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Wed, May 8, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Inova Center for Personal Health, 8100 Innovation Park Drive, Conference Center, Fairfax, VA 22031

The Titanic represents to many of us the iconic tale of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The tragedy is embodied in that instant when The Ship struck The Iceberg, killing over 1,500 passengers and crew—and the hubris of thinking we can build something too big to fail. But while the iceberg may have represented the killing blow, what many do not realize is that the demise of the Titanic was in fact a result of a series of small decisions and missteps across a number of dimensions.

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Startups may spring from pure academics or from a healthy and heterogenous mixture of science, business experience, and inspired thinking. Rachel King, CEO of GlycoMimetics, and others brought experience to the company. Her cofounder, Dr. John Magnani, brought original science, and an expert team soon joined in response to the inspiration created by the company’s concept. The germ idea was to make a formerly “undruggable” set of disease targets druggable. Deep, careful studies of molecular structures were required, followed by rational drug design to achieve the goal of small molecule therapy mimicking natural carbohydrates critical to the “glycosylation” of cellular proteins.

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Precigen, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON) and a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative gene and cellular therapies to improve the lives of patients, today announced the official opening of its new manufacturing facility. Precigen commenced the build-out of the nearly 5,000 square foot manufacturing facility in 2018 to support gene therapy manufacturing. The good manufacturing practices (GMP) facility was designed with agility and control in mind, focusing on rapid manufacturing and the ability to scale production appropriately to meet early stage clinical trial needs.

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CoapTech LLC, a medical device company focused on delivering transformative solutions for minimally-invasive surgery, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 10, 2019 granted the company 510(k) clearance for its PUMA-G System, which enables ultrasound-based placement of percutaneous gastrostomy feeding tubes.  

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Last week ended with another Friday night blitz of biotech S-1s as a fresh wave of new offerings forms to crash into Nasdaq. Entering the Wall Street spotlight now is one transatlantic operation that is out to develop a new class of meds, a Dallas biotech with a Phase III kidney cancer drug and a startup that in-licensed its lead drug from Novartis.

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Canada’s top universities and research institutes spent $5.7 billion on research and development (R&D), but generated less than $75 million from licensing their innovations in 2017. That’s an average return on investment of 1.3 per cent, according to the latest report from AUTM, which monitors commercialization from academic research in Canada. Institutions filed 687 patents, down from 790 in 2016 and the fewest since 2008.

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Redox, a Madison, Wisconsin-based healthcare technology company that is transforming the way healthcare providers and software vendors share data, announced it has raised $33 million in Series C funding led by Battery Ventures. Also participating in this round is .406 Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Intermountain Ventures. In conjunction with this funding round, Battery general partner Chelsea Stoner is joining Redox’s board.

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United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) today announced that its collaborator, XVIVO Perfusion, Inc., a subsidiary of XVIVO Perfusion AB (STO: XVIVO), has received Premarket Approval (PMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the products XPS™ and STEEN Solution™. This approval means that STEEN Solution, XPS and the accompanying single-use articles are the only medical device products that are approved in the United States for ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) of initially unacceptable donated lungs at body temperature.