Arkansas Summit Oct. 19 to Showcase State’s Life Science-based Companies

By Ben Boulden

The event will showcase presentations from 14 of the fastest-growing technology companies with research and innovation in the life sciences conducted at Arkansas universities and private companies.

These companies include medical devices, drug discovery, diagnostics, biotechnology, natural products and agriculture sciences. There will also be breakout sessions focusing on specific challenges faced by life sciences companies.

The summit is organized and hosted by UAMS BioVentures of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and will be held at the University of Central Arkansas.

The registration fee for the summit is $35. Register on Eventbrite here:

Among the presenting companies are Nushores Biosciences, BiologicsMD, Infinite Enzymes LLC, EZRA Innovations, Stage I Diagnostics, Burke Therapeutics LLC, Invotek, BioBotic Solutions, Now Diagnostics, Phyzit, and TiFiber.

The keynote speaker is Patrick Plues, vice president of state government affairs for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). At BIO, he is responsible for executing a comprehensive state government relations strategy in all 50 states to create a positive business environment for the biopharmaceutical industry. He will give a presentation on the outlook for biotechnology and life sciences regionally, nationally and globally.

One of the goals of this year’s event is to organize a BIO affiliate in Arkansas. For more information on BIO Arkansas visit The summit will open with a panel discussion on current issues involving life sciences, research, development, regulations and early stage funding in Arkansas.

An afternoon panel will discuss Food and Drug Administration submissions and regulatory strategies for life sciences, biotechnology, medical devices, drug discovery and diagnostics.

Breakout sessions include: Building a Management, Advisory Board and Staffing Team; Funding, Financing and Exit Strategies; Intellectual Property Strategies for Small Companies; Bioinformatics; and Experiences in Building a Successful Life Sciences Company.

“At this Summit, some of the state’s most innovative companies in the life sciences sector will have a chance to tell their stories and connect with potential investors,” said Nancy M. Gray, Ph.D., UAMS BioVentures director. “Arkansas’ research and development companies will show how very competitive they are with peer companies nationwide. Access to capital is vital so these companies can keep creating jobs for Arkansans. We are also very pleased that BIO is represented at this Summit to share with us the best practices being adopted in other states for supporting a robust life sciences business sector.”

Summit sponsors are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Arkansas Capital Corp., Conway Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.

UAMS and the other four university sponsors have produced 43 startup companies still in operation with more than 300 employees­ ­— raising federal grants in excess of $36 million, complemented by more than $ 100 million of outside investment capital.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.