CEO Letter to Stakeholders

CEO Rainer Fischer

Rainer Fischer, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer

Dear IBRI stakeholders,

The IBRI significantly expanded its research capabilities in 2018 and broadened its collaborations with life sciences companies and research universities.

I am delighted to report that the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) has significantly expanded its research capabilities in 2018, broadening its collaborations with life sciences companies and research universities. The theme of this report reflects our motto, Discovery With Purpose, confirming our commitment to translating scientific discovery into improved outcomes for patients.

Research and development expanded

In terms of research and development, we established the IBRI Diabetes Center (IDC), which will eventually have new researchers and scientific teams from the IBRI-based Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence (LDCE), a collaboration involving Eli Lilly and Company, Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and the IBRI.

Established last fall, this center serves as a nexus for advanced diabetes research in Indiana. The LDCE’s mission is to help patients and families afflicted with this chronic condition around the world, including eight-year-old Anthony Giles. As a person with diabetes myself, I am proud of the research we are doing and the expanded work we can now achieve for patients thanks to the generous involvement of Lilly and IU School of Medicine, and the continuing involvement of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in our diabetes research.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center established

In 2018, we created our newest research area, the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC), which will initially focus on the development of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines. We expanded our laboratory space for the new center at our current location in the IU School of Medicine’s Biotechnology Research and Training Center.

And, as the following pages show, we continued to make good progress in our three existing research centers: The IDC, Applied Data Sciences Center (ADSC), and Single Cell Analytics Center (SCAC).

Notably, the ADSC made a key contribution to a joint article reporting on the long-running type 2 diabetes real-world data collaboration project involving Roche Diabetes Care GmbH, IBM, the IBRI, Lilly and the Regenstrief Institute, which was published in the January 2019 issue of Nature Medicine. To have this work included in such a prestigious journal reflects the quality of its significant findings. More information is provided in the ADSC section.

Nature Medicine, January 2019

Nature Medicine, January 2019

More peer reviewed news and research

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

Forthcoming: A paper has been prepared and submitted to the publication that describes the data cleaning process applied to electronic health records.

Nature Medicine

January 2019: The journal published an article written by our researchers on how real-world patient data can help predict diabetes-related chronic kidney disease.

Collaborations expanded and strengthened

In terms of collaborations, we strengthened our existing licensing and collaboration agreements with Indiana’s research universities by also signing strategic alliance memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Purdue University, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame, and with the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3).

These agreements provide a framework allowing IBRI investigators to collaborate with our university and other applied research partners, and to seek federal research funding. We also signed an MOU with IU School of Medicine that paves the way for joint academic appointments.

I was honored to be appointed Presidential Fellow in Life Sciences at Purdue University and a Research Professor in the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. My research programs are housed within Purdue’s Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease (PI4D), located in newly renovated laboratories in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

These programs serve as a strong foundation for future collaborative projects between Purdue and the IBRI focusing on disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. These two appointments came with a $1 million grant from Purdue.

Letter to Stakeholders Video Summary

View Dr. Fischer’s Summary for Stakeholders

IBRI goals

Based on our continued growth and research expansion, the IBRI Board of Directors approved recommendations to reflect the progress in our strategic development. The IBRI’s goals are to:

  • Catalyze opportunities through the industry-inspired design of solutions for health problems associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and nutrition.
  • Complement and enhance the Indiana life sciences ecosystem by linking expertise in the life sciences to Hoosier health.
  • Connect industry, academia and the public sector to expedite solutions for the most pressing health issues related to cardio-metabolic disease.

Public and private funding increased

In terms of finances, the IBRI’s endowment had increased to nearly $112 million at December 31, 2018, thanks to receipt of an additional $5 million from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. Learn more about the IBRI endowment by reviewing its fact sheet.

In addition, during 2018, the Indiana State Budget Committee reviewed the IBRI’s comprehensive plan and the $20 million appropriation from the State of Indiana may now be requested from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) as the underlying milestones are achieved.

Experienced fundraiser recruited

In terms of leadership, we successfully recruited Stephanie Grinage as vice president for advancement to the team. As the IBRI’s top development officer, she is our primary strategic partner responsible for cultivating and maintaining new and existing relationships with major donors, and she is overseeing and managing all aspects of the IBRI’s fundraising programs. Stephanie is a veteran of several successful campaigns, including two which raised more than $1 billion each.

Construction begins on our new home

In terms of facilities, we took a major step toward the construction of our new home on Dec. 12, 2018, with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Advanced Ressearch and Innovation Buidling in the 16 Tech Innovation District project on Indianapolis’ near west side.

Not only will the new building house our offices and laboratories, tripling the amount of space we have now, but its full 120,000 square feet will also be the headquarters for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), including its talent and industry initiatives, and the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering.

We are very excited about the tenant collaboration that will exist when the building opens in mid-2020. The new building and the 16 Tech project are discussed more extensively in this report.

Thank you to our valued stakeholders

As we reflect on 2018, we are excited and optimistic about the momentum we have gained, and we anticipate significant further progress in 2019. I want to wholeheartedly thank our talented employees who are responsible for our progress and growth, which was also made possible by the support and guidance of our Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Directors.

I also want to especially thank those who donated and contributed to the IBRI in 2018. We are grateful for your interest and commitment, which helps us improve human and animal health on a local and global scale.

Every gift makes an impact.

Our research is made possible by your generous gift and it will help lead to solutions to major health challenges affecting almost one out of every three people globally.

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