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By Dr. Kurt Newman, CEO of Children’s National Health System

We have come a long way in pediatric medicine, but not far enough.

For nearly a decade, the chief executives of the nation's children's hospitals and health systems have discussed challenges we face in caring for America's very sickest children, whose life-threatening diseases and congenital conditions put overwhelming burdens on their families.

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Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, and Catalent Biologics’ Paragon Gene Therapy unit, the leading viral vector development and manufacturing partner for gene therapies, today announced an arrangement under which Paragon Gene Therapy will assume the leases to two Novavax product development and manufacturing facilities, giving it immediate access to state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, people and space to accelerate the growth of its gene therapy development and manufacturing business.

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As the dominant economic geography of America, metropolitan statistical areas largely determine our success as a nation. These groups of counties with a large central core account for 88.6 percent of jobs, 89.1 percent of wages and 90.0 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Further, metropolitan statistical areas account for the bulk of innovation such as research and development and patenting activity. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning the growth of top-performing metropolitan areas, and sharing best practices, could assist other communities in boosting their economic fortunes. The Most Dynamic Metropolitan Index, ranking 379 metropolitan areas, seeks to provide an objective measure of the economic vibrancy of communities where the lion’s share of Americans work and live.

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Adaptive Biotechnologies has raised the price for its initial public offering, putting itself in a position to raise more cash than any other biotech IPO this year. The Seattle-based company, which makes technology that can read the genetic information of the human immune system, increased its target price to $18 to $19 per share and could raise as much as $327.5 million from investors, according to a new SEC filing.

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Health Tech early stage (below $10 million) investing grew consistently from 2010 - 2017, but then stalled in 2018 showing declining deal count in every quarter over the previous year. At the same time, total capital invested was flat. Was it a correction?

Results from Q1 2019 show the segment is back on the growth track. Deal counts won’t yet match 2016 and 2017 levels, but they will be up from 2018 and capital invested in U.S. early stage health tech is likely to be the highest on record.

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The company that makes Botox is the subject of the latest biopharma mega-deal.

Chicago-based AbbVie said Tuesday it would acquire Ireland-headquartered Allergan for $63 billion, or $78.45 per share, equal to the former’s Monday closing price. The companies said the deal would provide immediate scale and profitability for AbbVie while allowing the company to diversify into new therapeutic areas like aesthetics.

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The Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology (PIC MC) signed a development agreement today to add a state-of-the-art life sciences office building to the Montgomery College Germantown Campus.

19710 Observation Drive, LLC, a joint venture between Rockville-based, South Duvall and Germantown-based Minkoff Development, will build a $40 million facility on a 5.67-acre parcel at 19710 Observation Drive in Germantown. The 120,000 square foot building will include lab, office, manufacturing and distribution space aimed at companies focused on areas such as biotech, life sciences and cybersecurity.

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Investigators at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have just identified the molecular changes that happen when neuronal stem cells are exposed to high levels of an acid commonly found in processed foods. The research team has taken a step closer to showing the link between the food pregnant women consume and the effects on a fetus’ developing brain. Findings from the new study—which described how high levels of propionic acid (PPA), used to increase the shelf life of packaged foods and inhibit mold in commercially processed cheese and bread, reduce the development of neurons in fetal brains—were published recently in Scientific Reports through an article titled “Propionic Acid Induces Gliosis and Neuro-inflammation through Modulation of PTEN/AKT Pathway in Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. ("Alexandria" or the "Company") (NYSE: ARE) announced today the pricing of its upsized public offering of 3,850,000 shares of common stock at a price of $145.00 per share in connection with the forward sale agreements described below. The Company also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 577,500 additional shares. The offering is expected to close on or about June 25, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

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Women Who Tech, one of the largest nonprofit organizations that funds and showcases women-led ventures, today opened the call for applications for the European-leg of its flagship Women Startup Challenge. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, the Office of the Mayor of Paris, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, 10 early-stage women-led startups with a focus on healthtech will be selected to compete for a $50,000 grant, equity-free, on October 7th at Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville.

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Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced today the promotion of Teri Heiland, Ph.D. to Chief Scientific Officer. In her new role, Dr. Heiland will oversee all of research and development and will play an integral role in business development and the management of ITI’s existing and future partnerships. Dr. Heiland is a co-founder of ITI and has amassed over two decades of executive leadership experience in the biotechnology and life sciences sector. Dr. Heiland’s focus at ITI stems from her background in DNA vaccine design, optimization and development, which has created a broad pipeline of vaccines in oncology, allergy and animal health and has driven licensing deals for ITI with Astellas and Zenoaq. ITI’s investigational UNITE technology platform has the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response and is currently being employed in a Phase II clinical trial as a cancer immunotherapy.

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Are you looking to increase the success rate of your state’s SBIR/STTR proposals? If so, a reminder that applications for the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program are due next Friday, June 28, at 4 p.m. EDT. This program provides one-year funding to organizations executing programs related to SBIR/STTR outreach, technical assistance, or financial support. As a way to help inform these proposals, SSTI has updated the data from a January Useful Stats article on NIH SBIR/STTR success rates to include the most recent year available, FY 2018.

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Jolene Gurevich was going to be an investment banker on Wall Street. But her roots as a competitive Latin ballroom dancer in New York gave her the inspiration to make a move toward entrepreneurship, and Venture for America provided her a clear path into the startup ecosystem in Baltimore. Now manager of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech Ventures) incubator at the University of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund, Gurevich guides the trajectory of scientists-turned-entrepreneurs.