Oklahoma represented at international BIO convention

BY JIM STAFFORD Published: June 29, 2011
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There are folks they need to get to know that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit with right here in our delegation.

“We are grateful to the Oklahoma Business Roundtable for making the scholarships possible so these Oklahoma companies could attend this event.”

BIO attendance opens partnering opportunities to new companies, both through strategic, planned meetings and through spontaneous conversations such as those that broke out at the OKBio exhibition space shortly after the show opened Tuesday.

“It’s a combination of those deliberate and serendipitous encounters,” Stickley said.

Telling their story

For Dave Karlman, president of Otologic Pharmaceutics, attendance at the BIO show has opened new opportunities to tell potential investors and partners about how the company is developing new therapeutics to prevent or reduce hearing loss. By noon Tuesday, he had given presentations to a mix of five pharmaceutical and venture capital companies.

“My agenda is to raise money and raise awareness,” Karlman said. “Three of the five presentations have resulted in follow-on interest. And I finished third out of 30 companies for a presentation at a workshop Monday before a panel of big pharma and venture capital.

“Thanks to the OKBio Association for sponsoring us. It’s huge.”

Dave Lopez, Oklahoma’s new secretary of commerce, was among the delegation of about 70 Oklahomans greeting visitors to the OKBio booth when the 2011 BIO International Convention exhibition hall opened.

Global effort

For Lopez, the show provided a forum to support the state’s growing life sciences community and a learning opportunity.

“For those who have been working the vineyards for a while it may not seem so quick, but the scale of bioscience in Oklahoma is exciting,” Lopez said. “To go out to the convention center and see Oklahoma’s booth with China situated on one side and Brazil on the other, it just lets you know that we are part of a global effort, and that’s exciting.”

Lopez said his mission also includes gaining an understanding of how the state can nurture the innovation occurring in Oklahoma’s life sciences community.

“It has clearly taken root, and we have the scale to operate and compete,” he said. “The question now is how do we grow those seeds even quicker.”