Eli Lilly backs $250M biotech fund for Asia-Pacific

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Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) has agreed to chip in $50 million toward a new $250 million biotech venture fund for the Asia-Pacific region that will operate out of Brisbane, Australia.

The Queensland government is putting in $25 million in an effort to help spur the biotech industry in the Australian state. Other U.S. pharma companies are reportedly adding their backing to the fund, but only Lilly was named in news reports. And Premier Anna Bligh outlined some starry projections, forecasting that the fund will help fuel a $20 billion drug development industry by the year 2025.

"This fund, which will have its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Brisbane, makes Queensland a key biotechnology hub in the Asia Pacific region,'' Bligh told reporters. "Lack of access to venture capital has been one of the missing links in the development of the bio-tech industry in Australia."

- here's the story from the AAP

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