The global life sciences sector – pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech – has a combined value of $2.83trn, according to Deloitte estimates.

The Covid-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on the life sciences sector, with pharma companies ramping up efforts in the testing and creation of cutting-edge therapies. As research and development in this area continues, companies across the life sciences sector are looking at ways to improve their research capabilities, such as investing in new technologies and developing new talent.

The rise of radiopharmaceuticals

With ongoing research into new therapies, one of the fastest-growing segments of the life sciences sector is that of radiopharmaceuticals. These drugs target cancer cells to deliver radiation therapy and are set to play an increasingly important role in treating different types of cancer.

A number of drug manufacturers have made notable progress in this area. The state of Indiana in the US, in particular, is emerging as a hub of activity in the sector. Home to several radiopharmaceutical companies, it offers a centralised location, robust logistics infrastructure and proximity to the biggest nuclear pharmacy programme in the country, making it ideal for companies looking to expand their research capabilities in this field.

Indianapolis-based Point Biopharma, for example, has a pipeline of clinical and preclinical radioligand therapies in development for the treatment of cancer. It also has numerous programmes in late-phase development for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

The state’s life sciences ecosystem also includes a working group of partners, suppliers and service providers, academia and state entities.

According to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database, figures from the last five years (2019–23) reveal that the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and jobs in Indiana have been on the rise since 2019. The number of FDI projects peaked in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, while the number of jobs across these projects peaked in Q2 2021, with more than 200 during this period. The total value of FDI projects peaked in Q2 2022, estimated to be worth more than $200m.

Efforts to nurture this ecosystem include the inception of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), created by the state’s leading life sciences companies, academic research universities and the IU School of Medicine, in partnership with the philanthropic community. Researchers at the institute are finding ways to improve the health of individuals living with diabetes and other metabolic diseases through drug research and development. Now, IBRI researchers have widened their focus to other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The IBRI is building on its expertise in nutrition science, genetics and genomics, biochemistry, endocrinology, novel delivery systems and therapeutic approaches to develop new treatments for metabolic disease.

Looking ahead

As the race to find new life-saving treatments for a wide range of diseases continues, and companies operating in the life sciences sector look for new ways to improve their research capabilities, locating in Indiana means they can work with tech leaders and innovators in this sector, helping to set them on a path to achieve this goal.

To learn why Indiana might be the right fit for your life sciences business, download the free whitepaper here.