Company news

June 27, 2011

Indiana has added 220 startups and more than 8,000 jobs in its $27 billion life sciences industry since 2002, according to a report commissioned by BioCrossroads, the Indianapolis-based life sciences development group. Despite the presence of pharmaceutical firms such as Eli Lilly and Co., medical-device manufacturing represented the biggest chunk of employment in Indiana: 20,300, or 35.5 percent, of life sciences workers. Indiana ranks third, behind New Jersey and Massachusetts, in highest quotient of life sciences workers. Though noting Indiana has made big strides to emerge as a national center in the life sciences, the report makes it clear the state still has needs. These include better access to seed/early-stage and venture capital, a more skilled work force and more focus on emerging areas such as health information technology and contract manufacturing.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to revive a bid to press a class-action suit against Eli Lilly and Co. over the marketing of the antipsychotic Zyprexa, according to Bloomberg News. A group of pension funds, unions and insurers claimed they represented a class of third-party payors who spent $6.8 billion more on Zyprexa than they should have, because Lilly made fraudulent claims about Zyprexa’s safety and effectiveness and promoted it for non-approved uses. A federal appeals court had said the case wasn’t appropriate for class-action status and told a trial judge to consider whether the plaintiffs filing the suit could press their individual claims. Indianapolis-based Lilly in 2009 pleaded guilty to promoting Zyprexa for unapproved uses and agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties.

Wishard Health Services will change its name to Eskenazi Health after receiving a $40 million gift from Indianapolis real estate developer Sidney Eskenazi and his wife, Lois, the county-owned hospital announced June 22. The $754 million hospital Wishard is building downtown will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital when it opens in December 2013. The Eskenazis' gift is the largest in the history of Wishard, which began as City Hospital in 1859 and adopted the Wishard name in 1975. Wishard Foundation was trying to raise $50 million to help fund construction of the new hospital. With the Eskenazis' gift, it has now raised $54 million. Sid Eskenazi, 81, started Sandor Development Co. in 1963 and has grown it into one of the nation’s largest owners of strip malls. Sandor has long-standing relationships with major retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl’s.