Oklahoma City's Sensulin opens San Diego laboratory on eve of BIO show

If Sensulin’s technology lives up to the promise it has shown in the lab, type 1 diabetes patients could reduce the number of insulin injections required each day to regulate blood sugar from as many as seven to as few as one.
By Jim Stafford, For The Oklahoman Modified: June 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: June 23, 2014
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Etched on a small wooden sign outside a biotechnology laboratory in La Jolla, Calif., just north of here, are the words “Sensulin, LLC,” a startup company with headquarters more than 1,300 miles to the east in Oklahoma City.

Co-founded by Oklahoma entrepreneur Mike Moradi, Sensulin is advancing a patented technology that regulates the release of insulin in diabetes patients throughout the day.

If Sensulin’s technology lives up to the promise it has shown in the lab, type 1 diabetes patients could reduce the number of insulin injections required each day to regulate blood sugar from as many as seven to as few as one.

Sensulin hired San Diego-based scientist Christopher Rhodes to lead development of the company’s product. The La Jolla lab is shared between Sensulin and Rhodes’ other company, Drug Delivery Experts LLC.

“Startups are global from day one,” Moradi said. “Our chief financial officer and I are in Oklahoma City, our co-founder is in Texas and our labs are here in San Diego. This is by far the best team I’ve ever worked with at any stage of the company’s development.”

Co-founder and chief scientific officer Ananth Annapragada is a researcher at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Annapragada created the technology when he discovered a way to encapsulate insulin in liposomes as a way to control its release into the body.

Founded in 2011, Sensulin has attracted substantial interest from diabetes industry insiders. Chairman of the board is Dan Bradbury, the company’s largest investor and former CEO of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which did groundbreaking work in developing diabetes therapeutics.

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2014 BIO show

Size of the OKBio booth: 1,600 square feet

Number of delegation members: 71

Number of organizations represented: 37

Number of conference attendees who typically visit the OKBio booth: approximately 4,000

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