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Virtual Life Science Companies Launch and Tour
Date:10/22/2007

KALAMAZOO, Mich. and DETROIT, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Life Science Network has launched two new companies designed to rapidly stimulate new business for Michigan companies.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071022/CLM120 )

The Michigan Virtual BioPharma Company, LLC and the Michigan Virtual Medical Device Company, LLC launched on October 16th at an exhibit during the MichBio Expo convention in Lansing, Michigan.

"In just the first two days since the companies launched we have identified 313 Michigan businesses and individuals seeking to offer 194 distinct business management and product development services to combine together in the new virtual companies. We will tour the state to find even more businesses that want to participate. This process will organize them into full service virtual companies for the first time and provide a new offering to market across the nation and the world," said Michael Debiak, president of Michigan Life Science Network.

The exhibit begins touring the state November 2 in TechTown Detroit. The tour will continue through November to any city, organization or university that wants to participate. In the exhibit, a ten foot graphical organization chart represents each of the two companies. The chart is intended to be visual and tactile to contribute to the overall understanding of and participation in the project. The goal will be to see how quickly all the state's life science companies and individuals can fill in who has each kind of expertise in the blank boxes. Each box is the size of a business card. Participants are invited to add their cards under the function they can provide in making up the whole company. Anyone interested in participating or hosting a location for the exhibit should contact Michigan Life Science Network.

"This is the first time I have seen an innovative approach to develop a virtual company. There has been a lot of talk about it and developing drug pipelines and connecting various companies within the chain. But here, this company has really figured out how to get people involved. You know the simple process of putting your business card in the particular place you are along the continuum of drug discovery and development. And then capturing that information and linking it up with all the other players with the different steps is just fantastic," said Randal Charlton during the launch.

"We are in a flat world. We are not just competing with our neighboring states. Forget that. We are competing with India, with China and a lot of low cost countries. We are going to have to form alliances. I can foresee a time in the future where Michigan companies are going to be collaborating around the world in this virtual company," said Charlton, founder of Asterand, plc, former Chairman of MichBio, and currently Interim Director of TechTown Detroit.

"I was formerly the CEO of a large medical device company and we had all of the in-house resources and the funds to hire the resources we needed to develop and commercialize a product. But if you are one of these smaller companies you don't have the resources to know who to hire to help you and you don't have the resources to let the possible customers know who you are or where you are. This is a novel idea to make the connections and combine the resources," said Ruben Derderian, medical device consultant and CEO of Derderian Associates, Inc.

"The Virtual Companies will be a real asset in developing the startup and service community in Michigan. I have already referred businesses to participate in this project and they have. I think this will mature quickly into a resource for all of these Michigan life science businesses," Derderian said.

"A virtual company has no limit to its size or reach. This is a concept that makes a business location irrelevant to the customer, except in that the work is done by employees that want to be here and can offer expertise on a globally competitive platform. It is a world economy and our companies can combine together to compete in it," said Robert Borsos, life science attorney at KECH, PC.

For more information about the Michigan Life Science Network or the Virtual Companies Project, please contact:

Michael Debiak

President

Michigan Life Science Network

mike@milifesciencenetwork.com

269-353-1575

http://www.milifesciencenetwork.com

Offices in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and TechTown Detroit


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SOURCE Michigan Life Science Network
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