Research Triangle Park, NC--The North Carolina Biotechnology Center here is developing a $30 million fund to provide loans to help newer bioscience companies, including bioinformatics firms, open in or relocate to the state, according to Tom Laundon, vice-president of the organization's Business and Technology Development Program. The first $7.5 million in funding came from the state general assembly and the center is in early talks with several private and institutional investors for additional money.
The fund, which is planned to begin operation in the second quarter of 1998, will be run like a business in the expectation of generating returns for investors. It aims to help biotech companies that are either new or in the early stages of development. Laundon noted that the state now attracts five or six new bioscience firms a year, and 11 of the companies have issued IPO's in the past decade. The 13-year-old biotechnology center hopes the fund will augment these figures, he said.