Company news

March 19, 2012

Indianapolis-based Prosolia Inc. has licensed technology from the estate of John B. Fenn, a chemistry professor who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for developing new mass spectrometry. Prosolia makes instruments that can identify chemicals on paper, skin, fluids and other surfaces. The eight-person firm hopes the  technology allows it to launch new products next year to broaden its portfolio. Prosolia CEO Justin Wiseman said the Fenn technology “opens up less-penetrated markets in environmental, security, medical and food chemistry. We foresee several new product innovations from the Fenn technology, which we plan to commercialize in the near future."

Carmel-based CNO Financial Group Inc. has agreed to repay five customers more than $1 million that a former independent insurance agent stole from them, according to a report by A.M. Best Co. Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim sold annuities for Chicago-based Bankers Life and Casualty Co., a subsidiary of CNO Financial. She was arrested in March 2011 after an investigation by Washington state insurance regulators and has now been sentenced to six years in prison. The victims, age 74 to 90, thought the money was being reinvested but Kassim instead spent it to pay for online psychics, clothes, jewelry and a trip to Mexico, according to records from the Washington investigation.

Endocyte Inc. will submit its ovarian cancer drug EC145 for European market approval in the third quarter after the European Commission granted it "orphan drug" status. The submission means West Lafayette-based Endocyte could have its first commercial product as early as 2013. European regulators granted EC145 orphan status because large numbers of women have ovarian cancers that do not respond to typical chemotherapy treatments. And no new drug has been approved to treat ovarian cancer in 10 years. The European Commission also granted orphan status to an imaging agent Endocyte has developed, called EC20, which lights up ovarian tumors in women that have a genetic variation that makes them bond hungrily to folate. That’s important because EC145 is a combination of a powerful chemotherapy agent and folate, so that it enters cancerous cells but does not enter healthy cells. That allows EC145 to be more deadly to cancer, without serious side effects, than patients can tolerate with traditional chemotherapy agents.

A four-physician OB/GYN practice has merged with Indiana University Health Ball Memorial after a long-standing partnership. The Voss Center for Women of Muncie joined the IU Health system March 1. In addition to its four doctors, the practice includes four nurse practitioners. Hospitals are increasingly employing physicians, as financial pressures increase on independent practices and as reimbursement from public and private health plans encourages doctors and hospitals to work more closely to improve patient health.