Report: Burrill to lead $1B biotech fund

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the developer of a planned 1.7 million-square-foot biosciences park in southeast Minnesota is close to snagging a deal that will create a billion-dollar venture fund to attract start-up biotech companies to the state. Steven Burrill (photo), a well known venture capitalist, will reportedly be the lead investor. California-based Tower Investments is expected to provide $100 million of that. The Star Tribune quotes sources close to the deal.

The fund will use the money to attract 30 biotech companies to the Elk Run facility in the state, according to the report. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester will collaborate on the project, steering its spin-offs to the park.

Burrill was not reached for comment and Governor Tim Pawlenty's office would only confirm that the governor had spoken with Burrill about the program. To support the project, the state will use $50 million in stimulus money on infrastructure. An official announcement could come this week.

- read the story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune