Purdue launches $12M tit-for-tat fund to seed new biotechs

Purdue University is lining up a $12 million evergreen fund to help launch life sciences companies based on its in-house discoveries, planning to match the investments of third-party backers and speed up spinoffs.

Indiana's Cook Biotech, the biologics arm of the device-focused Cook Medical, is joining in to launch what the pair are calling the Foundry Investment Fund. The operation will be a not-for-profit fund through which Purdue and Cook will team up with outside investors to launch and support new companies fleshing out school-discovered technology. Any and all returns on investments will be funneled back into the fund and spent on future bets, the two said.

For Cook Biotech, the fund makes for something of a full-circle opportunity. The biologic tissue graft company was founded in 1995 based on discoveries made at Purdue, and now, nearly 20 years and 1.5 million procedures later, Cook Biotech is in a position to give back, president Mark Bleyer said.

"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 in a statement.

Purdue and Cook are also part of the recently launched Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, a $50 million public-private endeavor backed by Eli Lilly ($LLY), Roche Diagnostics ($RHHBY) and other local life sciences luminaries. That effort, which also loops in researchers from Indiana University and Notre Dame, is designed to unite industry and academia in developing treatments for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

- read the announcement

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