Purdue Research Foundation, Cook Medical Partner on $12 Million Project to Support Life Sciences Startup Opportunities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--Purdue Research Foundation and Cook Medical officials announced plans to establish a $12 million evergreen investment fund to support Purdue-based life sciences companies.

"Converting Purdue innovation into new products, companies and jobs is perhaps the most valuable way for our university to live up to its land grant heritage and contribute to the progress of our state," said Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University. "This fund will help a new and larger generation of Purdue innovators move their technologies to the public."

The Foundry Investment Fund, a not-for-profit fund, will seek to join with other investors to fund companies that are based on Purdue technology or expertise in the areas of human and animal health and plant sciences. The Foundry Investment Fund will provide a match to outside investors' funds, adding critical capital for the transition from the discovery of a promising technology to founding a viable life sciences company. Returns on the investments will remain in the fund for future investments.

"Cook has a long history of commercializing life-changing medical innovations that originated at Purdue," said Mark Bleyer, president of Cook Biotech Inc. "We have seen firsthand how innovative technology, when guided by thoughtful business practices and supported by sufficient financial funding, can result in products that improve lives in amazing ways."

Established in 1995, Cook Biotech develops and manufactures advanced biologic tissue grafts engineered from natural tissue sources. Based on discoveries made at Purdue, these tissue-engineered medical products have been used worldwide in more than 1.5 million surgical repairs. Product applications include treatments for hernias, fistulas and wounds.

"The Foundry Investment Fund provides Cook with the opportunity to join Purdue in an effort to repeat the Cook Biotech story for other companies," Bleyer said.

The Foundry Investment Fund will:

  • Stimulate outside parties to invest in Purdue-based life sciences businesses.
  • Provide critical capital funds to entrepreneurial ventures that originate from Purdue innovation or expertise.
  • Be self-sustaining through returns from prudent investments.

"Clearly, raising capital is one of the most challenging endeavors that entrepreneurs face, and offering a match of funds from the Foundry Investment Fund will help drive interest in our life sciences companies and draw funding opportunities from across the country," said Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer for the Purdue Research Foundation.

Those who could be matching investors are non-Purdue entities such as venture capital firms, corporations, angel groups or qualified individuals.

For more information about the Foundry Investment Fund, contact John Hanak, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry,[email protected], 317-616-1860. For information on other Purdue entrepreneurial programs, visit Purdue Innovation and Entrepreneurship.