Purdue University plans to start construction this summer on two academic buildings in a $79 million project for its newly designated Life and Health Sciences Park, according to the Journal & Courier of Lafayette. The $38 million Lyles-Porter Hall will house health programs, including Purdue's speech and hearing sciences department and the West Lafayette programs of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Purdue also is planning a $25 million Drug Discovery Building that will bring together pharmaceutical researchers from throughout the school. Plans are for the buildings and a new 850-space parking garage to be completed in 2014.
More than 70 workers will lose their jobs at Integra Specialty Hospital in Muncie when it closes in June. Hospital officials notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Thursday that the 32-bed long-term-care facility will shut down on June 17. Renaissance Specialty Hospital of Central Indiana Operations Co. LLC, which operates Integra, did not provide a reason for the closing. The company said it expects that some of the 72 employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other long-term-care facilities.
Eli Lilly and Co. could receive up to $100 million from Washington, D.C.,-based Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., which licensed an alcohol-dependence drug from the Indianapolis drugmaker last week. The experimental drug, called LY686017, has been shown to reduce alcohol cravings and consumption in alcoholics. If it reaches the market, the drug would compete with Emend, a similar NK-1R antagonist made by New Jersey-based Merck & Co. Inc.
The government-contracting arm of WellPoint Inc. won a renewal of its contract, worth more than $111 million, to support the desktop program used by customer service representatives at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the next five years. WellPoint’s National Government Services unit has held the contract since the program’s inception. The program helped Medicare’s call center field 26 million calls last year. NGS, which employs 2,000, also processed 170 million Medicare claims and administered benefits of $75.6 billion from the Medicare Trust Fund in 2011.
An animal rights group wants the federal government to fine a research institute owned by Indiana University Health for what it calls negligence toward animals, according to the Associated Press. The group Stop Animal Exploitation Now says IU Health's Methodist Research Institute had seven violations, including killing one dog and putting another dog in severe pain. According to a March report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a dog was fed before surgery, which violated proper protocol. The dog’s heart stopped, and it died. IU Health officials said in a statement that the use of animals in research has contributed significantly to advancements in health care.