BiomEdit, one of Indiana’s newest life-science companies, said Monday it will locate its headquarters in Fishers, but hinted it could eventually move to the new $100 million Elanco Animal Health headquarters campus, which is under construction at the former General Motors Stamping Plant west of downtown.
The company, formed in April, focuses on the rapidly growing field of microbiomes, which studies bacteria, viruses and fungi that live inside of animals for new products and medicines.
BiomEdit was carved out of Elanco’s microbiome platform and pipeline, and will retain access to the larger company’s labs in Greenfield.
The company has 18 employees and said it could add another 10 employees by the end of 2023.
The Fishers office space, at 10100 Lantern Road, will be home to about seven office workers. Another seven employees will continue working at the Greenfield labs. And another five employees work remotely in other states.
“In the future, we’d like to actually have our labs and offices together,” Aaron Schacht, CEO of BiomEdit, told IBJ. “So that’s where we look for opportunities for that to happen. … It’s certainly possible in the future that we could join them (Elanco) downtown. As that is a construction project now, it’s not suitable to occupy anytime soon.”
Elanco, based in Greenfield, broke ground in April for its new, 220,000-square-foot, six-story headquarters campus, which it said could make Indianapolis “an epicenter of animal health innovation.”
In the meantime, BiomEdit said in an announcement it chose Fishers after a site-selection search that could “best support BiomEdit’s innovative and agile approach to R&D.”
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said BiomEdit is at the leading edge of the microbiome sector.
“When you combine that level of talent and R&D with the support and innovation-driven mindset of the Fishers community, I see a long line of continued success ahead for the company,” Fadness said in written remarks.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering up to $3 million in conditional tax credits and an additional $200,000 in innovation vouchers. The incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and the company makes eligible investments.
Schacht described BiomEdit as an “R&D-stage company,” with products in development but no commercial launches yet. He said the company’s growth will largely depend on its commercial success.
“It’s really going to be driven by the progress in our pipeline,” he said. “The more things that succeed, the more people will continue to come on board and develop those.”
What BiomEdit hopes to do is leverage the science of micro-organisms into feed ingredients or medical products for animals.
“We’re doing some leading-edge work where we can engineer the microbes to actually have therapeutic molecules that they deliver, in many ways using the microorganism as a delivery vehicle for something that could be a medicine or a vaccine,” said Schacht, who formerly worked as head of R&D for Elanco.
BiomEdit is an independent company, launched by Elanco, the world’s second-largest animal health company, and Boston-based biotech Ginkgo Bioworks, a leader in cell programming.
It is getting off the ground with Series A funding of $40 million with participation from Viking Global Investors and Anterra Capital.
Elanco and Ginkgo and will retain approximately 40 percent combined proportional ownership of the new company in exchange for their contribution of assets and intellectual property.