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Familiarity breeds connections for Oklahomans at BIO conference

Oklahomans' knowledge about their colleagues' endeavors helps businesses strike partnerships at 2013 BIO International event in Chicago. The four-day event ended Thursday.
BY JIM STAFFORD Published: April 26, 2013
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With such assistance, CARE Biotechnology has submitted three SBIR proposals and one federal contract proposal.

“One of the SBIRs we filed looks like it will be funded,” Houchen said.

The expertise brought to the grant process by the Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources program helps even veterans of grant applications in dealing with details, Houchen said. “They have been very, very good at that, which has allowed us to submit so many grants so fast,” he said.

COARE met several potential partners at the BIO show, one of whom suggested the company open a satellite office in Germany.

The bottom line for a company such as COARE Biotechnology or Moleculera Labs, Sensulin or any of the Oklahoma ventures participating in the OKBio effort is that it opens the door for potential investment capital, said i2E's Rainey.

“Oklahoma companies have a very hard time finding the capital resources to bring their therapeutics to market, so partnering with a large pharmaceutical company is critical,” Rainey said. “That's why these companies attend this conference, because all big pharmaceutical companies and therapeutic companies are here and looking for those partnerships.”


At a glance

CLOSING DAY

The BIO International exhibition in Chicago closed at noon Thursday, and the number of Oklahomans staffing the OKBio exhibit had dwindled from about 70 to roughly a dozen by closing time.

Traffic was especially light during Thursday's two-hour closing session, but it was noticeably lighter over the entire four days than in previous BIO shows, said James Johnson, site location manager for the Oklahoma Commerce Department.

“Traffic has been down this year, but what I noticed in talking to a number of the attendees, especially those individuals with our companies, the quality of their contacts has been greater and more specifically targeted than it has been in the past” Johnson said. “If you want to judge one over the other, I would judge quality over quantity of the traffic.”

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