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To spare you all a power point presentation, I thought I’d share some thoughts today about how and why our tech transfer system was created and the importance of practitioners continually developing best practices to maintain it.

Woody Allen said that half of life is showing up. Perhaps the other half is working with people who give you the opportunity to show what you can do.

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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 3/26 to schedule your feedback session with BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who have industry experience in therapeutics, Dx, medtech and more, next Wednesday, February 27th.  (Future sessions scheduled for 3/20 and 5/22.)  Pre-registration is required; sign up here ("EIR resource" at BHI).  For questions/more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Kelly M. Schulz, the newly appointed state secretary of commerce, could be called the secretary of opportunity. Her vision for the state of Maryland is for economic development, job growth, full employment and economic prosperity for all families around the state.

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The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) announced today that Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been selected to receive the 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. The Prize selection committee awarded Dr. Rosenberg for not only revolutionizing—if not originating—the field now known as cancer immunotherapy but also remaining at its forefront. Chief of the NCI Center for Cancer Research’s surgery branch in Bethesda since 1974, his basic, translational and applied research efforts have contributed immeasurably to groundbreaking advances in therapy and the later development of drugs such as Chiron’s (later Novartis and Prometheus Labs’) Proleukin, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Yervoy and Gilead’s Yescarta.

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American Gene Technologies (AGT) recently signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, for research studies on AGT’s cell and gene therapy for HIV/AIDS. AGT uses its proprietary, genetically modified, autologous cell product (AGT103-T) to reconstitute the immune response against HIV with the goal of reducing persistent viral reservoirs and achieving sustained virologic remission in infected individuals in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Under this collaboration agreement, NIAID researchers will study the mechanism of action for AGT103-T to define its potential impacts on HIV disease.

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At the beginning of this decade, when the fallout of the financial crash was still being felt and traditional venture firms were struggling to raise money, the investment arms of big pharma companies stepped in to fill a funding gap that was starving start-ups. Fast forward to the current period of plenty and, while corporate cash is no longer quite so crucial to the ecosystem, many of these units remain enthusiastic backers of early-stage science. 

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Friday is the official last day of #HIMSS19 in Orlando. The annual healthcare conference, which began on Monday, February 11, was packed full of presentations, panels, products and people.

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Steve Kousouris, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director of Technology Transfer at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures since June, has assumed this role permanently effective Jan.1. Additionally, Mark Bailey, previously Associate Director of Finance, will assume responsibility for the portfolio that Steve has overseen since 2013 in the capacity of Director, Finance & Administration.

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Nuventra Pharma Sciences, a clinical pharmacology and PK/PD consultancy in Durham, NC, recently offered some insights on why clinical trials fail. In addition to biological considerations—such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic, and human response to a drug varying from animal models—Nuventra presented a list of reasons that included: