IBBR researchers recently received $3.9 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a multi-specific, single agent antibody therapeutic against HIV-1 to block virus infection and to clear the reservoir of HIV-infected cells from the body. Dr. Yuxing Li, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Fellow at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), will lead the project, in collaboration with colleagues Dr. Qingsheng Li, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dr. Keith Reeves, Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


Paragon Bioservices, Inc. (Paragon), the leading private equity-backed biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with proven expertise in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines, today announced it was named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 500™ for 2018, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Additionally, Paragon was named #8 to the Baltimore Business Journal's Fast 50 for the second year in a row.


There’s no doubt that now is an exciting time for health IT. Many forward-thinking software companies are applying predictive models to create solutions that can improve hospital operations and clinical outcomes. As president and CMO of a Silicon Valley-based healthcare company using data science to improve core processes in healthcare operations, I believe there are a few major elements that health IT companies must incorporate as they continue to evolve to address the needs of our trillion-dollar healthcare system. Here’s what I believe needs to happen in 2019:


California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences industry, and PwC US, are proud to release the 2019 California Life Sciences Industry Report. With over 350 data points, this 2019 Report provides a snapshot of California’s life sciences community, and how the world’s largest life sciences cluster remains a global hub for innovation, creating high-wage jobs, bringing new therapies and technologies to patients, and attracting significant investment from venture capitalists, the NIH and more.


Telehealth is changing the face of healthcare, and Medicare must adapt, said the CMS administrator.

Innovation is vital to the evolution and sustainability of the American healthcare system, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to be part of the transformation, according to its administrator.


The audience seated in an intimate ballroom at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) on Nov. 9 turned its attention to a small stage at the front of the room. The stage filled with red light as Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS, a research associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW), entered from behind a black curtain off to the right.


Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE American: RNN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies to improve outcomes in cancers that are difficult to treat, today announced that Douglas J. Swirsky, who has served as Rexahn's president and chief financial officer since January 2018, has been named the company's president and chief executive officer and appointed to the company's board of directors effective immediately. Peter D. Suzdak, Ph.D., chief executive officer, has departed the company and resigned as a member of its board of directors.


Today’s announcement that Amazon has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters is a win for Montgomery County. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in location.


Groundhog Day?

This month, Forbes reported that venture capital investments in healthcare startups hit record highs, despite the infamous dissolution of Theranos. While this implies it is still a buyer’s market, hundreds of quality early stage-health technology companies ready for funding are not securing investments. At Inova Personalized Health Accelerator (IPHA), we researched this trend in our Health Tech Early Stage Funding Report, which we published this month. As reported in VentureBeat earlier this year, Rick Gordon, director of IPHA, detailed a troubling trend at the pre-seed and seed stage investment level for health technology startups – early stage health technology investments are declining.


NextCure Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing the next generation of immunomedicines for cancer and other diseases, today announced the completion of a $93 million series B equity financing. The financing was led by Hillhouse Capital Management and Quan Capital, and included Bay City Capital, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Ping An Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, ArrowMark Partners and NS Investment. All existing investors also participated in this financing, including Canaan Partners, Lilly Asia Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors LLC, Pfizer Inc., Sofinnova Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments. Additionally, Eli Lilly and Company invested $15 million in this financing in conjunction with the discovery and development partnership announced on November 5, 2018.


After a highly competitive site selection process that had communities across the U.S. touting their qualifications, Amazon has selected New York City and Arlington, VA, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America.


When the FDA issued its first approval for a gene therapy for an inherited disease nearly a year ago—a cure for a type of blindness—it was heralded as breakthrough, a moment decades in the making. With dozens of other genetically engineered therapies moving through clinical trials, the long-promised era of personalized, gene-based medicine seemed to be at hand.


Seth Goldman was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, and throughout his life, he dreamed of ideas to pursue. That tendency was enhanced when he crossed paths with Yale School of Management Professor Barry Nalebuff while pursuing his graduate degree in business administration. The student impressed the professor with his insights, and his willingness to productively debate ideas in class. A couple of years after business school, Goldman went for a run in New York City, entered a convenience store, and despite his thirst, was not impressed by the usual suspect beverages on offer.


Leaders within the biopharma industry have long enjoyed the pride of knowing that their work improves millions of lives and offers great benefits to humanity.  They share a collective sense of accomplishment around the eradication of diseases and improvement of daily living.


Senseonics Holdings, Inc. (NYSE American: SENS) a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of a long-term, implantable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for people with diabetes, today has announced that the Eversense® Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System has received FDA approval for qualified health care providers to be trained and certified to provide patients with the highly accurate sensor that lasts up to three months. Previously, the sensor insertion and removal procedure could only be performed by trained physicians.


BHI congratulates Lily Qi on her election to the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 15 in Montgomery County. Lily was one of the founding members of the working group who was instrumental in launching BioHealth Innovation well before her appointment to the Board in 2016. She has been a champion for advancing the biotech industry and is looking forward to being a strong partner for the biohealth industries in Montgomery County and Maryland.

Lily ran a highly competitive race and won 2nd place both in the Democratic Primary among nine contenders (including two incumbents) and in the General Election where there were six total candidates. She became the first Chinese immigrant elected to the Maryland Legislature.

Please join us in congratulating Lily Qi as we look forward to great things from her in her new role.


Emily English, CEO of Gemstone Biotherapeutics sits down with BioTalk host Rich Bendis to discuss company's history, the path to her role, and the evolution of their technology.

Emily English, CEO of Gemstone Biotherapeutics sits down with BioTalk host Rich Bendis to discuss company's history, the path to her role, and the evolution of their technology. Emily P. English, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of Gemstone Biotherapeutics, LLC. Dr. English is a proven innovator and manager with a passion for transitioning early-stage technologies to operational capabilities and commercial products. In her current role, she is guiding the commercialization of Gemstone’s innovative biomaterials technology, with a goal of bringing solutions for scar-free skin regeneration to market. Prior to joining Gemstone, Dr. English spent eight years at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where she was the Global Communications Program Manager and led a team of 35 scientists and engineers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna cum laude, in chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Outside of work, Dr. English enjoys spending time with her family, and she is an avid curler.

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When the person who successfully upended the broadcast radio industry model with the launch of Sirius XM satellite radio and then successfully challenged the drug development model to create new drugs for rare diseases now tells you to focus on bio-defense, you better pay attention.  So when Dr. Martine Rothblatt PhD, JD, the Founder and CEO of United Therapeutics Corp., appeared as the keynote speaker for BARDA’s Industry Day, it signaled this was not going to be business as usual, even for a government agency that must be ready to combat exotic diseases like Ebola, Zika and Pandemic flu.


Scientists from across the BioHealth Capital Region will collaborate on a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to fight the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), a South American-borne disease that can cause long-term neurological problems and even death.   George Mason University researcher, Kylene Kehn-Hall, PhD, lead the efforts to win the sizable grant from Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)


The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) has extended its deadline for accepting proposals from organizations interested in entering into new Joint Venture Partnerships (JVP) with the agency. As described in the Federal Register notice (Opportunity Announcement), the JV partners in collaboration with NTIS will assist Federal agencies in developing and implementing innovative ways to collect, connect, access, analyze, or use Federal data and data services.