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Life sciences Sector is Heartbeat of Michigan Innovation

Friday, December 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
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When you think of medical innovation, you may think of San Diego, Boston or the San Francisco Bay area. But entrepreneurial activity in medical innovation has been flourishing across Michigan and top talent, investors and leading life science corporations across the world have taken notice.

For instance, this year an Ann Arbor-based biotech startup,  RetroSense Therapeutics, was acquired by leading global pharmaceutical company  Allergan plc for $60 million for its novel gene therapy approach to vision restoration. RetroSense, a tenant of the  Michigan Economic Development Corp.-backed  Michigan Life Sciences and Innovation Center, benefited early on by working with MEDC SmartZone  Ann Arbor Spark and was the recipient of more than $450,000 in direct MEDC early stage investment.

Years ago, the idea that global corporations and seasoned Silicon Valley investors and talent would be turning their attention toward Michigan may have seemed improbable, but this story isn't rare anymore. There are many highly disruptive life sciences startups emerging in Michigan that have this kind of potential. Companies including  Armune Bioscience,  CelSee Diagnostics and  Millendo Therapeutics  in Kalamazoo, Plymouth and Ann Arbor, respectively, are making significant strides in the research, detection and treatment of cancer and disease. They're attracting investors and top talent — people who witness the technology, see the potential, and are ready and willing to commit their resources to support it.

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