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New BioCrossroads venture fund raises $58 million

December 16, 2009

BioCrossroads has raised $58 million for its new INext fund, a successor venture capital vehicle to the $73 million Indiana Future Fund the life science initiative raised in 2003.

INext’s institutional investors include Eli Lilly and Co., the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund, Indiana University and Purdue University, all of which invested in the IFF. INext also has two new investors: the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and the University of Notre Dame.

Like its predecessor, INext will be a life science-focused fund-of-funds managed by global investment bank Credit Suisse. IFF channeled its money through six professional venture capital partnerships, which in turn invested the capital in 90 life science companies, including 14 Hoosier startups.

Philip Belt, who will manage INext for Credit Suisse, said the six IFF-backed venture capital firms have made a combined $40 million in investments in the 14 Hoosier startups, leveraging $160 million in funding from other VCs not affiliated with BioCrossroads.

Just as it did with the IFF, Credit Suisse plans to put INext’s money to work in four to six venture firms. Credit Suisse already has selected two: Menlo Park, California-based 5AM Ventures and New York-based OrbiMedi Advisors LLC. Credit Suisse is considering 20 other venture capital firms—including the six affiliated with the IFF—to deploy INext’s remaining capital.

BioCrossroads was scheduled to formally announce its new fund Wednesday at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Eli Lilly and Co. corporate center.

BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson, who helped steer formation of the Indiana Future Fund from its earliest discussions in 2001, noted the difference between then and now.

“In putting the first Indiana Future Fund together and in trying to interest venture capital firms to come in and take the funding, even getting them to show up and have the conversation was hard. It is not hard now,” Johnson said. “To me, that is a metric of success. We are on that map.”

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