The new Indiana Biosciences Research Institute opened its doors as the first industry-led collaborative life sciences research institute in the U.S.
The Institute is the result of leadership from industry executives from Eli Lilly, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Cook Medical, Indiana University Health and Biomet and the governor of Indiana, with active support in initial development by BioCrossroads. Indiana's research institutions, including Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame also are participating in the development process.
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is developing a novel operating model, with industry providing a major source of funding and defining the Institute's research focus to optimize commercialization opportunities. The Institute draws on a life sciences industry cluster that is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation, with global companies that are developing next-generation drugs and pharmaceuticals, diagnostics tests, medical devices, cell-based therapies, agricultural biotechnology and animal health and production solutions. This diversity of industry capabilities creates opportunities for Indiana-based life sciences companies to work in collaboration—not competition—toward common scientific discoveries.
The Institute will initially focus on the most pressing global and local interrelated human health issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and nutrition. These interrelated metabolic disorders are a major economic burden and a leading cause of death in the U.S. Risk factors, such as high blood pressure and insulin resistance, allow for early disease detection and timely preventive actions, such as through improved nutrition, and early intervention can slow or prevent the onset of disease. This is an important scientific discovery subject for the approximately 35% of Americans who have cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders.
"Together, we can develop a deeper understanding of the pathways leading to metabolic disease and apply those discoveries to not only medical interventions, but also to greatly enhanced nutritional sources developed through advanced crop improvement technologies and other advancements in human health," said Antonio Galindez, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences.
The estimated $360 million Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a non-profit entity that is anticipated to be supported largely by corporate and philanthropic funding with oversight from a largely donor-based board of directors representing the life sciences industry, the state of Indiana, academia and nonprofit donors. The state of Indiana has appropriated $25 million for the biennium for start-up costs. An additional $25 million in start-up funding is being sought from industry and philanthropic sources, which will be used in part to recruit a nationally recognized CEO and research fellows. The remaining capital funding will be sought from corporate and philanthropic sources, and ongoing operating costs will be funded through Institute endowment proceeds, industry-sponsored research and federally funded research.
Daniel F. Evans Jr., president and CEO of Indiana University Health, said, "Patients and clinicians have much to gain by the success of this critically important new venture," "The discoveries and inventions generated by the Institute will be used by our physicians to care for patients. To accelerate the pace of innovation from lab bench to patient bedside, we are pleased to make our healthcare system available to researchers to test potential new treatments and therapies."