Indiana's Sectors of Excellence
- Digital Health
- Analytical Instrumentation
- Emerging Sector Highlight: BioBanking (coming soon!)
Home to TWO NIH funded Cancer Research Centers and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank – a unique resource in the world – Indiana is a global leader in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of cancers.
At Indiana University’s School of Medicine, the Simon Cancer Center has gained international recognition for treatment of the following conditions:
Researchers' understanding of cancer is rapidly changing, and clinical trials focused on the disease are now following suit. As part of its overhaul of the national program for conducting clinical trials, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently named 30 sites in the U.S. to lead the critical research. The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is on the prestigious list. Center leaders say it means more funding, easier access for Hoosier patients to receive cutting-edge treatment and a more prominent voice in setting the national cancer agenda. The Center was recently awarded the prestigious designation, with a significant funding increase, yet again.
The Purdue University Center for Cancer Research is an interdisciplinary cancer research center. Its mission is to promote discovery in the areas of biological phenomena, new chemical entities, and new technology that leads to the development of innovative instrumentation, new diagnostic tools, and novel therapeutics.
See: Purdue Research Points to a New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer (May 2016)
The Indiana University School of Medicine has been selected to lead a five-year, $12 million national research project to develop new treatments for inherited cancers and related developmental disorders. The grant comes from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Wade Clapp, chairman of the department of pediatrics at the IU medical school will serve as the principal investigator for the new project. Researchers from IU, the University of California at San Francisco, the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas Southwestern, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the University of North Carolina will focus on neurofibromatosis type 1, which is more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington's disease combined.
The University of Notre Dame is partnering with Loyola University Chicago on a multidisciplinary cancer research effort. The schools say $200,000 in grants will help fund projects focusing on ovarian cancer, leukemia and melanoma.
Indianapolis-based Hoosier Cancer Research Network has received a $1.9 million gift to help conduct clinical trials of new cancer treatments. The group, founded in 1984, said it would use the money in part to expand its capacity to store blood and tissue samples for later study. The gift came from the estate of Margaret M. Weeks, who was a schoolteacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools. She died in February at the age of 94. Since its founding, Hoosier Cancer Research Network has initiated more than 150 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 patients. The group was spun out from the Indianapolis-based Walther Cancer Institute in 2007.
OnTarget Laboratories LLC has teamed with partners in academia to test a novel optical imaging technology developed at Purdue University that could help surgeons see cancer tissue during surgery. The technology, developed by Philip Low, the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue, is based on the over-expression of specific receptors on solid cancerous tumors and enables illumination of the tumor tissue during surgery. OnTarget Laboratories has developed small molecule ligands specific for these receptors and attached them to proprietary fluorescent imaging agents. It is anticipated that the tumor-targeted fluorescent dyes will help surgeons remove more of the tumor than would have been otherwise possible. Data from the initial use of this technology in humans was published in Nature Medicine in October 2011.In March of 2014 the company secured $15 million to support further development including clinical trials.
Three researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have received a $250,000 grant for pediatric cancer research. The funding comes from Hyundai's Hope on Wheels program, which aims to end pediatric cancer.
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) recently received a $500,000 grant from NIH to support colon cancer research in rural Indiana.
Laurie L. Parker, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue University, is developing a method to detect if cancer-inhibiting drugs are entirely blocking the activity of enzymes, called kinases, in tumor cells. Several kinases are linked to cancer development. If a drug therapy only partially blocks kinase activity, the cells that survive could become a stronger tumor and develop a resistance to the drug.
Indiana Companies Fighting Cancer
|APEX Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and ocular disease. Current research is being conducted in the areas of pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma and age-related macular degeneration. |
IVDiagnostics was formed to develop, test and market more effective diagnostic tools for addressing rare circulating tumor cells and blood borne diseases. With the IVDxTx platform technology, physicians will be able to perform a real‐time diagnosis of the patient’s circulating tumor cells (CTCs) without taking blood – this is a novel approach and will become a significant way to monitor CTCs with less patient anxiety, ease of use, and high sensitivity.
Based in Lawrenceburg, near the Ohio River, PDS Biotechnology Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company commercializing therapies to treat cancer and infectious diseases based on ts proprietary Versamune™ vaccine platform nanotechnology.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment and an important alternative to standard X‐ray radiation for many cancer patients. Bloomington based ProCure Treatment Centers has expanded its services to centers around the country.
|Tymora Analytical is working to commercialize a product that would test the effectiveness of cancer drugs. The technology, called pIMAGO, would be a powerful tool for pharmaceutical companies to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs that are in development stages. pIMAGO would tell researchers if the potential drug is working appropriately on its target. The company is also developing a second tool called PolyMAC, which is described as a discovery tool to identify new proteins that could be targeted by future cancer drugs.|
With support from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, University of Notre Dame researchers have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Led by the pioneering efforts of Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, researchers and physicians with IU Simon Cancer Center have improved the cure rate of testicular cancer from 10 percent to nearly 95 percent today.
|TeloVISION seeks to develop diagnostic tools for cancer researchers and clinicians that will provide earlier cancer detection, monitoring of disease progression and assessment of therapeutic efficacy resulting in better patient outcomes.|
Mor‐NuCo, LLC develops and commercializes protein technology that can provide early detection of cancer in advance of clinical symptoms and a prevention ‐ oriented approach to cancer management.
INbank® is a uniquely powerful biorepository with a full range of high quality biological samples linked to well annotated clinical and health data from the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), a major metropolitan electronic medical records system. By using customized combinations of 8,000+ variables to retrospectively and prospectively probe the INPC, clinical, laboratory and outcomes data can be linked to INbank's ® biological samples. This makes it possible to select the specific subjects needed to further drug development, biomarker discovery, validation studies and the development of companion diagnostics.
The IU Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC) Tissue Bank provides cancer researchers with tumor tissue that is suitable for modern cancer research (generally snap frozen or as required by the investigator).
Publically traded Endocyte, Inc. has six targeted cancer drugs in clinical trials. The company's novel small molecule drug conjugates technology is designed to improve the specificity, safety, and efficacy of highly active drugs by targeting them directly to diseased cells. Endocyte is also developing powerful companion diagnostic agents (such as etarfolatide (EC20) and EC0652) that are designed to predict in advance if a patient will respond to their drug therapy and recently announced preclinical data suggesting the company's folate receptor-targeted SMDCs may provide a possible new treatment alternative for folate receptor expressing triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients.
IHIF maintains a strong relationship with the National Cancer Institute's SBIR/STTR research funding program. For information on current funding opportunities through NCI, please click here.
IU Health Neuroscience Center of Excellence
Indiana University Health and Indiana University School of Medicine are partnering to present the best in neurological care—combining the best doctors, most advanced treatments and latest research breakthroughs into one convenient facility. Phase I of the center, a six floor, $120 million, 270,000 s.f. outpatient and imaging facility, opened in August 2012. Here, patients can see all their specialists and receive all their diagnostic imaging in a single visit. Phase II, an innovative research facility led by the IU School of Medicine, is scheduled to open in 2014, and will enable patients to have easier, faster access to clinical trials and breakthrough treatments.
|The ambulatory care and imaging center features collaboration and education space, conference rooms, an outpatient rehabilitation area and robotics lab, auditorium, neuro-radiology reading room, pharmacy, restaurant and a skywalk that connects to the IU Health People Mover and IU Health Methodist Hospital. Patients will also have access to some of the most advanced technologies to treat the full range of neurological conditions, including:|
The ambulatory care and imaging center features collaboration and education space, conference rooms, an outpatient rehabilitation area and robotics lab, auditorium, neuro-radiology reading room, pharmacy, restaurant and a skywalk that connects to the IU Health People Mover and IU Health Methodist Hospital.
The Stark Neurosciences Research Institute at Indiana University focuses expertise in the areas of:
The St. Vincent Neuroscience Institute is an established center of excellence that provides advanced, comprehensive care for neurological problems in both adults and children. St.Vincent Neuroscience Institute specializes in areas of brain and spine tumors, cerebrovascular, epilepsy and seizure, movement disorders, neuromuscular and sleep. Through the dedicated team of specialists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, nurses and technicians ensure high quality of treatment; surgery and expert rehabilitation services.
St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital has been named to the list of “100 Hospitals with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs” by Becker’s Hospital Review. Hospitals were selected based on nominations, clinical accolades, quality care and other spine and neurosurgical proficiencies
Several Indiana colleges and universities offer degrees related to neuroscience - the list includes Earlham College, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community Colleges, IUPUI, and the University of Evansville.
The Indiana Alzheimers Disease Center is one of only 29 NIH designated research centers in the country. The Center recently received a $300,000 grant from NIH to add a genetics, biomarker and bioinformatics core to its existing cores focusing on patient care, education, neuroimaging, pathology and other center activities.
Leading Indiana Companies Advancing Neuroscience
In April 2012 Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine announced they will invest $150 million over five years in a new Strategic Research Initiative that will enhance the institutions’ joint capabilities in fundamental scientific investigation, translational research and clinical trials that will result in innovative treatments for disease. IU Health, the state’s largest and most comprehensive health system, will invest $75 million in the Strategic Research Initiative and IU School of Medicine will match that with an additional $75 million in resources. The initial focus will be on projects in the fields of neuroscience, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The cardiovascular research initiative will develop a comprehensive program for the study and treatment of heart failure, from newborns to older adults. A top priority is developing a cardiovascular genetics program and recruiting a top scientist in that field.
As one of the highest volume heart and vascular programs in the nation, Indiana University Health Cardiovascular excels at handling conditions from the most common to the most complex. IU Health encompasses a rich tradition of providing cutting-edge care, including having performed the first private hospital cardiac transplant in the world, developed the technology that led to ultrasound of the heart, and being the first to invent and develop an implantable cardioverter.
Between 2010 and 2013, the American Heart Association awarded 30 grants totaling more than $3.3 million to researchers at Indiana institutions.
|Biomedical engineering at Purdue University is known world-wide for its work in Cardiovascular Physiology & Engineering. Housed at the Purdue Weldon School of BioMedical Engineering, the first funded research conducted by Dr. Leslie A. Geddes after his arrival at the university was in defibrillation. With his team he developed 2 of the 3 laws of defibrillation. Over the years defibrillators, pacemakers, and cardiac monitoring have improved as a result of research done by Dr. Geddes and his teams. Dr. Geddes and his team are continuing their work with research into several areas, including new and improved methods of CPR. Strategic partnerships between Purdue with the Indiana University School of Medicine have brought on-board new researchers and new areas of research, including work with the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology & Medicine and the Cardiovascular Biomechanics Laboratory. |
|At the IU School of Medicine, the Krannert Institute of Cardiology has a rich history of basic science, translational, and clinical research in all aspects of cardiovascular medicine. The basic science research spans studies on ion channels and gap junctions to membrane proteins, molecular genetics, angiogenesis and vascular remodeling, and basic cardiac electrophysiology studies. Basic interactions of the autonomic nervous system in ischemic heart disease and mechanisms of clinical arrhythmias remain important electrophysiology areas of focus. Members of our faculty and fellows are very active in our vascular biology program, which is supported by an NIH training grant.|
A novel area of focus is the investigation of stem and progenitor cells in cardiovascular disease, including the progressively important disorders of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Clinical trials are underway in each of our clinical programs, and Krannert remains a core electrocardiography laboratory for clinical studies. In the area of acute coronary syndromes, our interventional cardiologists are conducting trials involving novel antithrombotic regimens and drug-eluting stents, as well as vascular protein devices. Krannert cardiologists remain major investigators and leaders in trials of revascularization strategies in patients with diabetes at IU Health and Roudebush Veterans Administration hospitals. An important new initiative is the Indiana Predictive Cardiovascular Health Project (funded by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation), a longitudinal clinical and genetic study of coronary disease in Indiana patients.
Indiana Companies in Cardiovascualar Care
Nanovis, Inc. develops nanotechnology based surgical implants and nanobiomaterials for localized drug delivery. –
GEMMS, Inc. is the leading provider of Health Care Information systems and EHR to Community based Cardiology Practices throughout the country
Cook Medical, headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, is acknowledged as a leading developer and manufacturer of catheters, wire guides, introducer sheaths, stents, embolization coils, vena cava filters, aortic endovascular grafts, airway management devices, central venous catheter devices, drainage products and other technologies in the area of minimally invasive therapy. Cook Incorporated is also on the forefront of developing next generation technologies that advance combination drug/device and biologic/device design concepts.
According to ClinicalTrials.gov there are currently 209 open cardiovascular studies being conducted in Indiana.
Indiana is a national leader in digital health and home to a growing community of health IT, software development, and cloud-based computing companies. The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) is the nation’s largest health information exchange, providing a secure and robust statewide health information technology network that connects over 90 hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, community health clinics and other healthcare providers in Indiana. IHIE serves as a national model for health information exchanges and is the largest of five exchanges currently operating in Indiana.
Indiana is also home to the nation’s oldest and most productive research organization, the Regenstrief Institute, an internationally recognized informatics and healthcare research organization dedicated to the improvement of health through research that enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care.
McLean, Va.-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), acquired maxIT Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a healthcare IT (Information Technology) consulting firm based in Westfield, Ind. The $473 million all-cash transaction closed in August of 2012. maxIT Healthcare’s 1,300 employees joined SAIC’s Health Solutions Business Unit which was spun off to form Leidos Health in September 2013. At the time of the acquisition, maxIT was the largest private, independent healthcare IT consulting company in the US.
Developers at IUPUI and Indianapolis-based information technology firm Allegient have created a web application that aims to simplify medical research methods. The program allows users to more easily mine and organize data from volumes of PDFs, clinical notes, public documents and social media.
The Hoosier Healthcare Innovation Challenge (HHIC) is a statewide competition that gives technology professionals the opportunity to solve some of the largest challenges facing healthcare, develop solutions in a collaborative environment, and launch new startup ventures. The 2012 HHIC winner was Diagnotes, which provides a doctor-mobile-EHR solution that provides patient information, secure communication, immediate documentation and more. The company has already closed on their first institutional round of funding and have local customers. The 2013 HHIC winner, CreateIT, answered the call for a solution to help reduce the State's persistently high rate of infant mortality.
Indiana Companies Leading Digital Health
Indiana boasts a large cluster of digital health companies. Please check our company directory for more information.
Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital says it is the first in the state to perform surgery using Google Glass. The Indianapolis facility says physicians used the technology to remove a tumor and reconstruct an abdominal wall.
South Bend based Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN) has reached an agreement with a data sharing organization in Michigan. The agreement with the Michigan Health Information Network allows members of the groups to securely access patient and provider data in each state.
Indianapolis is home to the North American Headquarters of Roche Diagnostics. As a global leader in healthcare, Roche Diagnostics offers a broad portfolio of tools that help healthcare providers in the prevention, diagnosis and management of diseases like HPV, HIV, heart failure and diabetes, as well as other medical conditions, such as fertility and blood coagulation. These products and services are used by researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories worldwide to help improve people’s lives.
Researchers at Purdue University are developing a system that uses tiny magnetic beads to quickly detect rare types of cancer cells circulating in a patient's blood, an advance that could help medical doctors diagnose cancer earlier than now possible and monitor how well a patient is responding to therapy. While other researchers have used magnetic beads for similar applications, the new “high-throughput" system has the ability to quickly process and analyze large volumes of blood or other fluids, said Cagri Savran, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He is working with oncologists at the Indiana University School of Medicine to further develop the technology, which recently was highlighted in the journal Lab on a Chip.
Euclid Diagnostics in Crown Point recently earned a nearly $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to give doctors a better screening tool to identify men that should be sent for prostate cancer biopsies. The company, founded in 2004, is creating a urine test that could be used after a PSA screening shows elevated levels to better identify the men that should, in fact, undergo a biopsy. The test could, eventually, be used independently of the PSA screening.
For the third time, Indianapolis-based Polymer Technology Systems, Inc., the U.S.-based manufacturer of the CardioChek® family of point-of-care diagnostic products, has been named to the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth over a four-year period.
Cagri A. Savran, an associate professor with the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering, received a $50,000 grant from the Purdue Research Foundation-managed Trask Innovation Fund to support "High-throughput Cell Detection for Cancer Diagnostics." The technology could detect circulating tumor cells in bodily fluids in an accurate, scalable manner.
Some Other Indiana Companies in Diagnostics
|IVDiagnostics was formed to develop, test and market more effective diagnostic tools for addressing rare circulating tumor cells and blood borne diseases. With the IVDxTx platform technology, physicians will be able to perform a real-time diagnosis of the patient’s circulating tumor cells (CTCs) without taking blood – this is a novel approach and will become a significant way to monitor CTCs with less patient anxiety, ease of use, and high sensitivity.|
Third in a series of successful technology companies headed by Dr. Pete Kissinger from Purdue University, Phlebotics, Inc., is a medical device company focused on diagnostic information for intensive care medicine. It’s sister-company, Prosolia, Inc. is a scientific instrument company engaged in the development, marketing and distribution of innovative sample introduction methods for mass spectrometry and ion mobility systems.
IU Health and the IU School of Medicine have recently created the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine. The Institute’s mission is to conduct research, train new specialists in personalized medicine and promote the translation of scientific discoveries into new, more precise therapeutics for patient care. Overseeing the center is Dr. David Flockhart.
FAST Diagnostics is commercializing a kidney diagnostic test that will fill a need in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney injury and disease.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Strand Diagnostics, LLC, maker of the "Know Error" system, and NantWorks, LLC announced that they have entered into an agreement whereby Strand will receive up to $30 million in funding from NantWorks, LLC over the next 3 years. The money will be used to accelerate the company’s growth, scale its operations infrastructure, and expand sales and marketing efforts.
|Indiana is home to four accredited schools of biomedical enginnering - the two largest being the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering Program. For a record 15 years in row, Rose-Hulman has been voted the number 1 undergraduate engineering school in the country with the biomedical engineering program ranked in the top three, nationally. The Purdue Research Foundation recently hosted its ninth annual Inventors Recognition Reception to recognize 54 Purdue University faculty and staff whose discoveries were patented during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. University officials reported 314 invention disclosures, 491 patent applications worldwide, 106 issued patents worldwide and the creation of eight startup companies from Purdue-licensed technologies - many of which were associated with the Weldon School.|
Purdue University's Prof. R. Graham Cooks was announced as the 2013 winner of the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences. Cooks was nominated for his impact in mass spectrometry and instrumentation development, which he has conducted in the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry since 1976.
Some of Indiana's Leading Analytical Equipment Companies
Two companies that have licensed Purdue University innovations have been awarded $150,000 from the Purdue Emerging Innovations Fund, an evergreen fund created to accelerate the commercialization of early-stage discoveries. bioVidria Inc. and Telos Discovery Systems Inc. each received $75,000 from the fund. bioVidria focuses on new materials to improve chromatography, specifically protein analysis efforts in pharmaceuticals and agriculture. The company is based on work by Mary J. Wirth, the W. Brooks Fortune Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry. Telos Discovery Systems is a boutique equipment manufacturer that supports basic and discovery medical research. The company is based on the work of Joseph Garner, a former Purdue associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences.
Greenville-based Techshot, Inc. is working on transplantation options for patients with chronic pancreatitis or those who are insulin dependent, The company's islet cell isolation system takes a two to six hour purification process down to about 15 minutes. To date, it is the only cell therapy tested in humans. The company recently received a $3 million grant from the NIH to further develop the technology.
Microfluidic Innovations has developed a system to help researchers perform life science assays at microfluidic, or sub-millimeter, scale where experiments can be conducted faster, less expensively and with higher precision. The system is programmable, which allows researchers to control the experiments they conduct.
Cicero Bioinstrumentation’s custom Laboratory Automation solutions include the use of SCARA and multi-axis robots for pick-and-place, laboratory test and measurement applications, as well as automated experiments.
West Lafayette based BASi offers an extensive array of contract laboratory services and also manufactures more than 30 different scientific instruments. BASi is focused on developing innovative services and products that increase efficiency and reduce costs associated with taking new drugs to market.
Phlebotics, Inc. is a start-up company developing an automated blood sampling and analytical tool. This is the third company started by entrepreneur Dr. Pete Kissinger.
Protein researchers in the agricultural, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as government regulatory agencies and contract laboratories, could benefit from a new product that could lower the cost while increasing the speed, efficiency and quality of protein sample preparation for mass spectrometry analysis. Perfinity Biosciences Inc. has launched the Flash Digest™ kit, which provides users with a high-throughput, disposable format that eliminates the need for protein sample pre-treatment.