Oklahoma City has worked to build a regional biotech growth cluster for decades, and the heart of that cluster is in the OKC Innovation District, an organization that is a member of the OKBio Society. Since the establishment of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) in 1946, the region has witnessed unprecedented growth and reinvestment in biotech capabilities, expertise, and resources.
The Stephenson Cancer Center, only established in 2001, achieved NCI-designation in 2018 and now boasts the highest patient accrual in clinical trials of all cancer centers in the nation. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), established in 1971, is now one of only four comprehensive health centers in the United States with seven professional colleges. From the establishment of several specialized research centers (Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, Dean McGee Eye Institute, etc.) to a recent $71M reinvestment in the Oklahoma City Innovation District—a sizable commitment to cluster-based growth recommended by the Brookings Institution—Central Oklahoma has demonstrated a willful and strategic focus on growing our region’s biotech presence.
These efforts have proven transformative for regional economic resilience. More than $40B in value has been created through blockbuster assets generated by University of Oklahoma (OU) and OMRF researchers, including through over 13 spinoff companies and 4 FDA approved drugs. Industry partnerships with Biogen, Merck, Novartis, and GSK’s prestigious Discovery Partnerships with Academia further demonstrate our region’s emergence as a destination for biomedical innovation. Today, the region supports over 51,000 workers and annual revenues of more than $6.7B.
Click below to view the Innovation District’s bio assets on our Cognitive City, The Nucleus.
The current boom in life sciences development mirrors the tech industry, especially geographically; there is an incredible concentration of jobs and investment in the top markets, in this case Boston, San Diego and the Bay Area and challenges finding support and funding anywhere else.
Oklahoma’s comprehensive academic health system is now known as OU Health. The new brand identity represents the combined efforts of OU Medicine and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and reflects a focus and commitment to improving the health of all Oklahomans.