Company news

March 5, 2012

Endocyte Inc. can start enrolling patients again in a clinical trial of its experimental cancer drug, the company announced Monday, clearing away a hurdle to getting the drug approved in Europe. The change comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration OK’d the importation of the cancer drug Doxil from Europe. Supplies of the drug, made by New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, have been short since last fall due to equipment failures at one of Johnson’s suppliers. Endocyte’s Phase 3 clinical trial aims to show that its drug, EC145, when given in combination with Doxil, is a better therapy for certain ovarian cancer patients than Doxil alone. But the West Lafayette-based drug company was forced to halt new patient enrollment last fall because of the worldwide shortage of Doxil. Endocyte had been planning to submit EC145 for market approval in Europe based on its Phase 2 clinical trial results, rather than the more customary wait for results of the lengthy Phase 3 it is now conducting. But the European regulators wanted Endocyte to at least be enrolling patients in a Phase 3 trial—so they could later re-evaluate whether the drug should remain on the market. The Doxil shortage had until now prevented the company from meeting that requirement.

Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot Inc., a home medical equipment company, said on Monday that it plans an expansion that will create up to 80 jobs in the state by 2016. The company said it will invest $1.4 million to expand its headquarters on the north side of Indianapolis and its customer-fulfillment operations across the state. Home Health Depot, which currently has 99 full-time Indiana employees, plans to begin hiring new logistics, administrative, finance and information technology workers this month. The 14-year-old company has eight Indiana facilities in addition to facilities in six other Midwest locations. The company has been on a growth tear, with revenue from 2009 to 2010 doubling to more than $13 million. IBJ in June ranked Home Health Depot fifth on its list of fastest-growing Indianapolis-area private companies. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Home Health Depot up to $700,000 in tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans.

Indianapolis-based HealthNet opened its Barrington Health & Dental Center in February on the east side of Indianapolis. The health center outgrew its former location nearly five years ago.  HealthNet, which operates a series of federally qualified community health centers, built the 26,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the old one at 3401 E. Raymond St., quadrupling the health center’s former size and capacity. The expanded center has 43 exam rooms, along with lab and imaging services. The center will offer primary, pediatric, OB-GYN, podiatry, optometry, social work and behavioral health services, as well as access to discounted medicines and nutrition counseling.