Company news

January 16, 2012

Roche Diagnostics Corp. is ramping up cargo shipments between the U.S. and Europe, securing a third weekly Cargolux flight at Indianapolis International Airport to ship its medical products overseas. The flight, which began Jan. 15, is the first scheduled Cargolux flight to depart Indianapolis and fly nonstop to Europe–opening up new export capabilities from central Indiana. Currently, Cargolux Airlines International operates two inbound flights from Luxembourg to Indianapolis, each Wednesday and Friday. Boeing 747 freighters typically take on Roche’s chemical reagents and medical devices and then stop in Chicago or other cities before heading back to Europe. The outbound Boeing 747 will have room for additional cargo, which Roche hopes to grow into, but it also could be used by other companies shipping products to Europe. Roche, based in Switzerland, operates its North American headquarters out of Indianapolis.

AIT Laboratories, one of the area’s fastest-growing companies in recent years, is now eliminating jobs. The Indianapolis-based forensics and clinical testing company won’t say how many, but officials admit its business got pinched in 2011 and now it is trying to restructure. “AIT has seen reimbursement from government and private payers reduced throughout 2011, which has had a negative financial impact on the company,” CEO Michael Evans said in a prepared statement. The job cuts are a turnabout from 2010, when AIT said it planned to create as many as 160 positions by 2014 and invest $74 million to equip a 90,000-square-foot building at Woodland Corporate Park as a new headquarters and lab. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered AIT up to $1.8 million in performance-based tax credits to help with the expansion. AIT had boasted as many as 500 employees recently. Some pharmacy industry websites have been buzzing with talk about “massive” job cuts at AIT, with claims of as many as 100 furloughs. AIT officials would not confirm or deny those numbers.

A California-based pharmaceutical company says it expects to hire 234 people by 2016 at a new operation on the site of a former Pfizer Inc. drug plant on the south side of Terre Haute. NantWorks LLC plans to invest $85.5 million to redevelop the facility. The manufacturing plant, which is expected to be operational in 2015, will produce cancer drugs and injectable medicines for use in critical care settings. Pfizer employed more than 800 workers at the site before closing in 2008. NantWorks officials say scientists, chemists and engineers employed by the plant will earn an average annual salary of about $51,000.

Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc. acquired Synvasive Technology Inc., which makes Stablecut surgical saw blades and a soft tissue balancing system for knees. Zimmer did not disclose the price it paid for Synvasive, a privately held company based in Reno, Nev. Zimmer has annual sales of more than $4 billion and sells its orthopedic implants in more than 25 countries.