How A I medicine could help the world s struggling pharmaceutical industry Fortune

When a Canadian company called Deep Genomics announced in September that it had used artificial intelligence to solve a long-standing mystery about a genetic disorder called Wilson’s disease—and, what’s more, had used another deep-learning platform to identify a potential treatment—there was a flurry of excitement in the drug development world. The apparent milestone, which the company hailed as the “first-ever A.I.- discovered therapeutic candidate,” got echoing headlines from dozens of news outlets, and in January, the five-year-old startup received a $40 million endorsement in the form of a fresh round of venture capital funding.


HelpAround raises 6M from Iqvia Windham Venture Partners Washington Business Journal

Patient concierge startup HelpAround has nabbed $6 million to help people with chronic diseases stick with their treatment.

The Bethesda company, whose mobile platform connects patients with resources for the drugs they’re prescribed, is pushing deeper into the specialty pharmacy arena — where medications are high-cost and complex — after focusing first on the diabetes and renal disease space. The business is now partnering with these drug manufacturers to keep patients from dropping out of their treatment plans, especially those who have been newly diagnosed.

Image: Yishai Knobel is co-founder and CEO of HelpAround. HELPAROUND

Applications open for first round pediatric pitch event Today s Medical Developments

The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), in collaboration with MedTech Innovator, is now accepting applications for its showcase pitch event on March 23, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. The competition is focused on pediatric devices in three areas of critical need: Cardiovascular, orthopedic and spine, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).



Metro Boston experienced a year-over-year increase of 8% in life sciences employment through the third quarter, NKF’s Liz Berthelette reported, citing data from JobsEQ by Chmura. That led to the second consecutive year of absorption exceeding one million square feet for lab space, and the market ended 2019 with 5% vacancy, a new low.


NSF Small Business Update

More Funding in Phase I –

We posted new Phase I funding opportunities for small businesses (Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer). The Phase I award amount increased from $225,000 to $256,000.  

Project Pitch Update –

The Project Pitch allows startups and small businesses to get quick feedback at the start of their application for Phase I funding. Each company can only submit one Project Pitch at a time and up to two Project Pitches per submission window (see dates below). Once invited, a Pitch expires after a year. For more information, please refer to the updated Frequently Asked Questions.



A Bedford-based nonprofit, MITRE, is the powerhouse beyond a new initiative called Bridging Innovation, designed specifically to play matchmaker between startups and government agencies.

For the program, MITRE has partnered with essentially all of Massachusetts’ major players: MassRobotics, MassChallenge, Gov. Charlie Baker’s cybersecurity advisory panel, the Massachusetts Military Asset Task Force, Techstars’ Air Force Accelerator, Harvard Innovation Labs, MIT Engine and the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub.


AstraZeneca Logo

AstraZeneca plans to invest $520 million in its manufacturing site in Dunkirk, France, over the next five years and create roughly 150 jobs, Bloomberg reported. 

Of the total, $230 million will be dedicated to building assembly lines and modernizing the drugmaker's equipment in the Dunkirk facility, which focuses on developing and manufacturing asthma treatments. The new lines could create about 100 highly skilled jobs, according to Bloomberg. 


Scientist Drugstore Microscope Free photo on Pixabay

Psychedelic drugs—once promising research subjects that were decades ago relegated to illicit experimentation in dorm rooms—have been steadily making their way back into the lab for a revamped 21st-century-style look. Scientists are rediscovering what many see as the substances’ astonishing therapeutic potential for a vast range of issues, from depression to drug addiction and acceptance of mortality.



Johns Hopkins University is blowing up its business-school curriculum.

Starting in the fall of 2020, the university’s traditional two-year master’s of business administration degree will take a hard turn toward health, with a particularly heavy focus on quant skills, from exposure to coding to data analysis, said Alexander Triantis, dean of the Carey Business School.

Image: Brian Gunia, an associate professor at the Carey school, plans to tweak aspects of his class to fit the new health and analytics focus. PHOTO: MATT ROTH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


We are pleased to announce that Dr. Monica Lopez returns this year to the Electronic Imaging International Symposium in Burlingame, CA as both a keynote speaker for the Autonomous Vehicles and Machines 2020 conference and course instructor.

Click here for more information.

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics lands 10 2M DOD contract for war on superbugs Washington Business Journal

The federal government has tapped a local company to help defend against superbugs.

Gaithersburg’s Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Inc. has earned a $10.2 million contract with the Department of Defense to help advance PhageBank, APT's collection of viruses that target specific pathogens and kill drug-resistant bacteria. The ultimate goal is to make its therapy for drug-resistant infections available to the U.S. military and the public, APT said Wednesday.

Image: Dr. Carl Merril, third from right, with his son Greg, CEO and co-founder of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, and other members of the team. ADAPTIVE PHAGE THERAPEUTICS INC.

China Virus Overwhelms Wuhan s Health System as City Rushes to Build New Hospital WSJ

China’s viral outbreak is straining the resources of front-line hospital staff in epidemic-stricken Wuhan, who have been forced to turn away patients because of a lack of beds and basic medical supplies.

Image: Chinese authorities are building a new hospital in the city of Wuhan following the outbreak of a virus that has infected more than 800 people and killed 26, aiming to complete it within six days. Photo: CCTV