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Targeting biotech

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Golden Leaf invests in global fund, aims to attract biotech dollars.

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. [05.27.04] — The Golden Leaf Foundation will invest $30 million in a biotechnology venture capital fund that targets life sciences companies in the U.S. and Europe.

Golden Leaf also formed a partnership with Hatteras BioCapital, which will set up an office in Research Triangle Park to help advise the fund’s manager, HBM Partners in Zurich, on investment opportunities in the state.

In the past seven years, HBM Partners has invested over $40 million in biotech companies in the state through BioVentures, a separate fund.

The foundation, which aims to help the state move from a tobacco-dependent economy, was created in 1999 to receive North Carolina’s share of funds from the settlement of a lawsuit involving 46 states and the tobacco industry.

As part of its plan to stimulate the economy, Golden Leaf announced in 2002 that it would invest in the state’s biotech sector.

In 2003, the group launched a $60 million initiative to train North Carolinians for biotech jobs at sites throughout the state, including N.C. State University, N.C. Central University and five community colleges.

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