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Leading the Future: Indiana’s Strengths in Life Sciences Manufacturing



Indiana has been a leading life sciences manufacturer for many years. Today, we rank third in U.S. exports – and when it comes to pharmaceuticals, no one exports more than the Hoosier State. During the day-long Indiana Life Sciences Manufacturing Summit on March 7, we learned more about what’s going well – and our potential to succeed in this evolving space.

We partnered with Purdue University, a life sciences champion, to host the event. We heard from big and small organizations alike, and the takeaways were clear:

  • We are on the right track.
  • There is nothing more important than developing talent.
  • We have terrific opportunities ahead of us.

Enhancing Indiana’s manufacturing ecosystem is one of the four pillars in the life sciences strategy for Indiana and we’re seeing evidence that Indiana’s leadership is diverse. Eli Lilly and Company, with more than a century of manufacturing experience, is investing $3.7 billion in the LEAP District in Boone County, Indiana, producing 700 new jobs to support the company’s growing portfolio of products. This is above and beyond its 21 sites around the world and 55 contract manufacturers, including some here in Indiana.

And our radiopharmaceuticals sector is booming. We saw $200 million in facility investments in Indiana in 2023 and $7 billion in acquisitions. Kevin Haehl, chief development officer at Nucleus RadioPharm, put it best: Indiana is positioned to advance from a “leader” to a “center of excellence” thanks to our centralized location and logistics know-how, our medical infrastructure, our workforce, and our leading universities – notably Purdue with the largest nuclear pharmacy program in the nation.

We also heard from FDA and industry experts about meaningful advances, such as continuous manufacturing of biologics, and digital twin/AI technology to improve production capabilities.

With those technologies representing the future of manufacturing, how does Indiana move to the next level? Advanced technology requires well-trained, highly skilled workers, and wheels are in motion: Lilly has significant investments in scholar programs with both Purdue and Ivy Tech, and BioTrain – coming from our designation as a Tech Hub – is planned at 16 Tech, providing infrastructure and learning opportunities for those pursuing careers in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The life sciences industry will always be hyper-competitive. There is no such thing as a finish line when it comes to this work, but we have the tools to lead the race.

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