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17 January 2018

AzBio helps seed $200m fund

Trade body AzBio has joined two non-profit organisations to launch the AZ-HCIF commercialisation fund for life science discoveries.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Arizona Bioindustry Association (AzBio), a trade body for the bioscience sector in US state Arizona, has joined two non-profit associations to launch a $200m life science commercialisation fund.

AzBio has partnered social impact charity Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (Otef) and philanthropic family fund manager Healthcare Impact Foundation (HCIF), which will manage the fund, dubbed AZ-HCIF.

AZ-HCIF will offer sustainable funding to help commercialise local research. It is the first in a series of vehicles planned for the US by HCIF, which was launched by the private equity firm Stetson Family Office in 2017 in part to generate private equity life sciences investment.

The fund is targeting a final close of $200m through charitable donations by the end of 2018.

A board of Arizona-based trustees will allocate the funds from AZ-HCIF. Russ Yelton, chief executive of consultancy Yelton and Associates and chairman of AzBio, will chair the board and lead AZ-HCIF’s outreach campaign.

Yelton said: “Arizona needs a steady flow of early-stage capital to support the life science companies being created by Arizona entrepreneurs and to honour our angel investors for the risks they take by investing alongside them. This plan is a way for us to make it happen.”

AzBio and Otef previously joined forces in 2014 to launch D3Bio, a student-centric life sciences program that offers access to internships and learning workshops.

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