Los Angeles County Biosciences Initiative Gets Federal Funding Boost, LAEDC Reports

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LAEDC partner, BioAccel, to use money to form early-stage biosciences fund in L.A. County

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"Los Angeles County has all the ingredients to build a world-class biosciences cluster, and it is encouraging to see new sources of capital will be available to seed promising new companies," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Today, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) announced that BioAccel, a partner on the L.A. County Biosciences Initiative, was awarded a $250,000 U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to help build a robust early-stage investment fund targeting firms in the Los Angeles region’s biosciences industry. The grant will fund capacity-building, enabling BioAccel to create a professionally managed $15-$25 million fund to finance early-stage companies in biosciences and health technology in the Los Angeles County region.

This grant was one of only eight so-called “Seed Fund Support” grant awards made by the EDA in this fiscal year. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the awardees under the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country.

"Los Angeles County has all the ingredients to build a world-class biosciences cluster, and it is encouraging to see new sources of capital will be available to seed promising new companies," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“It’s a great win for the L.A. region, at just the right time, as we are developing a transactional implementation plan on behalf of the County of Los Angeles to grow the region’s still nascent biosciences industry cluster,” said Dave Flaks, LAEDC president and COO. “BioAccel is one of several highly specialized firms that LAEDC has brought together to develop and deliver the plan to the L.A. County Community Development Commission and Board of Supervisors, and we are fortunate to have such great partners.”

Biocom, another partner in LAEDC’s work for L.A. County, is also committing significant capital resources of their own to the L.A. County biosciences effort. Collectively, BioAccel’s EDA grant and the Biocom investment both leverage the investment made by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, who see great potential for L.A. County to become a more preeminent center for bioscience innovation, commerce and jobs.

“There’s no question that our work with LAEDC was a strong element in our winning grant application, and this grant helps us move forward with plans to fund more early stage companies,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “Seed stage capital helps young companies through a critical stage of business development, often called ‘The Valley of Death,’ and once this fund is operating it will be a resource for L.A.’s bioscience entrepreneurs and innovators.”

About the LAEDC
Established in 1981, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) provides strategic economic development leadership to promote a globally competitive, prosperous and growing L.A. County economy to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and communities and enable those residents to meet their basic human need for a job. We achieve this through objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to government and business, and targeted public policy. Our efforts are guided and supported by the expertise and counsel of our business, government and education members and partners. Since 1996, the LAEDC’s Business Assistance team has directly helped to retain or attract over 200,000 annual jobs in Los Angeles County. http://www.LAEDC.org

About BioAccel
BioAccel is the leading organization in the United States dedicated to developing a robust bioscience ecosystem including entrepreneur development. Bioaccel works with qualifying entrepreneurs and their early-stage bioscience technology and medical device companies to identify start-up funding, as well as provide training and mentorship to accelerate commercialization, improve healthcare through innovation, and diversify economic development. More at http://www.bioaccel.org

LAEDC Media Contact: Lawren Markle / 213-236-4847 / Lawren(dot)Markle(at)laedc(dot)org

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