BioCrossroads attracts another $2.4M from Fairbanks Foundation

BioCrossroads, the life sciences business development group, will receive another $2.4 million over the next four years from the Indianapolis-based Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, the groups announced Thursday.

The money is designed to help Indianapolis-based BioCrossroads continue its work on several initiatives. Those includes the Indiana Health Information Exchange for medical records, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute for research on improving health care at the patient level, and the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, which is designed to unite academic and industry researchers around the issues of diabetes, obesity and metabolic diseases.

The foundation had given BioCrossroads $6.3 million prior to the latest grant.

“BioCrossroads plays a pivotal role in the development and execution of several game-changing life sciences and health care projects,” said Len Betley, CEO of the Fairbanks Foundation, which was founded in 1986 by the founder of the Fairbanks Communications radio and television company. “Their efforts and those of their local partners have the potential to improve the health of our community, and even to extend around the globe.”

BioCrossroads was formed in 2002 by many of the leading health care businesses and institutions in Indiana, including Eli Lilly and Co., WellPoint Inc., the Regenstrief Institute Inc. and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Since then, BioCrossroads has raised more than $325 million in grant funds, contributions and capital investments to advance life sciences opportunities in Indiana.

Those and many other efforts in the life sciences area helped to more than double the money spent on life sciences research and companies in the decade after BioCrossroads’ founding, to more than $25 billion, according to a report prepared this month for BioCrossroads by the Ohio-based consulting firm Battelle.

That infusion of money—much of which came from out of state—has helped Indiana companies and universities increase the number of life sciences patents, technology licenses, startups and venture capital deals faster than the rest of the nation, according to the report.

But Indiana continues to lag other states, particularly in funding to its universities and its early-stage companies, the report stated, so continued investments and new strategies will be required to sustain Indiana’s pace.

“These numbers and the trend are certainly promising, and we’re seeing good traction, but there is still a significant gap, particularly in the early funding stages,” said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson, in a written statement.

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