The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City biotech company that once aspired to become a leading prosthetics manufacturer is set to close its operation and move headquarters to Seattle.
The relocation of OrthoCare Innovations LLC will cost eight employees their jobs, according to The Oklahoman. CEO Doug McCormack said all of them are being offered job placement assistance and severance packages.
“Oklahoma City has been an exceptional partner in the growth of Orthocare Innovations and we give the community the highest recommendation to all of our colleagues in the bioscience sector,” McCormack said.
McCormack said the company was recently approached by a large manufacturer in the competitive industry.
“Therefore, we have entered into a significant strategic relationship with a leading company in the orthotic and prosthetic industry,” he said.
McCormack said details of the new manufacturing operation will be announced in 2014 but noted the partnership will provide the company with unmatched manufacturing capability and global distribution.
OrthoCare, meanwhile, is set to become a company focused on the research operations that are currently performed by its Seattle unit.
OrthoCare Innovations’ operation in Oklahoma City dates to when the company bought Martin Bionics in 2008. Martin Bionics at the time acted as a research and development arm for Oklahoma City-based Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research. McCormack was a longtime Sabolich patient.
In a 2008 column in The Oklahoman, McCormack called Oklahoma City a destination of choice for patients worldwide seeking state-of-the-art prosthetic care. Later that year, the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority and the Presbyterian Health Foundation negotiated a tax increment financing agreement intended to fund a “mobile incubator” that would accommodate predicted growth at OrthoCare’s Oklahoma City operation.
Mike Anderson, then president of the Presbyterian Health Foundation, said OrthoCare was expected to grow from 15 employees to 115 within the next two years. The growth never materialized, and OrthoCare paid back job incentives provided by the city.
OrthoCare also received a $1.6 million grant from the state Economic Development Generating Excellence endowment and made Oklahoma City its headquarters.