Company news

Warsaw-based Biomet Inc., which makes orthopedic implants, rolled out a restructuring plan in its knees and hips division that will trim 21 positions in the United States and another 60 to 80 in Europe, according to the Times-Union newspaper in Kosciusko County. Separately, Biomet said it will lay off an unspecified number of employees at its manufacturing plants in England and Wales. “The company believes these changes are necessary for it to meet the challenges it faces in the market today,” Biomet officials said in a statement given to the Times-Union. Orthopedic implant makers have been challenged in recent years because a settlement with the Department of Justice curtailed some of their marketing practices and because the economic downturn caused many patients to delay elective surgeries. Biomet, which is owned by a consortium of private equity firms, had 7,400 global employees as of March, with 1,700 of those in Indiana.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. won an appeals court ruling in its effort to block generic versions of attention-deficit treatment Strattera, according to Bloomberg News. On July 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., overturned a lower court judge’s decision that Lilly’s patent on the medicine was invalid. The Federal Circuit remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings. The patent expires in 2017. Strattera generated sales of $577 million last year for Lilly. The company had won an order that prevented drugmakers including Mylan Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from entering the market with a generic version until this appeal was decided.

St. Vincent Health will match Indiana University Health in Fishers, turning its free-standing emergency room and outpatient center into a 40-bed inpatient hospital. The two facilities are a stone’s throw away from each other at the intersection of Olio Road and Interstate 69. The expansion will add 110,000 square feet to St. Vincent’s existing facility, which opened in 2008. It will include 30 medical/surgical beds and 10 medical observation beds, as well as 10 labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum rooms. The larger facility will create 200 jobs. Construction is set to begin in September and should be completed by December 2012.

An Indianapolis angel investment firm focused on life science startups has now expanded to Warsaw. StepStone Business Partners LLC also has chapters in Indianapolis and Anderson. Warsaw is home to three major orthopedic implant makers—Biomet, Zimmer Holdings Inc. and DePuy Orthopaedic Inc.—as well as more than 20 other suppliers, parts manufacturers and services firms that support the orthopedics industry. StepStone will be looking to fund new entrants to the industry cluster, companies that have gotten off the ground but that are not big enough to attract institutional investment. “These companies are very early-stage. They have minimum management teams. They basically have what they need and what they can afford,” said Oscar Moralez, managing partner and co-founder of StepStone. The group, which includes about 20 investors, has already invested in OrthoPediatrics Corp., a Warsaw-based firm that makes implants for children. Moralez envisions building a statewide angel network. He’s looking at adding two or three more chapters by mid-2012.

Indianapolis-based HealthNet has opened a satellite community health center on East 38th Street, in partnership with the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside and with a $200,000 gift from The Glick Fund. The new health center is expected to serve more than 2,000 patients a year, many living below the federal poverty level. The 1,300-square-foot health center has six exam rooms, a laboratory and office space. The center initially will offer only pediatric and OB/GYN services, but HealthNet plans to expand in a few months to add adult primary care and behavioral health care. The new health center is HealthNet’s ninth facility in Indianapolis.

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