AstraZeneca and MedImmune, in Partnership with BioHealth Innovation, Inc. and Tech Council of Maryland, Convene Life Sciences Leaders from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to Support Growth of Regional Biotech Ecosystem
Gaithersburg, Md., March 30, 2015 – Today and tomorrow, more than 400 leaders from life sciences companies, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, investment funds and government entities across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will convene for the first Maryland Regional Biotech Forum. This event, hosted by AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, in partnership with BioHealth Innovation (BHI), Inc. and the Tech Council of Maryland, will be held at MedImmune’s corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was launched as part of a collective effort to grow the region’s biotech ecosystem and chart a course toward becoming one of the top three biotech hubs in the nation by 2023.
The Maryland Regional Biotech Forum agenda boasts an impressive lineup of more than 100 speakers and panelists, including Gerd Binnig, a Nobel Prize laureate in physics and Founder and CTO of Definiens; Rachel King, Chair of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of GlycoMimetics; more than 25 regional CEOs, including Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca; five university presidents from across the region; and leaders from federal institutions.
In addition, the region’s first Leaders of Tomorrow Summit will be held in parallel with day two of the Maryland Regional Biotech Forum, also at MedImmune’s headquarters. This event is the Mid-Atlantic region's first student- and postdoc-led, cross-functional and inter-generational leadership summit, and is designed to engage and influence the next generation of biotech leaders and ignite innovation in the future bioeconomy.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a public-private partnership and innovation intermediary is seeking an energetic and motivated life science professional for the role of an Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) with product development experience and subject matter expertise in the fields of neurology and neuroscience. The EIR will reside within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will also support intramural and extramural initiatives on an as needed basis.
The EIR program was established at BioHealth Innovation to:
- Retain and bring entrepreneurial talent to the Maryland ecosystem
- Connect resources including institutions, technology assets, people and capital within Maryland that include federal institutions, labs, academic institutions, small businesses, disease foundations and the investor community
- Build/support sustainable life science startups that will add value within the healthcare system and also build upon the existing infrastructure
The EIR will work with BHI leadership to ensure that the activities and outcomes are aligned with BHIs strategic focus.
The Maryland General Assembly recently honored University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan with a special tribute. In both chambers of the General Assembly, delegates and senators on March 20 recognized Chancellor Kirwan for his 50 years of service to Maryland higher education.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller offered separate tributes to Kirwan, who has served as USM chancellor since 2002 and announced in May 2014 that he will step down from his leadership position. Kirwan will remain as chancellor through June 30, 2015. University of Massachusetts System President Robert L. Caret will succeed him.
Biopharmaceutical venture capital investment climbed from $4.52 billion in 2013 to $5.29 billion in 2014, a 17% increase, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
Joel Marcus, chief executive of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., has been in biotech since its early days. From 1984 to 1994, he had a law career with expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry that included time as general counsel and secretary of Kirin-Amgen Inc., a joint venture between Kirin Brewery Co. and Amgen Inc.
Maryland is no stranger to USGBC’s Top 10 States for LEED list, and every year it has a strong list of impressive LEED projects certifying across the state. Maryland was the third state in the nation for LEED in 2014 (2.7 square-feet of LEED certified space per resident) based on the strength of its 132 newly certified projects.
One project that stands out this year is Qiagen’s new North America headquarters building, which is important not only because of its impressive architecture, but also because of the building’s purpose and what projects like this one symbolize about the growing impact of the green building movement across the country. Qiagen uses its 66,735 square foot headquarters for new research in the field biotechnology as well as its North American manufacturing operations. Skanska USA, a Platinum level member of USGBC, served as the contractor on the Qiagen project, ushering the building toward LEED certification.
WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (WX: Quote) announced that an Investigational New Drug or IND application for WuXi MedImmune's novel anti-IL6 monoclonal antibody for rheumatoid arthritis has been accepted for review by the China Food and Drug Administration or CFDA.
In September 2012, MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and WuXi AppTec formed the joint venture WuXi MedImmune Biopharmaceutical Co. Limited to develop and commercialize MEDI5117, a novel, investigational, long-acting monoclonal antibody for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, the first such collaboration in China between a global company and a Chinese company to develop novel biologics.
Swimtag and Brain Sentry were the winners at the 2015 Sports Technology Awards, at an event where wearable tech companies dominated the nominations.
The event, which is in its second year, is set up to recognise the technology that's playing an increased role across sport – be it tracking, broadcasting or participation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Anthrasil Tuesday for treating inhalational anthrax alongside antibacterial drugs, triggering a $7 million payment to Emergent BioSolutions under a Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority contract.
A rare disease, inhalational anthrax occurs after an individual is exposed to an infected animal or animal products that have been contaminated. Infection is also possible when anthrax spores are intentionally released, leading to the inhalation of Bacillus anthracis. After the bacterium enters the body, it replicates and produces toxins, causing massive, irreversible injury to tissues. Damage can also be so severe that an infection can be fatal.
Gaithersburg-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc. is adding a $31 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to its ongoing work developing a next-generation anthrax vaccine.
The BARDA contract is for NuThrax, a vaccine that requires fewer doses, has a higher immune response and has no need for refrigeration.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment for inhaled anthrax, triggering a $7 million milestone payment from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The company developed the treatment, Anthrasil, as part of a $160 million contract it signed in 2005 with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the HHS.
Health for America is pleased to announce that Medstar will host the 2015-16 Health for America Fellowship in Washington D.C., in partnership with the global startup incubator, 1776.
The Fellowship will give a small group of exceptional young healthcare leaders the opportunity to put aside their day-to-day work and focus instead on finding high-impact, low-cost solutions for patients suffering from chronic diseases. Led by the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), the 2015 Fellowship will give fellows broad access to providers, entrepreneurs, and other experts throughout MedStar, a regional not-for-profit health system advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research.
Frederick City and the County have agreed to partner with the state to help Medimmune expand.
Last week, the County Council agreed to participate with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's Maryland Economic Development Assistance and Authority Fund (MEDAAF) to provide a $1.5-million loan to Medimmune.
New Enterprise Associates expects to hold a final close next month.
Venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates has secured approximately $2.57 billion in capital commitments for its fifteenth fund, Fortune has learned.
Johns Hopkins brings to mind the renowned research university and hospital in Baltimore.
The latter has been the working home to such medical lights as neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who led a pioneering separation of twins born fused together at the cranium.
That these institutions are known primarily for the work they do, not for the person whose money gave them life, would sit just fine with their founding donor.
The National Institutes of Health has selected three new proof-of-concept hubs to help speed the translation of basic biomedical discoveries into commercial products, such as new drugs, devices, and diagnostics, to improve patient care and enhance health. The hubs are part of the NIH-supported Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) program and will be funded at $9 million over three years.
AKT IP Ventures today announced the launch of a targeted $20 million incubation investment fund that will finance the creation and operation of IP-based businesses in the mobile, multi-touch, wearables, IoT, big data and medical technology sectors. As an incubator and operator of emerging IP-based businesses, AKT IP Ventures offers a unique, constructive and creative alternative to the litigation model of patent monetization. Employing a disciplined approach to bringing IP-based technologies to market, AKT IP Ventures turns patents into viable enterprises that create jobs, generate value and bring exciting new technologies and innovations into the marketplace.
Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: PIRS)and The University of Melbourne today announced the receipt by the University of a research grant to further develop Pieris' novel protein Anticalin®-brand therapeutic, PRS-060, in immunological diseases. The grant -- which will support Pieris' Australian subsidiary, Pieris Australia, and is disbursed by Australia's peak medical research funding body, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) -- totals more than $AUS 500,000 and covers activities to advance PRS-060 for inhaled delivery to treat asthmatics.
Funding and Research Opportunities
The following funding opportunity announcements from the NHLBI or other components of the National Institutes of Health, might be of interest:
- Request for Information (RFI): NHLBI Strategic Visioning - Developing the Research Priorities for the Next Decade
- Notice of Change to Award Information Regarding Allowable Requested Direct Costs in PAR-13-316 "NHLBI Program Project Applications (P01)”
- Notice of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Participation in PAR-15-085 "Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (U01)"
Requests for Applications:
- Genome Sequencing Program Coordinating Center (U24)
National Human Genome Research Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): May 29, 2015
The World International Patent Organization released a report Friday naming Johns Hopkins University among the top 2014 international patent applicants in the world, proving that American universities may not be losing ground when it comes to tech transfer programs after all.
WIPO took a look at overall growth in the applications for its global intellectual property services and found that together, China and the U.S. accounted for 87 percent of the total growth in filings under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty. The PCT received about 215,000 applications in 2014 – a 4.5 percent increase over the numbers reported in 2013.
When Apple announced, last year, that it was developing a watch that had the functions of a medical device, it became clear that the company was eyeing the $3 trillion health care industry; that the tech industry sees medicine as the next frontier for exponential growth. Apple’s recent announcement of ResearchKit shows that it has an even greater ambition: It wants to also transform the pharmaceutical industry by changing the way clinical trials are done.
If you listen to large tech companies, they will tell you they are in dire need of another bailout from scary “patent trolls” who burden them with frivolous lawsuits. This tech bailout will come in the form of a bill that would weaken 225 years of U.S. patent law to help big companies always win, and guarantee that small innovators and inventors will always lose.
The United States’ patent law system is at the foundation of American global success, found in breakthrough discoveries from Edison to the computer chip to recombinant DNA. Do we really need to “fix” the legal system that has enabled America to become number one in the global biotech, software, hardware, medical devices, energy, genomics, and nanotechnology industries? Patent filings are down an astonishing 40% in 2014 as a result of the first patent troll “fix” a few years ago and recent court decisions that have given away our nation’s competitive edge.
David Johnson was just one minute into making his pitch when the interruptions started.
“Why do I care?” barked a bespectacled man at the back of the seminar hall. Johnson, chief executive of the California biotechnology start-up GigaGen, blinked. He had condensed his company's story into a neat ten-minute presentation for I-Corps, a nine-week course designed to teach business skills to entrepreneurial scientists like him. Now his talk was derailed.
Last night in Cambridge, LSN joined Women In Bio for a Shark Tank-style pitch event. The audience heard pitches from five life science entrepreneurs. Across the table from them were four experienced early stage life science investors playing the role of “sharks”.
So what did we learn from these life science innovators and from the sharks’ cutting responses to their pitches?
Event is open to Post-Docs & Professional Scientists currently work in the Therapeutic Areas of:
- Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity
- Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases
- Infectious Diseases & Vaccines
- Related scientific disciplines
Event will include music, lawn games, hors d'oeuvres, drinks and a scientific "Speed Networking" session.
BHI President and CEO Rich Bendis to Present
With 800+ life sciences companies, Over 70 federal labs and world class academic and research institutions, the biotechnology cluster in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC sets the bar for biotechnology innovation. Join us for an event that will spotlight a world class technology community that has accounted for 1/3 of all job growth in Maryland and has been a significant economic driver for the region over the past decade.
World renowned speakers, industry luminaries and commercial giants will convene for this unique Maryland Regional Biotech Forum to highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.