A few years back, the Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine created the American Fitness Index, ranking the 50 largest U.S. metro areas. To no surprise, the Indianapolis area has never ranked well—coming in 44th last year and 45th this year. But now, the College of Sports Medicine is piloting a program—in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City—that will try to do something about it. The college, which includes physicians, researchers and other health professionals, will interview leaders in both cities to identify key areas for action, then offer expert assistance to launch efforts to boost physical activity, and try to reduce rates of smoking, obesity and other maladies. The goal is to add four additional cities in 2012 and 2013 each, bringing the total to 10 communities that will receive tailored technical assistance. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis are both supporting the pilot.
BioCrossroads’ Indiana Seed Fund has invested $300,000 in a startup company developing an absorbable stent to treat cardiovascular disease. Zorion Medical is chaired by former Eli Lilly and Co. executive David Broecker, who has moved to Indianapolis from Boston. Broecker, a Wabash College graduate in chemistry and mathematics, previously was president and CEO of Cambridge, Mass.-based biopharmaceutical company Alkermes Inc. Broecker also is CEO of BioCritica Inc., a locally based firm founded last May that acquired commercialization rights to Lilly’s Xigris, a drug to treat the blood infection sepsis. Zorion developed a stent that can be absorbed into the body—as opposed to existing stents made of metal. The biomaterial also can deliver drugs to help heal the artery.
Los Angeles-based CBRE Inc. says Indiana University Health is cheating it out of commissions related to several real estate deals in Indianapolis, Lafayette, Frankfort and Mooresville. Most notable is IU Health’s canceled plan for a $73 million administrative office building at 16th Street and Capitol Avenue, which would have been built near a $120 million neuroscience hub across the street from IU Health's Methodist Hospital campus. IU Health instead purchased the Gateway Tower plaza at 10th and Illinois streets to house administrative staff. Officials told IBJ in March the price was so good on Gateway Plaza—where the hospital system already rents 130,000 square feet—that they couldn’t refuse. Attorneys for IU Health declined to comment because the ligitation is pending.
The California-based St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research, awarded a $145,566 grant to Dr. Jodi Skiles, a pediatric researcher at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her research, conducted in the United States and in Kenya, will focus on developing individualized dosing regimens of vincristine, a core anticancer agent used in many childhood cancers, which reaches toxic levels for some patients much more quickly than others.