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Larry MacIntyre
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Pam Perry
Director, IU School of Medicine Public and Media Relations

Jenny Siminski

Last modified: Tuesday, May 30, 2006

IU and BioCrossroads unite to harvest life sciences technologies

May 30, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert today (May 30) announced the creation of a partnership between IU and BioCrossroads that will help the university move laboratory discoveries to the marketplace more quickly.

BioCrossroads, Indiana's life sciences initiative, is a privately-funded organization that serves as Indiana's primary connection with companies and potential sources of capital that are seeking to invest in Indiana-based life sciences enterprises.

Under the new IU-BioCrossroads agreement, BioCrossroads has hired a professional staff member who will specialize in helping IU identify the market potential of its many research projects, especially those in the IU School of Medicine and at the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

Adam Herbert

IU President Adam W. Herbert

Print-Quality Photo

"We are creating a means by which IU faculty and staff may realize the full potential of their scholarly work," Herbert said. "This initiative will bring long-term benefits to both Indiana University and the entire state. We have many life sciences research projects under way with the potential to produce significant new medicines and treatments for human health. As we bring these discoveries to market through Indiana-based companies, we will be strengthening the state economy and hastening the establishment of a robust life sciences corridor in our state."

BioCrossroads and IU have selected Cynthia Helphingstine of Indianapolis to fill the position of transitional scientific officer for the initiative. Helphingstine has extensive experience in commercializing life sciences technologies.

The university will provide BioCrossroads with annual funding to cover the officer's salary and benefits, as well as operating and administrative costs associated with intellectual property and project development. In 2008, IU and BioCrossroads will evaluate the effectiveness of their joint venture.

"Cynthia is a perfect addition to the BioCrossroads team," said David Johnson, BioCrossroads president and CEO. "She has a proven track record in uncovering and commercializing technology in the industrial and academic realms. This foresight and knowledge into the marketplace will serve our partnership well."

Some IU discoveries with market potential make a splash in scientific publications and in the popular press. Other IU discoveries are less visible, and their potential is less obvious. Often researchers themselves do not recognize the patentability or profitability of their own discoveries.

Helphingstine will augment the work of the Indiana University Research & Technology Corp. in Indianapolis, which is responsible for advising IU scientists on preserving intellectual property rights and realizing the market potential of their discoveries.

According to Johnson, Helphingstine will be a "translator" in two ways. Not only is she able to speak both the languages of science and business, but she can explain to researchers how and why a basic science discovery should be developed into something usable and licensable by Indiana University.

Helphingstine will interact with representatives of the Indiana Seed Fund, the Indiana Future Fund, and other technology-based economic development and venture capital organizations that provide resources or market access for IU technologies.

She also will interact with IURTC President and CEO Mark Long and IU Vice President for Life Sciences and School of Medicine Dean D. Craig Brater.

Before joining BioCrossroads, Helphingstine was president and CEO of Tienta Sciences Inc. and vice president, business development, for Inproteo, where she was responsible for commercializing technology resulting from Inproteo's research investments.

Prior to joining Inproteo and Tienta Sciences, Helphingstine was president of The Biotron Group Inc., a consulting firm she founded to help healthcare and biotechnology companies understand and profit from changing markets and technologies. Biotron provided such services as strategy development/confirmation, technology and market assessment, due diligence and joint venture planning to start-up companies as well as members of the Fortune 100.

Before Biotron, Helphingstine was a director with Baxter Healthcare Corp., where she directed its Medical Device Division's new business development and strategic planning efforts.

Helphingstine has a Ph.D. degree in immunology and a B.A. degree in microbiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has an M.B.A. degree from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Illinois. She is currently a member of the board and chair of the audit and compensation subcommittee for BioCrossroads' spin-out INCAPS (Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences) L.L.C.

To speak with IU President Adam W. Herbert, please contact Larry MacIntyre at 812-856-1172 or

To speak with BioCrossroads President and CEO David Johnson, please contact Jenny Siminski at 317-238-2456 (office), 317-213-5466 (cell) or

To speak with IU Vice President for Life Sciences and School of Medicine Dean D. Craig Brater, please contact Pamela Perry at 317-274-7722 or