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As our April 5, 2013 receipt date approaches and you prepare your grant submission, please remember to work to register in all the required systems (DUNS, SAM, grants.gov, eRA Commons) in advance. These must all be complete before you can submit your grant application.

Company registration at SBA’s SBIR.gov is NOT required for submissions at this time. Solicitations issued after 1/28/2013 (not due dates for solicitations already on street prior to that date) will have instructions on how to register at SBA.

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After McKesson, Cerner, Allscripts, Greenway and athenahealth made news at HIMSS13 this past week with the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance – putting aside their competitive instincts, for a moment, to pledge their common commitment to interoperability and data liquidity – Healthcare IT News spoke with McKesson CEO John Hammergren about the road ahead.

Joining Hammergren in the discussion were David McCallie, vice president, medical informatics at Cerner, and Arien Malec, vice president, data platform solutions for McKesson's connectivity business, RelayHealth (and, in his former role at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the driving force behind the development of the Direct Project).

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Join us on March 20 at Growlers for another BioBuzz Happy Hour

Join our sponsors, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Biotechnology Education, along with many others from our local biotech industry at another exciting BioBuzz event on March 20 from 4:30 - 7 p.m. in Gaithersburg. This month, we're having our event a week early to accommodate BioBuzzers with kids in Montgomery County Public School system who will be on spring break the next week. We're also holding the March BioBuzz event at a new location, Growlers in Old Towne Gaithersburg. We're excited to see all of you soon, so please register today!

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She sent her first tweet just after noon, and already Kathleen Sebelius (@Sebelius) has 2,000-plus followers.

The secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services is the latest federal health official to join Twitter and follows in the footsteps of colleagues Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC), the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Francis Collins (@NIHDirector), director of the National Institutes of Health.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University generally does well on U.S. rankings of the top colleges. 

But how does it stack up against institutions of higher learning from around the world?  Not bad. It ranks No. 19 in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings of the top 100 universities from around the globe. The University of Maryland, College Park also comes up on the list, at 95.

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Montgomery County-based Novavax is a biopharmaceutical company creating nanoparticle vaccines targeting a wide array of infectious diseases. In this new video, CEO Stanley Erck speaks about the different processes Novavax scientists are working on, and the overall momentum of the company. Mr. Erck also highlights the company's partnerships with Path, LG Life Sciences, GE Healthcare, and Cadila Pharmaceuticals. Novavax is excited by the promising new data from clinical trials with its RSV vaccine candidate and pandemic influenza vaccine candidate, and by the potential of its technology platform. From discovery to commercialization, Novavax is positioned to develop the vaccines for tomorrow.

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A tax measure that would create a new, more lenient capital gains rate for tech investors and entrepreneurs cashing out their stock in the District is "going to be a focal point" for the Gray administration's policy efforts this year, Mayor Vincent Gray told me in an interview Friday.

Gray, discussing his upcoming trip to the South by Southwest technology competition in Texas and his broader efforts to expand the District's tech startup scene, acknowledged that resistance to the tax cut persists in the D.C. Council, which tabled the tax break last summer:

"I don't get the sense that they're any further along," he said.

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Nevro Corp., a medical device company focused on improving pain relief in patients suffering from debilitating chronic pain, today announced it has completed a $48 million Series C financing round. The round was led by new investor Novo Ventures, joined by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Covidien Ventures. Existing investors participating in this financing round included Accuitive Medical Ventures (AMV), Bay City Capital, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), Mayo Clinic, MPM Capital, and Three Arch Partners.

“We are excited to welcome premier investors Novo Ventures, NEA, and Covidien Ventures who share Nevro’s vision to be a leader in neuromodulation through continuous innovation”

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Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a pioneer in conducting patient-specific analyses aimed at identifying genomic alterations in tumors, today announced a number of developments that will support its expanding business.  The company licensed exclusive rights to Digital Karyotyping (DK), an important genome-mapping technology developed by the company's founders at Johns Hopkins University.  PGDx also announced that it is expanding into new facilities and has made a number of key hires, including Genzyme Oncology executive Antony Newton as Chief Commercial Officer.

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has submitted its albiglutide once-weekly injection for type 2 diabetes to European regulators.

If approved the biologic treatment, which was submitted for US approval in January, will be marketed as Eperzan.

Albiglutide is, along with lupus treatment Benlysta and heart disease drug darapladib, one of a trio of drugs GSK has developed with Human Genome Sciences.

personalized-medicine-wharton

Personalized medicine -- the ability to tailor therapies to patients' individual genetic characteristics -- has long been the holy grail of the life sciences industry. The effort has produced a string of recent successes, including a host of drugs targeted to people with specific genetic profiles, the European approval of the world's first gene therapy treatment, and a much-heralded leukemia treatment pioneered at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that uses tweaked versions of patients' own cells to eliminate their cancer. While these advances are certainly exciting for patients, they raise a host of ethical, legal and financial challenges that people working in the field will need to address before personalized medicine can become a thriving business.

The challenges are so great, contends Wharton health care management professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel, that claims of a renaissance in medicine brought on by individualized approaches often seem hyperbolic. "Before we buy into this, we need to remember that almost every evaluation of what drives health care costs up points to new technologies," says Emanuel, who is also a professor of medical ethics and health policy at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. "We need to be skeptical. We need to see the data before people buy into the idea that personalized medicine is going to produce cost savings and be so much better for the system."

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The University of Maryland, College Park has cracked the top 100 global reputation ranking by a publication based in the United Kingdom, The Washington Post reported.

Times Higher Education shows that UMd. is in a group ranked 91-100, in a class with Monash University in Australia, Lund in Sweden, Bristol in the U.K., the Free University of Berlin and Texas A&M. The rankings were based on surveys of academics around the world. Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, ranked No. 19, the highest from the local region. Harvard University was ranked No. 1.

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NANOMEDICINES: CHARTING A ROADMAP TO COMMERCIALIZATION

On 6-7 March 2013, the Nanomedicines Alliance will be holding a Industry Symposium: Charting a Road to Commercialization. The Symposium will address:

  • desigining nanomedicines
  • preclinical pharmacology
  • chemistry, manufacturing & controls
  • toxicology/ADME and
  • clinical studies

through podium presentations, breakouts sessions and poster sessions.

Six HIT heavy-hitters announce interoperability organization | Healthcare IT News

Big news was made at HIMSS13 on Monday when, in an unprecedented collaboration, some health IT heavy-hitters joined forces in an effort to push the needle on interoperability. 

In announcing the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance, executives from Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway and RelayHealth touted what they say is a first-of-its-kind organization: a collaboration of rival vendors, uniting to enable care integration and data liquidity.