Indiana life sciences companies landed $15B in funding in 2021

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If money is the mother’s milk of life sciences companies, Indiana companies had a nourishing feast in 2021.

The sector landed more than $15 billion in all forms of capital, including Small Business Innovation Research awards, venture capital raised through public markets, and other sources, according to a report this month by BioCrossroads, an Indianapolis-based group that promotes and invests in the state’s life sciences sector.

The amount of total funding is up from about $9 billion for each of the past two years.

“It’s … important to note that the funding comes from a wide variety of sources, which further diversifies and strengthens the life sciences sector,” Patty Martin, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, said in written remarks.

Thirty-nine Indiana life sciences companies raised $433.5 million last year in venture capital, an increase of almost $200 million compared to 2020.

Thirteen mergers and acquisitions in the life sciences sector were completed last year, representing activity of more than $13.7 billion, an increase from $8.6 billion in 2020, the report said.

The largest M&A transaction was $10.5 billion paid by medical-device company Baxter International of suburban Chicago to Indiana-rooted Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. Hill-Rom, which makes hospital beds and patient-monitoring devices, employs about 1,900 people in Batesville, although it is now based in Chicago.

The sector’s funding also includes $508 million accessed through public markets by four companies: Point Biopharma ($165 million), Acumen Pharmaceuticals ($160 million), Apria Healthcare ($115 million) and Acacia Pharmaceuticals ($33 million).

But in a reflection of the sector’s volatility, several of those companies have been bought in recent months. Apria Inc., an Indianapolis-based provider of oxygen kits, sleep-apnea masks and other home-health equipment, was bought last month by global health care products distributor Owens & Minor Inc. of Richmond, Virginia, for $1.6 billion.

Acacia Pharmaceuticals, a developer of specialty drugs for patients undergoing surgery and invasive procedures, agreed last month to be acquired by specialty drugmaker Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, for $103.9 million.

Last year, 23 companies committed to invest more than $500 million and hire about 2,100 workers. New or expanded operations occurred in 11 Indiana cities, including Indianapolis, Carmel, Brownsburg, Fishers and Noblesville.

BioCrossroads said its primary sources for the capital reported include the SBIR award website, Pitchbook Data Inc., the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University, and other public sources.

The full report is available here.

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