Lilly backs $50M launch of public/private biotech research institute

Indiana's biotech cluster just got a big boost. Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Roche Diagnostics ($RHHBY) have joined an industry consortium that will help launch a new research institute in Indiana that plans to hire a staff of about 100 investigators to pursue new treatments for a slate of metabolic diseases. And they'll be joined by Notre Dame, Purdue and Indiana University, with the state chipping in the first $25 million of a $50 million startup fund.

Industry and philanthropic groups are being tapped for the second half of that start-up budget, with future bills covered by industry and government-sponsored research programs into cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and nutrition. The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute has already put out feelers for a new director and staff, which will be expected to help lead teams of collaborators drawn from the industry as well as regional universities.

The new institute's research mission fits neatly into Eli Lilly's corporate R&D strategy, which is closely focused on diabetes as one of its key disease areas.

"The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute will attract local and national scientific leaders beginning with the CEO and the recruitment of research "Indiana Fellows," says the group's press release. "These research fellows will lead teams of scientists and partner with industry and universities on research projects. These teams will consist of experts across a spectrum of competencies, including bioengineering, bioinformatics, nanotechnology and agriculture. These cross-functional teams will share resources and research laboratories at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and will work onsite at industry and research university labs with academic and industry scientists."

- here's the press release
- read the story from the Indianapolis Business Journal

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