Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Bringing Back an Old Bid to Advance Oklahoma’s Agricultural Science Know how

Oklahoma’s bioscience community, now named Life Science Oklahoma, has officially announced a re-launch of its industry association, bringing new leadership, a new format and renewed focus, and support to businesses and organizations within the Oklahoma life sciences and healthcare communities. According to certain reports, Life Science Oklahoma is expected to be an important advocate for the state’s dynamic and diverse life sciences and healthcare communities. This translates to a commitment towards conceiving national and international awareness to key areas of the state’s biotech, drug manufacturing, agricultural science, veterinary medicine, and healthcare disciplines, including therapeutics, diagnostics and biomanufacturing; medical and health technologies; and clinical care. Now, although quite significant in its own right, making the whole development even more important would be Oklahoma’s existing capabilities in the context of innovation, collaboration, and economic, and financial advantages across its emerging life science and healthcare ecosystem. More on the same would reveal how the state has a track record of hosting several research institutions, including the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Noble Research Institute etc. These institutions, on their part, go a long distance to drive cutting-edge research in genomics, drug discovery, and agriculture research. Next up, we must get into Oklahoma’s public-private partnerships, where state actively fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government. Here, it also recruits organizations like the Oklahoma Life Science Fund and i2E (Innovation to Enterprise) to provide critical support for startups and early stage companies.

“From my perspective as a patent practitioner and intellectual property promoter, Life Science Oklahoma promotes the programs, initiatives, research and products of its associated partner organizations through education and outreach, partnership building, policy development and brand awareness with a view to raise pharmaceutical awareness and participation in innovation within Oklahoma,” said Andrew Westmuckett, director of technology ventures at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and co-chair of Life Science Oklahoma. “We are excited about this important work in furthering Oklahoma as a life science hub.”

Moving on, another incentive which Oklahoma’s bioscience community will likely enjoy is rooted in the state’s established infrastructure. This detail is largely concerned with Oklahoma’s vibrant Innovation District, spanning about 1.3 square miles east of downtown. The stated District, in case you weren’t aware, houses internationally acclaimed research and technology companies, including Wheeler Bio and Cytovance Biologics, both active within the bio manufacturing space and both well-recognized contract development and manufacturing organizations serving heavyweight biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Rounding up the picture would be Oklahoma’s federal investments. This includes Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster Initiative receiving $35 million through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The grant in question alone will fund about six core investment projects in the region to scale up the health science prospects.

“This is an exciting time for the life sciences industry in Oklahoma and our goal is to support our burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem and bring about awareness of the critical role the life sciences industry plays throughout the state of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Craig Shimasaki, co-founder and CEO of Moleculera Labs and new co-chair of Life Science Oklahoma. “The re-launch of the association is a key milestone that will propel our collective efforts to expand and grow a strong healthcare and life science cluster in our state.”