I am clearly on a digital health kick, blog-wise, as I look back on my last few posts. Having spent time at both CES and the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, where digital health was a hot topic, it seems that the subsector is definitely having its day in the sun. I was particularly honored to be named among the 2013 “Top 50 in Digital Health” by a group comprised of Rock Health, Goldman Sachs, Silicon Valley Bank, and Fenwick & West. There are some pretty smart people on the list with me and it is very gratifying to be in such great company (nice article about the list by Wade Roush at Xconomy can be read HERE).
On the other hand, I was feeling a little inadequate being on the list without my own digital health start-up to show for it. I mean, hey, there I am among the actual innovators who dreamed up such cool companies as MC10, Evolent, Pokitdok, Athena Health, and a host of others with only my investment checkbook and blog to show for it. Given that it is the year of the wearables, as anyone who went to CES could readily attest, and that the entrepreneurs in that sector were well represented in the Top 50 list (FitBit’s James Park, Misfit Wearables’ Sonny Vu, etc), I have decided to throw my own hat (wrist?) in the ring on this sector.
These top venture capitalists don’t wait for biotech startups to come to them. They create companies themselves.
The path to greatness in biotechnology runs through a vale of tears. Mark Levin wants to remember that.
Medimmune, the global biologics research and development arm of Anglo-Swedish drug major AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN), has entered into a collaboration to establish a joint lab in Cambridge, UK, with Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK.
The new laboratory will be the first partnership of its kind of both organizations, and will focus on the discovery and development of biologic cancer treatments over an initial five-year period.
BHI Appoints Shady Grove Adventist Hospital President John A. Sackett to Board of Directors
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 21, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today the appointment of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital President John A. Sackett to its Board of Directors. Mr. Sackett is filling a vacancy on the BHI board left by William G. “Bill” Robertson, who recently announced that he was leaving his post as President and Chief Executive Officer of Adventist HealthCare for a position in Washington state.
“The addition of John to the BHI Board of Directors affords us with another strong healthcare leader who provides a perspective from the health system side of the business,” said Rich Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. “His decades of experience as a healthcare administrator will be an asset to BHI as we work with startups who are seeking to commercialize biohealth products and gain acceptance within the healthcare system.“
In April of 2013, Mr. Sackett became President of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He began his career at Boulder Memorial Hospital in 1982. He served as Vice President for General Services from March 1984 until being named President of Avista Adventist Hospital, formerly Boulder Memorial Hospital, in June of 1989. In 1996, when Avista Adventist Hospital became a member of Centura Health, he was named Senior Vice President for Mission and Ministry, in addition to his responsibilities as Administrator for Avista. He most recently served Centura as the Chief Executive Officer for Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, Colorado.
A high sugar diet greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of body weight, according to a new study by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, which is the biggest one of its kind to date and has included more than 10,000 people followed for up to 14.6 years, concludes that people who drink, for example, one soft drink per day increase their risk of cardiovascular disease by one-third.
Download the presentation here
Please join Rich Bendis on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 for the 7th Annual Health IT Day in Annapolis. Learn more about Health Information Technology (HIT) and how it affects you as a consumer today and in the future. Get the chance to meet with district legislators and senators to let them know what needs to be done to further push HIT in Maryland and keep us on the cutting edge of this rapidly evolving field.
"Our goal is absolutely to democratize knowledge," says Denny Luan. "Modern science has such a rush for fast results - publish or perish, output over process. We'd like to show the greater public that science does not have to be locked up behind monasterial walls. We'd like to change the way science is shared - in an engaging, deliberately beautiful way. Real-time, open-access and with great design."
Luan is co-founder of what, until this morning, was known as "Microryza" - the site has been renamed "Experiment" as part of a revamped branding strategy - a potentially revolutionary crowdfunding platform that is looking to do for science what Kickstarter has done for the entertainment industry.
ROCK SPRING VENTURES,A LEADING EARLY-STAGE LIFE SCIENCE VENTURE CAPITAL FUND, IS NOW EPIDAREX CAPITAL Our new name is inspired by Epidaurus, the home of ancient Greece’s first hospital and the temple of the Greek God of Medicine. It reflects our focus on innovation in the healthcare sector and our commitment to investing in young life science and health technology companies. Visit www.epidarex.com.
STAY TUNED FOR A NUMBER OF EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENTS THROUGHOUT THE COMING YEAR...
ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, January 6, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and MIMETAS announced today that Todd Chappell, MBA, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for BHI, has been named General Manager, U.S. Affairs for MIMETAS. A Netherlands-based company, MIMETAS is establishing its offices within BHI's headquarters in Rockville. MIMETAS and BHI created a U.S. subsidiary of MIMETAS to access the clinical, regulatory and scientific resources available in Central Maryland and to access the U.S. marketplace, the largest life sciences market in the world.
"We're very pleased to add Todd to the MIMETAS team," said Jos Joore, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of MIMETAS. "Todd couples a vast experience in business creation with a profound understanding of biology and disease mechanisms. Most importantly, Todd shares our sense of urgency around enabling better medical treatment by using more predictive cell culture models."
Previously, Mr. Chappell was the Vice President of Operations for Shape Pharmaceuticals, a portfolio company of HealthCare Ventures, LLC, where he oversaw all day-to-day operations involved in the development of a novel HDAC inhibitor for Cutaneous-T-Cell-Lymphoma. Prior to that, he was at CombinatoRx Inc. for eight years and served as Director of New Products. Mr. Chappell will be combining his role at MIMETAS with his existing EIR position at BHI.
MIT professor Yael V. Hochberg revealed the most effective startup accelerators in the country Tuesday at SxSW in Austin. DreamIt Health showed up in slot #15 and was the only health focused accelerator on the list.
Hochberg is a professor of Finance at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She and professor Susan Cohen of the University of Richmond and the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, used original research and data from CrunchBase to rank the 15 accelerators.
MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of Anglo-Swedish drug major AstraZeneca,…
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- Representatives from Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc., Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., and Deloitte Consulting LLP Take New Board Seats -
- Charles Morton Becomes New Venable LLP Representative on Board while Mike Baader Stays on as Board Member (Now as Greenspring Associates Representative) -
ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, August 11, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors. Dave Lemus, Chief Executive Officer, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Joel S. Marcus, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (Alexandria Venture Investments); and Beth Meagher, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, have joined the BHI Board of Directors, effective August 7, 2014, based upon their organizations’ newly committed support of BHI. Charles “Chuck” Morton now represents Venable LLP on the Board, as another new Board member, while Mike Baader, formerly with Venable, will continue to hold a seat on the Board, but now as a representative of Greenspring Associates. Cynthia L. Collins, CEO, Clarient, who had served on the BHI Board since early 2013, is stepping down from her Board position after relocating to the West Coast
“The expansion of and continued diversity within the BHI Board, based upon new key industry and service provider representatives who are all deeply involved in life sciences, is a testament to the positive impact BHI has made on the Central Maryland biohealth community to date,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO.
“We look forward to the contributions from the new Board members representing these organizations. We’re also pleased to welcome a new Venable representative to the Board and that Mike Baader will continue to add value to the organization now that he is on the Greenspring Associates team,” said Douglas Liu, Chair, BHI Board of Directors, and Senior Vice President of Global Operations for Qiagen. “And, on behalf of the BHI staff and Board, I would also like to offer gratitude to Cynthia Collins for her service and contributions to the BHI Board over the last year and half.”
Each year, Speakers Platform recognizes five speakers within ten popular topic areas. Excellence in speaking is based on: expertise, professionalism, client testimonials, presentation skills and original contribution to the field. The only substantive requirement is that the candidates' standard keynote presentation fee be under $30,000USD. Once the nominees are chosen, online voters determine the final Top5 honorees. Women secured more honoree slots this year than any year in the past - almost sweeping some categories such as "Communication / Diversity". Job well done!
Over 12,000 votes were received at Speaking.com for the initial 165 nominees- from business leaders, educators, association members and others from around the world. Many voters praised the nominees for having a profoundly positive impact on their lives; a living testament to the far reach and valuable work of all the nominees. Please join us in congratulating your 2014 honorees!
Richard Bendis was listed in the top 5 in the Innovation / Creativity category. Thanks to all those who voted and helped spread the word! —Ed.
As we go into the last few weeks of the year, my office is busy working up the final numbers on application data for this year. Although the complete set of application data, tables, and graphs will not be available until later in January, I thought I would provide an early snapshot on success rates for 2013 competing research project grant (RPG) applications and awards.
We received 49,581 competing RPG applications at NIH in fiscal year 2013, slightly declining compared to last year (51,313 applications in FY2012).
The disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the top five global health threats they expect to tackle in 2014:
1. The emergence and spread of new microbes
While it's rare, CDC scientists do come across new diseases each year. In 2013, the new Heartland virus carried by ticks was confirmed in northwest Missouri. Federal health investigators collected samples in the state after two farmers from St. Joseph were sickened by the virus that carried a novel genetic profile.
After vanquishing humans on Jeopardy!, IBM says its Watson computer is ready to help save human lives. The company on Thursday announced it has created a new business unit specifically to advance Watson and deliver its artificially intelligent wisdom to research organizations, medical institutions and businesses so that they can process “big data” for detailed answers to complex questions. They won’t actually own a Watson computer—instead its services will rendered via a network connection (the “cloud computing” model).
IBM doesn’t launch new business units every day—or even every decade—chief executive Ginni Rometty noted during the Watson Group announcement. Indeed, the company is making a calculated bet—to the tune of more than $1 billion—on cognitive computing and the role it will play in making big data useful.
Gov. Martin O'Malley on Wednesday unwrapped his eighth and final budget, a $39 billion plan that increases spending on tax credits for cyber security, biotechnology and research and development while holding the line on taxes.
For fiscal 2015, O'Malley has proposed hiking the biotech and life sciences tax credit by 20 percent, to $12 million. He wants to increase the cyber tax credit by 33 percent, to $4 million and raise the credit for research and development by 12.5 percent, to $9 million.
– BHI offers program that guides biohealth startups in securing federal funding –
ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, June 10, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today that two local biohealth companies to which it has provided strategic assistance, N5 Sensors, Inc. and BioDatomics, have secured Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. N5 Sensors, a BHI client, received two awards: one from the Enivronmental Protection Agency (EPA) and one from the National Science Foundation (NSF). BioDatomics, which participated in a federal funding assistance program offered by BHI, secured an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)1. The U.S. federal government’s SBIR program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program empowers these companies to develop their trade and provides a path to profitability.
“BHI is dedicated to supporting start-up biohealth companies in Central Maryland in their submission of competitive SBIR applications,” said Ethan Byler, Director, Innovation Programs, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. “We congratulate N5 Sensors and BioDatomics on receiving SBIR grants from the EPA, NSF and the NIH, respectively.”
N5 Sensors of Rockville, which is developing a new generation of chemical sensors that can detect harmful chemicals mixed in air in very small quantities, recently announced that the EPA has issued a SBIR Phase I grant to the company for its low-power, small form-factor benzene sensors for exposure monitoring using mobile devices. The $100,000 grant will support N5’s work developing sensors that can detect small amounts of benzene in the air. A University of Maryland, College Park spin-off, N5 Sensors, Inc. has engaged BHI to support its commercial strategy. N5 has also recently been awarded a Phase I SBIR from the NSF to develop chip-scale carbon monoxide and ammonia sensors.
Thomas Kucharski (IEDC) - Ethan Byler (BHI) - William C. Sproull (IEDC)
BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) was selected as an International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award recipient. BHI is receiving the award in the Public-Private Partnerships category for its work to assemblethe partnership that sponsored DreamIt Health IT Baltimore accelerator program. The award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative development projects that have significantly enhanced the economic revitalization of distressed communities, states, or regions, was formally presented to BHI on Monday, October 20, during the 2014 IEDC Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX.
“BHI is honored to be acknowledged with this award for our work with DreamIt Health in support of the DreamIt Health Baltimore program in 2014,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. “This reinforces the dedication to entrepreneurship and innovation in the biohealth arena that we are constantly striving for in Central Maryland.”
Maryland’s efforts to build out the local cybersecurity economy seem to be working. Cybersecurity startup Luminal recently announced a move to Maryland from West Virginia, and will be rewarded by a $600,000 investment from InvestMaryland, the state’s venture fund. With this investment, Luminal closed a total of $3.82 million in a Series A round of funding including Core Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates.
As CivSource has reported Maryland has launched several initiatives aimed at growing the local cybersecurity economy, including tax incentives, investments and a research partnership leveraging local universities and the military. Maryland is building on its proximity to a number of critical defense assets and the federal government to attract new cybersecurity entrants. The state of Virginia is also working on a similar effort.
Originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal
By Brian Darmody
Where’s the nation’s second largest concentration of academic, federal and private sector research spending? California? Massachusetts? According to the National Science Foundation, it’s Maryland, equating to billions of dollars in research investment in the Maryland economy. First place New Mexico has a relatively small rural population and presence of two major federal nuclear research labs.
But Maryland has something New Mexico doesn’t — proximity to Washington, D.C.
Washington is home to the nation’s government, but also the National Academies, technology trade associations, international corporations, embassies, media, regulatory agencies, foundations, and science agencies.
Happy New Year! This week’s Top of the List is from our first-ever List of “Largest incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces in Maryland,” ranked by current number of members or tenants.
Here they are, counting back from No. 5:
One way pharma giant Johnson and Johnson stays ahead of the competition is via its network of Innovation Centers where researchers are working on new approaches to cardiovascular issues, infectious diseases, neuroscience, and more.
The centers are located in San Francisco, Boston, London, and Shanghai – and this week the company announced that Israel was joining the family, in the form of an incubator J&J will be opening in Rehovot, near the Weizmann Institute. Working together with several other partners, the company said, the new incubator “is the latest in a series of recently announced collaborations to fuel entrepreneurship in the world’s scientific hot spots.”
ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, September 30, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today that venture capitalist, Tania Fernandez, Ph.D., has joined the BHI team as a strategic advisor. Dr. Fernandez will be a member of the management team for a new BioHealth Gap Fund, which will provide up to $50 million in seed and early-stage equity investments to therapeutics, medical device, diagnostics, and health IT companies in Maryland. Additional BioHealth Gap Fund management team members include Richard Bendis, Ram Aiyar, Todd Chappell, and Ken Malone, who each bring domain knowledge and industry access to the fund.
Just what is a "National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence," anyway?
I've heard this question muttered repeatedly, in one form or another, in the course of covering the ongoing bio vs. cyber dispute over the future of the William Hanna Center for Innovation at Shady Grove.
– Effort designed to help revolutionize access to genomic interpretation services in hospitals, molecular diagnostics companies and academic medical centers throughout the U.S. –
ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, MARCH 25, 2014 – Strand Genomics Inc. (Strand) and BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) today announced a strategic partnership designed to expand the Strand Centers for Genomics & Personalized Medicine into the U.S. This effort is intended to help revolutionize access to genomic interpretation services in cardiovascular disease, oncology, rare diseases, and many other indications. Strand Genomics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Strand Life Sciences, a Bangalore, India-based bioinformatics, clinical genomics, and diagnostics company.
Strand operates clinical genomics and diagnostics laboratories in India that perform end-to-end clinical genomics services, such as testing and diagnostics, to healthcare systems in that country. Strand now provides diagnostic tests based on next-generation sequencing to more than 50 major hospitals in India. Strand is expanding globally and is actively seeking partnerships with hospitals, molecular diagnostic companies and academic medical centers looking to offer genomics-based diagnostics tests. In December 2013, Strand had announced its collaboration with El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. BHI, a Maryland-based innovation intermediary, will be integral in supporting the market penetration of Strand’s services into the U.S. healthcare system by connecting Strand with key market channels, thus providing access to genomic services to more patients and healthcare providers.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today that Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) and BHI have entered into an agreement to advance healthcare technologies coming from academic institutions, federal laboratories and startups based in Central Maryland. Under the terms of the agreement, BHI will identify health technologies that Roche will evaluate for potential research, development and commercialization opportunities. Priority areas of interest will include oncology, neuroscience, ophthalmology, rare diseases, immunological and infectious diseases. Financial terms for the agreement were not disclosed.
The agreement was initiated through Roche pRED Academic Relations and Collaboration (ARC) group, which is led globally by Juan Carlos Lopez. "Sourcing of technologies from academia, federal labs and early-stage startups can be a challenging and lengthy process," said Lopez. "As we seek to expand our capabilities to source and screen technologies aligned with our strategic interests, BHI is an ideal partner to support identification of external opportunities in a broad, systematic fashion."