By Brianna Bailey
Copyright © 2013, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
With the help of a National Institutes of Health grant to develop new drug-discovery instruments and private equity investment, Oklahoma City-based biotech company SensiQ Technologies is poised for expansion.
The company’s lab, housed in the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park, makes devices to study biomolecular interaction that helps to develop new drugs.
The company recently was awarded Phase 1 funding from the NIH to further its development of technologies that measure drug interactions. The company will receive about $1.3 million through the NIH FastTrack program to help fund the research.
“This will help us develop the next generation of these devices that can be used to measure drug interactions more efficiently,” said David Goad, research scientist for SensiQ.
SensiQ’s top-of the-line machine is a roughly 70-pound gadget a bit larger than a toaster oven called the SensiQ Pioneer. The Pioneer retails for about $200,000. The company also makes other models that measure the same biomolecular reactions for less than $10,000.
The machines use a patented injection method called OneStep to help measure chemical reactions.
“So our market is life science — a lot of our customers are the research universities and big pharma,” said Tom Jobe, chief operating officer for SensiQ.
The growing demand for new technology to aid the discovery of new pharmaceuticals also is helping the company grow, Jobe said.
The Oklahoma City-based private equity firm TechVen Partners acquired SensiQ in 2012. Led by inventor and businessman Colin Cummings, TechVen provides venture capital for early-stage technology companies.
The company also qualified earlier this year for job-creation incentives through Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs program.
SensiQ has qualified for up to $2.19 million in tax money to develop up to 103 new jobs over the next 10 years through the job creation program. The program provides growing companies in the state quarterly cash payments based on payroll numbers.