KBA sees 45 percent revenue drop

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- Total revenue for the Kansas Bioscience Authority dropped by 45 percent this fiscal year, and most of the loss was attributed to a decrease in state funding, according to the KBA's latest financial report.

The KBA board of directors on Tuesday discussed the report, which showed state support went from $14 million in the 2012 fiscal year to $3.2 million in fiscal year 2013, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/1aCYuri ).

The KBA, a state-funded business accelerator that invests in ventures related to animal and human health, agriculture and bio-energy, was created in 2004. Since then it has invested $272 million in 90 companies and institutions.

Total revenues for the KBA are at about $8 million, down from $14.5 million in 2012. Expenses also dropped slightly, from $3.3 million at this time last year to $2.8 million in 2013.

The state has capped KBA funding at $35 million a year, though the state government determines how much is actually allocated each year. KBA Chief Financial Officer Kevin Lockett said each year the organization assumes it will receive the maximum state funding unless told otherwise.

"We are always sort of in limbo, waiting to see what it is we're going to receive," Lockett said. With lower funding, wWe have to do a good job of managing the cash flow and making good decisions on what investments we can and cannot make," he said.

Some of the state funds, provided by state income taxes and authorized through the Kansas Emerging Industry Investment Act passed in 2004, have been diverted to other state organizations, including the Midwestern Stem Cell Therapy Center at the Kansas University Medical Center.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law in April establishing the center, which would focus on adult stem cell research and treatments and prohibit research on embryonic stem cells, at an initial cost of $1.1 million and $750,000 annually to maintain it thereafter.