Current executive director, Dennis McNannay, announces plans to launch his own company after medication adherence issues touch too close to home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015

CONTACT: Matt Smits, Board chair, Oregon Bioscience Assoc., 503-577-2612

Gordon Brown, board member, Oregon Bioscience Assoc., exec_recruit@oregonbio.org

Dianne Danowski Smith, board member, Oregon Bioscience Assoc., 503-201-7019

(Portland, Ore.) –The Oregon Bioscience Association’s Board of Directors announced today the launch of a nationwide search for Oregon Bio’s next Executive Director, who will take over leadership from Dennis McNannay, upon his scheduled departure on March 31, 2016.

“While we are sad Dennis is stepping away from his current role, we are excited for him as he returns to the startup community with his new company and stays local within Oregon’s growing bioscience community,” said Matt Smits, Oregon Bio board chair.

McNannay has mixed emotions leaving an organization he led for five and a half years. He noted, “I feel fortunate to have been part of such a vibrant organization. Strategically, Oregon Bio is perfectly positioned to continue building on our recent twelve-year growth trend.”

During McNannay’s five-year tenure, Oregon’s life sciences community achieved many milestones:
• Continued a 30 percent employment growth trend, outpacing California, Texas and Massachusetts since 2001*
• Helped create 33 percent growth in the number of bioscience firms in Oregon*
• Doubled the industry-driven BioPro workforce training programs with record student training hours for incumbent workers.
• Created a first-of-a-kind BioCatalyst pilot immersion training program to re-employ dislocated workers
• Lead Oregon Bio’s advocacy support for capital investments like Portland State Business Accelerator’s wet lab expansion, the Collaborative Life Sciences Building, and bonding authority for the Knight Cancer Challenge
• Served as an OTRADI Board member, helping to launch Oregon’s first bioscience incubator and working part-time as its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence
• Built Oregon Bio’s annual conference into a signature event, attracting national speakers and growing attendance
• Growth in state policy and economic development for bioscience
• Leadership in an access to capital event in conjunction with the Oregon Business Council, which helped create the Oregon Investment Account.

“In the past five years, Oregon Bio’s ability to influence industry expansion and overall success has grown multifold,” said Smits. “The industry’s statewide annual bioscience conference grew in attendance, attracting national speakers and key sponsorships. In workforce development, the association provided more than 14,500 hours of industry training to more than 1,500 class attendees in 2015 alone. Our most recent BioCatalyst two-week immersion training program for 100 dislocated workers enabled 50 percent of participants to find new, high-paying jobs.”

Oregon is home to 13,556 direct jobs in the bioscience industry and, including the economic multiplier, as many as 56,552 total jobs aligned with bioscience. Today’s average annual wage for bio-workers in Oregon is $62,538.

“With that momentum, the next phase for the Oregon Bioscience Association is to cultivate further healthcare innovation as well as successful ‘scale-ups,’ in partnership with stakeholders such as Business Oregon in its mission to grow companies already sited here.” Smits added, “We look for our next Executive Director to gather key stakeholders to accelerate Oregon talent, executive leadership and growth capital, increase economic development programs, and grow access to markets.”

Several examples of notable companies that launched or expanded over the past few years include Genentech’s expansion, Intel Life Sciences’ hiring growth and Biotronik/MSEI’s steady employment gains, as well as start up of companies such as Sonivate, RevMedx, UbiVac, TomegaVax, Amplion Research and Rogue Valley Microdevices. In concert, Oregon’s major life science research and health care organizations—OHSU, Providence and OSU, for example—continue to accelerate Oregon’s health care innovation pipelines and industry alliances at record pace.

McNannay noted that he is excited to leverage the resources of Oregon Bio, many of which he helped create, as he plans his next entrepreneurial endeavor. He joined the association as Executive Director in July 2010, after founding a software company that created spine and neurosurgical procedure coding and revenue management solutions.

McNannay’s impetus to launch a new digital health company was prompted by a series of family health situations that dramatically illustrated the need for better medication adherence technology. McNannay decided the time was right to become more directly involved in creating a solution. He said, “Families and health systems are both struggling with the challenge of tracking proper medication usage. After witnessing my first grand mal seizure at a family gathering earlier this year, an event prompted by a missed medication dosage, I was galvanized to help solve this problem.”

During his tenure as Oregon Bio’s Executive Director, McNannay witnessed dramatic advances in the digital technology landscape. McNannay’s company says his new company will capitalize on these advances, working with health systems, drug manufacturers,and packaging firms to enable solutions that aims to create a simpler, more ubiquitous solution to the medical adherence problem.

McNannay will continue as Oregon Bio’s Executive Director until March 31, 2016. Gordon Brown, a member of Oregon Bio’s Executive Committee and board, will lead and manage the transition. Oregon Bio member, Acumen Executive Search, will assist in the recruitment. The exact timing of the transition will depend on the completion of the national recruitment effort. The job description is posted here.

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*As reported by the national BIO/Battelle Institute annual survey

About Oregon Bioscience Association

The Oregon Bioscience Association advocates for its members and the industry to create opportunity through community, collaboration and commercialization. Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon and continually seeks ways to support sustainability and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries and to create acceleration initiatives so members can achieve their full scientific, economic and social potential. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association, is the Oregon affiliate of BIO, Biotechnology Industry Organization.

BIO found in 2014 Oregon’s jobs in biotech grew faster than most other U.S. markets. The
association’s most current economic impact study showed that Oregon has 802 bioscience establishments and 13 life science research institutions and that Oregon is emerging in several
bioscience areas with job growth in four of the five major subsectors from 2007 to 2012. BIO also found the state’s research, testing, and medical labs subsector has grown particularly fast in recent years, increasing employment by 33 percent. Oregon’s research universities are especially focused in the biosciences relative to other fields with their $456 million in bioscience academic R&D in 2012 accounting for 67 percent of all academic research.

NIH awarded Oregon nearly $304 million in 2014, with 673 grants awarded to 42 firms. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute gave 62 awards, totaling more than $39 million; 43 SBIR and STTR awards totaled $18.8 million; the Department of Defense granted almost $3 million; and the National Science Foundation awarded $60.3 million in grants. More about the Oregon Bioscience Association can be found at www.oregonbio.org.