Company news

April 30, 2012

A $100 million partnership will instead produce only $15.5 million after the California-based Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering requested to end its agreement with the Purdue Research Foundation. In 2007, the Mann Foundation pledged to fund a $100 million endowment to create and support the Alfred Mann Institute at Purdue University to commercialize Purdue technologies through seed-stage funding and business guidance. But now the Mann Foundation’s focus is changing, its president, David Hankin, said in his only publicly stated reason for the change. Since 2008, the Mann Foundation has given Purdue $15.5 million to advance 11 different technologies. The effort has helped launch such companies as QuantIon Technologies Inc., SpeechVive Inc., ImpactGuard and BioRegeneration Technologies LLC. Purdue will continue to operate the Alfred Mann Institute, which has provided a model for commercializing technologies it is now applying throughout the university.

Henry County Hospital in New Castle opened a Cardiovascular Center this month as a joint venture with the Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana. St. Vincent will provide some of the specialist physicians at the new center. The center will focus on diagnosing and rehabilitating heart patients, and will refer complex cases to the St. Vincent Heart Center for treatment.

Indiana University Health announced Tuesday that it will give $75 million in additional funding over the next five years to ramp up research at the Indiana University School of Medicine and launch more clinical trials around the state. The IU medical school will contribute non-cash resources valued at $75 million toward the effort, which will focus on research in cancer, cardiology and neuroscience. The goal is to expand access to cutting-edge clinical trials to IU Health’s 20 hospitals around the state, as well as to attract the next generation of bright minds to do their research and clinical work in Indiana. IU Health already spends $16.5 million a year on research, according to a report issued last year. The new initiative will nearly double that amount. Much of that money goes to the IU medical school, which is a distinct organization from IU Health, but works closely with the hospital system. The IU medical school attracts $280 million in annual research funding from all sources. The new money will flow to roughly 10 projects, which already have been approved by the IU Health and IU medical school’s boards of directors.

RepuCare Inc., a health care staffing firm, said Wednesday it plans to expand its Indianapolis headquarters, creating up to 82 jobs by 2015. RepuCare already has begun hiring additional employees in health care, account management and administration. The company now has about 50 full-time and 50 part-time employees. Founded in 1995, RepuCare provides staffing services to government health plans, hospitals, outpatient clinics and nursing homes, as well as on-site health care services to employers. The company's notable customers include WellPoint Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Howard County, and the cities of Indianapolis and Kokomo.

Sales and profits were flat in the first quarter at Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc., the maker of orthopedic implants reported on Thursday. Profit for the quarter totaled $209.6 million, or $1.17 per share, up 0.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 2 percent, to $1.14 billion. Sales grew 10 percent in Zimmer’s Asia-Pacific regions, but increased just 1 percent each in the Americas and Europe. Zimmer expects to earn full-year profits of $4.70 per share to $4.90 per share, a nickel per share less than an earlier forecast, due to the impact of foreign exchange rates.

First-quarter profits tumbled at Eli Lilly and Co. but were better than either analysts or the company expected. That prompted Lilly to boost its full-year profit forecast 5 cents to 10 cents per share. Lilly’s revenue and profit have been falling after it lost patent protection on two blockbuster drugs: the cancer drug Gemzar in late 2010 and the antipsychotic Zyprexa in late 2011. Lilly’s profit in the first quarter totaled $1.01 billion, or 91 cents per share, down from $1.06 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Wall Street analysts were expecting 78 cents per share in the most recent quarter, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. The decline in profit was actually much larger than it seemed. A year ago, Lilly booked some one-time charges for research deals with other companies and for reductions in personnel. Excluding all such charges in both years, Lilly’s per-share profit would have fallen nearly 26 percent, from $1.24 per share in the first quarter a year ago to 92 cents per share this year. For all of 2012, Lilly now expects per-share profit in a range of $3.15 to $3.30, excluding a penny-per-share charge taken in the first quarter for a one-time restructuring move.

First-quarter profit declined nearly 8 percent at WellPoint Inc., but the health insurer beat analysts’ expectations and raised its full-year profit forecast a nickel per share. The Indianapolis-based company posted earnings of $857 million, or $2.53 per share, down from $927 million, or $2.44 per share in the same period a year ago. The per-share profits increased because WellPoint has reduced its total shares 10 percent through an aggressive buyback program. Excluding investment gains, WellPoint would have earned $2.34 per share. On that basis, Wall Street analysts were expecting $2.27 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. WellPoint said gains from its senior business improved, as the company recovered from mispricing some of its Medicare Advantage policies last year. But overall membership in its health plans declined in the quarter by 600,000. WellPoint expects that total to drop another 100,000 during the rest of the year.