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Intralytix Receives Multimillion-Dollar Clinical Trial Award From NIAID to Manage Shigella Infections in Humans

COLUMBIA, Md., May 4, 2020 Intralytix, Inc. announced today that it has received a multimillion-dollar grant (AI 148054) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the clinical development of its bacteriophage therapy preparation for managing infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Shigella. Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze, Executive Vice President of Intralytix and the Program Director of the multi-PI grant, commented, "We are very pleased to have this collaborative opportunity with NIAID.

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When VAST Data hit the hallmark of this era’s Silicon Valley start-up boom last month, a $1 billion so-called unicorn valuation, it didn’t come through a perfect pitch delivered in a venture capital firm’s conference room. Face-to-face interactions typically considered crucial to VC transactions have moved online as Covid-19 spreads, but for VAST the virtual meetings weren’t deal breakers.

Image: A man cleans up on the trading floor, following traders testing positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 19, 2020. Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Social Media

Social media is no longer just a numbers game for pharma companies. Counting followers, tallying likes or tracking shares was a good start, but numbers alone can’t tell if business goals are met.

That’s especially true in the current era of paid promotions, where numbers can be artificially inflated. Pharma companies today need to figure out how social media helps them reach the right influencers and key opinion leaders, drive traffic to websites or change perceptions of the products or company.

 

Emergent Kramer

Emergent Biosolutions CEO Robert Kramer told CNBC Monday it is uncertain that a coronavirus vaccine can be available by the end of the year to fulfill President Donald Trump’s wishes.

The specialty biopharmaceutical company is collaborating with drug giant Johnson & Johnson on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which Johnson & Johnson hopes will receive emergency use authorization in 2021.

 

Immunomic Therapeutics Logo

ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 5, 2020--

Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”) a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today the appointment of five new members to its Board of Directors from HLB, Co. Ltd (“HLB”) and its HLB Bio subsidiaries.

“I am delighted to welcome the new members from HLB to our board as they bring exceptional scientific, operational and commercial expertise to the group,” said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. “As we advance our UNITE platform and our efforts in immune-oncology, their expertise and successful track record in bringing novel oncology drugs to market will be invaluable to our team.”

 

Venable LLP

Since the enactment of the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of the Treasury have continually updated the rules governing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through formal rulemaking and less formal guidance. Join a team of Venable Financial Services and Corporate partners for a discussion around guidance for preparing for an audit (and potential investigation). Our discussion will include best practices for documenting decision making, what we can expect from the SBA going forward, and how best to manage an audit and address any potential investigation.

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Are you a start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan?  Sign up by noon 5/22 to schedule your feedback session with BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and analysts on May 27th.  Pre-registration is required; sign up here.  For questions/more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 
BillAndRich

He joins BioTalk host Rich Bendis to discuss their recent successes in funding, research, and their growth in the BioHealth Capital Region

Dr. William Hearl is the founder of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. and is an experienced and successful life science businessman and entrepreneur. Dr. Hearl is adept at brokering mutually beneficial partnerships and identifying non-traditional collaborations and investment opportunities.

The advent of the commercial development of LAMP technology came from discussions between Dr. Hearl and Dr. Tom August at Johns Hopkins University. Based on their mutual vision of the value of LAMP, ITI emerged and began operations in 2006. Dr. Hearl’s extensive experience in intellectual property management and business development led to the reward of a sub-license of the LAMP technology to Geron Corporation within 30 days of initiating operations and subsequent license agreements, valued at over $300 million, in 2015 with Japan-based Astellas for next generation allergy vaccines based on the LAMP platform.

Rich Bendis

Today we hear phrases such as “In these difficult times” to highlight the challenges of the world with COVID-19 which is on all of our minds. Many industries have been adjusting via telecommuting employees if possible, while others cut back hours, furlough staff, or letting employees go. In the biotech industry and, more specifically, the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR), we have seen a call to action and new collaborations by local key players in our shared mission to find a test, vaccine, and treatment for COVID-19. Before the current healthcare crisis, the BHCR had become the 4th largest biopharma hub in the United States as ranked by Genetic Engineering News in their annual study. We have over 1,000 biohealth companies in the such as AstraZeneca, Emergent, GSK, Qiagen, Novavax, and others, many of which are making valuable contributions during this COVID-19 pandemic as well as what they do in their everyday operations. The region is also the home of National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and their Director, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who has become a Trusted National Treasure. NIH also has 6,000 scientist and 16,000 overall workers in Bethesda, Md. Which makes it the largest basic research institution in the world. We are also home to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has accelerated approvals in this time of crisis. We also have leading educational and healthcare institutions like the University System of Maryland, John’s Hopkins, George Mason, and Children’s National Health System and many more.

The May 4th edition of the Washington Post features an article titled “Maryland plays an outsized role in worldwide hunt for a coronavirus vaccine” by senior regional correspondent covering government and politics, Robert McCartney. This article highlights the efforts over half-a-dozen companies in the region focused on different aspects of the COVID-19 crisis and how some have begun working together to find solutions faster.

The BioHealth Innovation Team, along with the BioHealth Capital Region Community, are proud of the hard work and research taking place and find that in the face of adversity, the BHCR is coming together and is forgetting about how artificial boundaries like State and County lines, Bridges and Rivers have prevented collaboration in the past.

 We will all get through this together. 

  • Rich Bendis, President and CEO
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I know what you’re thinking…it’s hard enough to raise venture capital for life science/healthcare startups in normal times, but throw a global pandemic and economic meltdown into the mix and even the best-laid plans will certainly go astray! So here are the questions that entrepreneurs would like answers to: Is there an inevitable slowdown in venture financing? How can VC firms conduct due diligence efficiently and thoroughly during a lockdown? Is a videoconference enough to establish a trusting relationship with a CEO and a Board? Does every startup have to take a hit on valuation if they want to get funding? Has the Coronavirus fundamentally changed expectations, time horizons, governance, and risk tolerance? What’s it gonna take to get someone to write a check?

 

2020 05 05 Untitled design

I know what you’re thinking…it’s hard enough to raise venture capital for life science/healthcare startups in normal times, but throw a global pandemic and economic meltdown into the mix and even the best-laid plans will certainly go astray! So here are the questions that entrepreneurs would like answers to: Is there an inevitable slowdown in venture financing? How can VC firms conduct due diligence efficiently and thoroughly during a lockdown? Is a videoconference enough to establish a trusting relationship with a CEO and a Board? Does every startup have to take a hit on valuation if they want to get funding? Has the Coronavirus fundamentally changed expectations, time horizons, governance, and risk tolerance? What’s it gonna take to get someone to write a check?

 

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Breethe, the medical device company founded by renowned University of Maryland School of Medicine surgeon and professor Dr. Bartley Griffith, has been acquired by Danvers, Massachusetts-based Abiomed, the companies announced this week.

Breethe’s system, which is designed to behave like a human lung, will become part of the Abiomed’s product portfolio. The device is designed to be portable, which can eliminate the need to use bulky oxygen tanks during ECMO therapy, which circulates blood from a patient’s body through an artificial lung. The device will help “to more comprehensively serve the needs of patients whose lungs can no longer provide sufficient oxygenation,” a news release states.

Image: Breethe's machine is desgined to behave like a human lung. (Courtesy photo)

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Are you working with a technology that may be valuable to the fight against COVID-19?  BHI has expanded its federal funding assistance program to provide resources to assist early stage companies seeking funding through the NIH and BARDA.   To learn how the BioHealth Innovation team can help you advance your technologies, please contact BHI:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
Roundcube Webmail Bayh Dole and the Coronavirus Crisis Webinar 1 pdf

On April 23, 2020, the Bayh-Dole 40 Coalition and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation co-hosted a video webinar on the critical role that public-private partnerships will play in combating COVID-19. Speakers detailed how these partnerships work, what risks they entail, why intellectual property protections are so important to biomedical innovation.

Download the PDF

View the Replay on YouTube

 
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As the world anxiously awaits a coronavirus vaccine, a Maryland biotechnology company already has signed deals to do initial production of three candidates. If one of them works, the firm has a factory in place to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses a year.

Emergent BioSolutions of Gaithersburg has long been preparing for a global disease outbreak. The firm got started making a vaccine against anthrax, and since then has produced candidates for the Ebola and Zika viruses.

Image: Luis M. Branco, PhD Managing Director and Co-Founder