Indianapolis moved up two places on the American Fitness Index, but still ranks a lowly 43rd out of 50 large metros. The Index, released Monday by Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine, gave each metro area a score based on their citizens’ preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, access to health care and community resources, as well as policies that support physical activity. The Minneapolis area topped the list for the second year with a score of 76.4, followed by Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco. Indianapolis earned just half the points Minneapolis did. It ranked ahead of two of its Midwestern peers—Louisville and Detroit ranked 48 and 49, respectively—but behind most others. Running far ahead of Indianapolis were Pittsburgh (15th), Cincinnati (20th), Nashville (27th), Chicago (28th), Kansas City (29th), Milwaukee (30th), St. Louis (32nd) and Columbus, Ohio (40th). The analysis behind the index is supported by a grant from the Indianapolis-based WellPoint Foundation.
Biological research has been revolutionized over the past decade as large-scale machines have increasingly been replaced by tiny “lab on a chip” devices. Now West Lafayette-based Microfluidic Innovations LLC has developed and manufactured a system to help researchers program their own “lab on a chip” devices for experiments without turning to custom devices. Microfluidic Innovations' system, which was developed by researchers at Purdue University and Indiana University, allow researchers to vary the volumes and ratio of the fluids they mix, incubation and automatic fluid rotation. The chips have so far been used to detect glucose levels, sort particles and study enzyme and other chemical reactions. The small company received a $125,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund its development work.
While sales of Eli Lilly and Co.’s blood thinner Effient have grown recently, so have the looming challenges for the drug. On May 17, the blockbuster Plavix lost its U.S. patent protection, meaning Effient now competes against cheaper generic versions of the drug, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Then on Monday, staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended approval for another competitor, Xarelto, made by New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson and Germany-based Bayer AG. A further competitor in the suddenly crowded blood thinner space is Brilinta, made by London-based AstraZeneca plc. None of the newer blood thinners are expected to match the $7.09 billion Plavix sold in 2011, reported Bloomberg News, citing Leerink Swann & Co. analyst Seamus Fernandez. He estimates Effient sales will peak in 2017 at $865 million, an increase from $303 million last year. Brilinta may reach $1.77 billion by then.