The Lilly Endowment will donate $2.9 million over the next two years to BioCrossroads, the Indianapolis-based life sciences business development group, according to announcement Thursday morning.
Including the latest grant, the Indianapolis-based Endowment has given more than $38 million to BioCrossroads since the group was launched in 2002.
“Continuing to build on Indiana’s already impressive life sciences industry is essential for the state’s future prosperity,” said Ace Yakey, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development, in a written statement. “BioCrossroads’ strategic and collaborative efforts are critical to Indiana’s ability to retain and attract the talented and innovative people who are needed for this industry to thrive here.”
Since 2002, BioCrossroads has raised two pools of venture and seed capital totaling $145 million; helped to start the Indiana Health Information Exchange, which allows hospitals and doctors to swap patient records electronically; and spun off the OrthoWorx initiative focused on orthopedics implant companies in Warsaw and AgriNovus, which is focused on Indiana’s ag biotech companies.
Most recently, BioCrossroads has worked to launch the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, which aims to raise $360 million and hire 150 researchers focused on metabolic diseases.
“Indiana has seen steady growth in its life sciences innovation, talent and related opportunities, and there is more to be realized,” said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson, in a written statement.
A 2014 study commissioned by BioCrossroads found that total investment in life sciences in Indiana soared to $25.7 billion in the 10-year period from 2003 to 2012, compared with $10.1 billion from 1993 to 2002.
But that same study also found that Indiana continues to lag other states, particularly in funding to its universities and its early-stage companies.