Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - State's bioscience sector produces new research, major investments

State's bioscience sector produces new research, major investments

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:00 am

For more than two decades, Oklahoma’s bioscience industry has grown and developed into an internationally-recognized sector. Greater Oklahoma City’s employment in the bioscience sector grew 17.8 percent between 2001 and 2008, outpacing the 15.9 percent growth nationally. Throughout the state, pockets of research excellence continue to develop in Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Ardmore, Stillwater and Norman. Oklahoma’s bioscience industry encompasses a wide range of research and business focuses, with significant public and private support. 

NEW RESEARCH, Technologies

OMRF receives federal grant to investigate cell death                          

An OMRF scientist has received a four-year federal grant to investigate the biological process of cell death. The grant, awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will provide $1.74 million to OMRF scientist Courtney Griffin, Ph.D., to study what triggers a form of cell death called necroptosis in the vascular system. The body uses programmed cell death to carry out specific biological purposes, and Griffin is interested in identifying the causes and effects of necroptosis in blood vessels.

Cytovance enters drug development program with OncoQuest            

Oklahoma City-based Cytovance has entered into an antibody manufacturing development program with OncoQuest Inc. to establish a reliable and stable supply of an antibody drug which is used to treat ovarian cancer patients. Cytovance is tasked with establishing a reliable and stable supply of the antibody drug to support anticipated registration clinical studies and future commercial needs. Cytovance recently received three CMO Leadership awards in three categories; quality, reliability and compatibility. CMO Leadership Awards recognize the success that individual drug development and manufacturing organizations have in serving the needs of their biotechnology and pharmaceutical customers and partners.

Oklahoma Blood Institute introduces new research initiative         

Oklahoma Blood Institute recently launched “Bio-Linked,” a groundbreaking software system developed exclusively by OBI to match donors with the nation’s most promising medical research.  The cutting-edge technology allows donors to sign up for Bio-Linked at all Oklahoma Blood Institute donor center kiosks when they give blood.  Any Oklahoma Blood Institute donor can also sign up for Bio-Linked online at my.bio-linked.org.  At any given time in the United States, nearly 16,000 clinical studies are occurring.  Progress is often delayed because scientists cannot locate people willing to participate in research.

Moleculera Labs Highlights Biomarker-Based Tests as Diagnostic Aid for Infection-Triggered CNS Disorders

Moleculera  Labs, a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and COLA certified clinical laboratory offering testing services for childhood autoimmune conditions, is continuing research on treatable autoimmune neurologic conditions in children and adults. The company’s first test (Cunningham Panel) aids physicians in diagnosing children suffering from PANDAS/PANS, a treatable neurologic condition associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), motor tics and sometimes Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, no other tests are available to identify this condition.

The company’s emerging research suggests a similar relationship between infection and molecular mimicry triggered autoimmune attacks in other neurologic conditions including Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

OKC doctors advance technology to fight solid-tumor cancers                              

Dr. Courtney Houchen and his colleagues at Oklahoma City-based COARE Biotechnology are accelerating a new technology to market that shows promise in fighting pancreatic cancer and other solid-tumor cancers. COARE Biotechnology is also developing biomarker panels for the detection of oncogenic proteins and monoclonal antibodies against key stem cell signaling molecules expressed in tumor initiating cells.

According to National Institutes of Health Cancer Institute projections, 48,960 cases of pancreatic cancer will be found in 2015, while nearly 40,560 related deaths will be reported. So even though the number of pancreatic cancers that are reported annually is smaller than some other cancer types, the death rate for this diagnosis is high. The value of research on such an insidious problem has significance in many other areas of health treatment, he said.

Web-based bio-informatics allows for selective breeding among livestock                 

Agric-Bioformatics, an Oklahoma City-based technology company, provides online tools for the genomic profiling of livestock. After two successful beta tests in the United States and Europe, the tool went live earlier this year. Its purpose is to improve predictive analysis for selective breeding, health and nutrition management information. Farmers will be able to access real-time information about their livestock using our innovative web-based platform. This will help them make better business decisions by determining the market value of their livestock at a very early stage and make breeding decisions based on the software's analysis.

PERFEQTA automation software on display at BIO

PERFEQTA, created by Productive Technologies, is the world’s first business process and enterprise quality management system (EQMS) that is fully customizable by the user for managing business processes, quality control, operating procedures, and compliance in any size business. PERFEQTA will debut at the 2017 International BIO Convention this week.

The technology behind PERFEQTA offers a fully flexible platform that meets FDA guidance and has been early adopted by The University of Texas - MD Anderson Cancer Center in their Donation and Transfusion Lab, where it is being used to capture data and drive work-flows related to various processes and QC initiatives. However, the flexibility of the platform itself lends to any number of potential uses, including the delivery of analytics and research-based data to anyone within the organization through emailed reports or SMS texts. 

MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN OKLAHOMA BIOSCIENCE CAPABILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

I2E: Investing in Oklahoma Bioscience 

For more than a decade, i2E has played a major role in funding Oklahoma researchers and entrepreneurs by investing more than $14.6 million in Oklahoma bioscience companies that are either developing new therapeutics, developing new medical devices or providing support technologies for research and development. In the past year, i2E Inc. has invested more than $1.9 million in five bioscience companies. Companies in the i2E portfolio are advancing a diverse mix of medical solutions for specific conditions that range from inflammatory disease to macular degeneration to antibiotics to food safety, hearing loss, toxicology and much more.