It would be hard to find an industry on a bigger hot streak than the life sciences in Indiana: More than $2 billion in private and institutional investment in the sector since 2005, a top five ranking in concentration of employment while adding jobs at twice the national average, with the heart of the state (the Indianapolis MSA) ranking as the 9th largest life sciences metro according to the Battelle Memorial Institute.
The deal to sell Eli Lilly’s Greenfield labs to Covance reported today is another indicator of our positive momentum – even a story that could have been bad news for the region has turned into a new opportunity with potential for job creation.
The Greenfield Laboratories no longer fit Eli Lilly’s business model, and rumors of a sale or closure were eminent. The sale to Covance was the best possible outcome – Covance, a growing global drug development company, already has a strong Indiana presence and has offered positions to all Lilly employees currently working in Greenfield. Indeed, Covance officials plan to double or triple the workforce at the Greenfield plant over the next five years, turning this transaction into a major economic development announcement.
This announcement also fits into our BioCrossroads initiative’s Linx effort – a program to match Indiana’s impressive contract pharma manufacturing and development capabilities with new business opportunities, primarily from the west coast. In this case, it’s an all-Indiana partnership, as Lilly commits to $1.6 billion in drug development business (testing and clinical work for potential new medicines) to Covance over the next ten years. It’s the expansion of a great business relationship, a potent life sciences supply chain here in Central Indiana.
It’s important to recognize good news, and this is a win-win story – Eli Lilly makes a move to stay competitive and remain an industry leader, Covance gains the capacity necessary to grow and expands its business relationship with Lilly, and our region stands to gain more good-paying life sciences jobs.