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Business First: Investment in Kinex brings solid retuns for ECIDA lending unit

Reporter- Buffalo Business First

The growth of a local pharmaceutical firm is about to translate into a financial windfall for one of the region's economic development agencies.

A $200,000 investment made a decade ago by the Buffalo and Erie County Regional Development Corp. into Kinex Pharmaceuticals LLC will bring a 93 percent return to the agency.

The investment comes from a 2005 loan the RDC, an arm of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, made with Kinex. The loan was paid back last year but Kinex used Series A warrants — or bonds — to secure the investment.

Now, Kinex can repurchase those warrants for $386,609, with the deal expected to close by Oct. 1, said Steve Weathers, ECIDA president and CEO.

"I would say this has not been a bad investment," Weathers said. "It has worked out."

Weathers said the funds will go back into the RDC's pool, where it makes low-interest loans to area companies.

In recent months, the RDC has made loans to such companies as Lakeward Distillery, Buffalo Brewing Co, and Black Squirrel Distillery.