Bio Matters: Oklahoma researchers, entrepreneurs advance bioscience ventures

Sheri Stickley: Oklahomans are making great strides in bioscience discoveries and businesses, but bringing products to market can be a lengthy process.
By Sheri Stickley Published: December 16, 2012
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But bioscience companies also face hurdles unique to their industry. For example, did you know it takes 10 to 15 years and up to $1 billion for an experimental drug to travel from the lab to U.S. patients? Entrepreneurs developing new drugs must possess a high tolerance for risk, given that only five in 5,000 compounds entering preclinical testing make it to human testing — and only one of these five is ultimately approved.

“In reality, there are easier and less risky ways to make a living than starting a biotech company,” admits Dr. Craig Shimasaki, president and CEO of Oklahoma-based Moleculara Labs and author of the book, “The Business of Bioscience: What Goes Into Making a Biotechnology Product.”

“But life science entrepreneurs earnestly believe their discovery will be of great importance to potentially millions of people,” he said. “It's this passion and drive that keeps us working against seemingly insurmountable odds to bring such products to the market.”

For the sake of our health, our agriculture industry, and our economy, we should be glad scientists and entrepreneurs are taking risks.