has nine locations, and its workforce has grown to 120, from 18 two years ago. Also, in October, Home Health Depot acquired a home health care subsidiary from Arcadia Resources Inc., which is also based in Indianapolis. The company provides in-home medical equipment to patients.