HUNTINGTON - The future of bioscience in West Virginia looked bright Tuesday during the sixth annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit at Marshall University.

The event, conducted annually by the West Virginia Bioscience Association, highlighted the role and impact of the bioscience industry in West Virginia and the region, showcased research and commercialization efforts taking place at West Virginia universities and private companies, and provided an opportunity for state and local leaders to discuss policies and programs to help nurture the industry at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

WV MetroNews

Chemical makers contribute to school bio-tech program

By Chris Lawrence in News | October 22, 2015 at 11:23AM

NITRO,W.Va. — Two of the Kanawha Valley’s leading chemical employers made a sizable donation to Nitro High School on Thursday. The $10,000 contribution from Dow Chemical and Bayer Crop Science will be used to transform a former home economics lab into a bio-technology lab.

“The money will be used to renovate that room and take out the old kitchenette and buying lab stations and other lab devices,” said Principal Jason Redman. “Students can get first hand knowledge of what’s really in a bio-tech lab.”

West Virginia’s bioscience industry is seeing positive growth!  According to the “Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014 Report” released June 24, 2014 by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), West Virginia’s bioscience industry grew 6.9 percent since 2007.  Additionally, the industry employed nearly 6,400 workers in 2012 across 343 business establishments. 

Some other key findings include:

  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals, the state’s largest and most specialized industry subsector, helped drive these overall gains with 73 percent job growth since 2007.

  • Employment in drugs and pharmaceuticals in West Virginia is considered to be specialized and is 98 percent more concentrated in the state economy relative to the national average.

  • Annual wages for state bioscience workers are nearly $70,000, on average, and are 78 percent more than the overall private sector average.

  • State patenting in the biosciences totaled 143 patents issued from 2009 through 2013 with a focus in surgical and medical instruments and in drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Charleston Daily Mail
January 29, 2014
by Jared Hunt
Daily Mail Business Editor

The founder of a medical device research and manufacturing company says West Virginia has a great potential to grow an innovative biotechnology industry in the state.
Dr. Mark Bates, founder and CEO of Nexeon MedSystems, was the keynote speaker Tuesday at the fourth annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit at the Embassy Suites hotel in Charleston.

Bates, a Hurricane native, was a professor of medicine and surgery at the West Virginia University Medical School in Charleston prior to founding the company nearly ten years ago.
Since then, his company has patented 25 medical devices for a variety of functions, including spinal cord injury therapy, nanotechnology, regenerative therapy and stem cell implantation. In addition to the patents obtained, the company has several more pending.

Charleston Daily Mail
January 29, 2014

WANT to see what West Virginia's economy may look like in the future? You can get a glimpse of future products and services at the state Capitol today, as more than 45 exhibitors will display their efforts to create a more innovative and entrepreneurial state economy.

More future job creators will be in the Capitol hallways on Thursday for Undergraduate Research Day, when about 100 students from the state's colleges and universities showcase their scientific research.

Whether today's exhibitors and those 100 students, and many others like them, stay in West Virginia may depend on how well the state develops a culture that supports innovation and entrepreneurship.

While the state has long relied on large industries - energy, chemical, health care, government - the visitors to the Capitol this week are working to broaden the state's employment base.

"It doesn't take someone smart to be an innovator," said Mark Bates, M.D., founder and CEO of Nexeon Medical Systems. "You just have to have a work ethic and a passion for your work."

About BioWV

The purpose of the Association is to promote the bioscience industry in West Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of West Virginia’s businesses concerning the life sciences through seminars, educational publications and to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in West Virginia. BioWV represents the interests of the bioscience industry in West Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators.

PO BOX 20065 | Charleston, WV 25362 | (304) 546-5500