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February 4, 2014

Purdue Research Foundation, Cook Medical partner on $12 million project to support life sciences startup opportunities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Research Foundation and Cook Medical officials announced Tuesday (Feb. 4) plans to establish a $12 million evergreen investment fund to support Purdue-based life sciences companies.

"Converting Purdue innovation into new products, companies and jobs is perhaps the most valuable way for our university to live up to its land-grant heritage and contribute to the progress of our state," said Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University. "This fund will help a new and larger generation of Purdue innovators move their technologies to the public."

The Foundry Investment Fund, a not-for-profit fund, will seek to join with other investors to fund companies that are based on Purdue technology or expertise in the areas of human and animal health and plant sciences. The Foundry Investment Fund will provide a match to outside investors' funds, adding critical capital for the transition from the discovery of a promising technology to founding a viable life sciences company. Returns on the investments will remain in the fund for future investments.

"Cook has a long history of commercializing life-changing medical innovations that originated at Purdue," said Mark Bleyer, president of Cook Biotech Inc. "We have seen firsthand how innovative technology, when guided by thoughtful business practices and supported by sufficient financial funding, can result in products that improve lives in amazing ways."

Established in 1995, Cook Biotech develops and manufactures advanced biologic tissue grafts engineered from natural tissue sources. Based on discoveries made at Purdue, these tissue-engineered medical products have been used worldwide in more than 1.5 million surgical repairs. Product applications include treatments for hernias, fistulas and wounds.

"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.

The Foundry Investment Fund will:

* Stimulate outside parties to invest in Purdue-based life sciences businesses.

* Provide critical capital funds to entrepreneurial ventures that originate from Purdue innovation or expertise.

* Be self-sustaining through returns from prudent investments.

"Clearly, raising capital is one of the most challenging endeavors that entrepreneurs face, and offering a match of funds from the Foundry Investment Fund will help drive interest in our life sciences companies and draw funding opportunities from across the country," said Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer for the Purdue Research Foundation.

Those who could be matching investors are non-Purdue entities such as venture capital firms, corporations, angel groups or qualified individuals.

For more information about the Foundry Investment Fund, contact John Hanak, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry, jmhanak@prf.org, 317-616-1860. For information on other Purdue entrepreneurial programs, visit Purdue Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts, administers trusts, funds scholarships and grants, and acquires property on behalf of Purdue. Services provided by the foundation support economic development initiatives and benefit the university's academic activities. The foundation manages the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, which operates one of the most comprehensive technology-transfer programs among leading U.S. research universities. The foundation oversees the Purdue Research Park, which is the country's largest university-affiliated business incubation complex.

About Purdue Foundry

Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub created to serve Purdue innovators who have an interest in forming a startup or licensing their discoveries. The foundry is supported and managed by the Purdue Research Foundation. Assistance provided includes product ideation and market analysis on an innovation, business plan development, and help with finding funding sources, and guidance from the Purdue entrepreneurs-in-residence.

About Cook Medical

Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world's healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family-owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at www.cookmedical.com, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Sources:  Dan Hasler, 765-588-3826, djhasler@prf.org

Mark Bleyer, 765-497-3355, mbleyer@cookbiotech.com