Oklahoma’s Bioscience Sector Produces New Research, Major Investments

For more than two decades, Oklahoma’s bioscience industry has grown and developed into an internationally-recognized sector. Pockets of research excellence continue to develop in Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Ardmore, Stillwater and Norman. Oklahoma’s bioscience industry encompasses a wide range of research and business focuses, with significant public and private support.

OMRF receives federal grant to investigate cell death      

An OMRF scientist has received a four-year federal grant to investigate the biological process of cell death. The grant, awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will provide $1.74 million to OMRF scientist Courtney Griffin, Ph.D., to study what triggers a form of cell death called necroptosis in the vascular system. The body uses programmed cell death to carry out specific biological purposes, and Griffin is interested in identifying the causes and effects of necroptosis in blood vessels.

Cytovance enters drug development program with OncoQuest    

Oklahoma City-based Cytovance has entered into an antibody manufacturing development program with OncoQuest Inc. to establish a reliable and stable supply of an antibody drug which is used to treat ovarian cancer patients.

Moleculera Labs Highlights Biomarker-Based Tests as Diagnostic Aid for Infection-Triggered CNS Disorders

Moleculera  Labs, a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and COLA certified clinical laboratory offering testing services for childhood autoimmune conditions, is continuing research on treatable autoimmune neurologic conditions in children and adults. The company’s first test (Cunningham Panel) aids physicians in diagnosing children suffering from PANDAS/PANS, a treatable neurologic condition associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), motor tics and sometimes Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, no other tests are available to identify this condition.

The company’s emerging research suggests a similar relationship between infection and molecular mimicry triggered autoimmune attacks in other neurologic conditions including Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

OKC doctors advance technology to fight solid-tumor cancers  

Dr. Courtney Houchen and his colleagues at Oklahoma City-based COARE Biotechnology are accelerating a new technology to market that shows promise in fighting pancreatic cancer and other solid-tumor cancers. COARE Biotechnology is also developing biomarker panels for the detection of oncogenic proteins and monoclonal antibodies against key stem cell signaling molecules expressed in tumor initiating cells.

According to National Institutes of Health Cancer Institute projections, 48,960 cases of pancreatic cancer will be found in 2015, while nearly 40,560 related deaths will be reported. So even though the number of pancreatic cancers that are reported annually is smaller than some other cancer types, the death rate for this diagnosis is high. The value of research on such an insidious problem has significance in many other areas of health treatment, he said.


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