sbir-ga

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued the new SBIR contract solicitation aimed at supporting the development of innovative biomedical and behavioral research technology with the potential for commercialization.

This SBIR solicitation is a separate and independent offering from the NIH and is not connected to their year-long Omnibus SBIR/STTR Grants solicitation. The contract solicitation is much smaller, and the topics are more focused and specific to each agency’s mission.  For example, topics available in this year’s solicitation range from New Methods to Detect and Assess Myocardial Fibrosis to Smartphone Application for Global Birth Defects Surveillance.  Budgets are also strictly enforced, and are limited to $150,000 for Phase I and $1 million for Phase II.   

money

According to a new policy announced this week (August 20) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists receiving more than $1 million in direct NIH grant funds each year will be more carefully reviewed when they submit new proposals. The policy is a variation on one instituted in May that initiated an additional layer of review for researchers with $1.5 million or more in total annual funding. This extra scrutiny is designed to avoid overlap from ongoing research and stretch the flat NIH budget as far as possible.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a reliable method to turn the clock back on blood cells, restoring them to a primitive stem cell state from which they can then develop into any other type of cell in the body.

The work, described in the Aug. 8 issue of the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS), is Chapter Two in an ongoing effort to efficiently and consistently convert adult blood cells into stem cells that are highly qualified for clinical and research use in place of human embryonic stem cells, says Elias Zambidis, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering and the Kimmel Cancer Center.

Medimmune logo

MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that it has been awarded LEED® Gold building certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).  Two facilities, the 308,000 square-foot R&D laboratory and 9,800-square-foot fitness center, received the certification.  LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is the nation’s preeminent program for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“We’re very proud to achieve LEED Gold certification. MedImmune is committed to environmental sustainability and strives to be a good corporate citizen and neighbor to surrounding communities,” said Andy Skibo, Executive Vice President, Operations, MedImmune.

Telcare

Bethesda-based Telcare Inc. has secured more than $25 million in equity funding.

Telcare, the developer of the first FDA-cleared wireless glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes, will use the funds for marketing, sales, research and development and ongoing operations.

Sequoia Capital led the round, which includes backing from existing investor, Qualcomm Inc., acting through itsQualcomm Life Fund.

SXSWLogo438153324

Voting is currently open for the South by Southwest (SXSW) PanelPicker!  SXSW has evolved to become one of the largest interactive media, technology and innovation conferences in the country.  While panels span topics from ‘Art and Inspiration’ to ‘Science and Space Exploration’, the ‘Government or Citizen Engagement’ track has been receiving a lot of attention in recent years.  Of the 3,123 proposals this year, 82 have been tagged as "Government or Citizen Engagement."     

Show your support for by voting for Entrepreneurs-in-Residence: Not Just for VCs!  Venture capital firms have utilized the services of ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Residence’ (EIRs), seasoned innovators with functional expertise to help spur entrepreneurship and fill gaps in expertise. Now, imagine combining the “innovation mojo” of EIRs with some of the government’s brightest intrapreneurs to solve the nation’s most pressing challenges.

Dennis-Purcell

The life sciences venture capital industry is undergoing rapid change. Although many innovative ideas have been taken from the bench to scientific discovery to treating patients, funding today to develop new products and services is getting more difficult to attain. Getting a product to market involves not only a long scientific process, but a carefully orchestrated financial process. This article attempts to explain how a typical VC fund operates and makes investment decisions.

Although many management teams readily approach us for possible funding, more than a handful are not knowledgeable about the inner workings of a venture capital firm, specifically the process by which we decide whom we will ultimately fund. I believe an understanding of the entire funding mechanism will better help entrepreneurs understand what to expect, the types of information the venture capital fund will request, and how long the process will take.

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Initiated by gb.tc (formerly the Greater Baltimore Technology Council) and sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School ofEngineering, local tech, nonprofit, business and government leaders are gathering this weekend at a new event called “unWIREd.”

Billed as an “unconference,” unWIREd hopes to pull together and mobilize Baltimore’s resources in a way that addresses the city’s challenges, according to a gb.tc press release.

UnWIREd is hosted by Johns Hopkins University and will take place at Maryland Hall on the Homewood campus, this Friday from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Attendees will plan the conference’s agenda upon arrival, with Friday’s session dedicated to a series of status updates on current efforts to address local problems such as poverty, violence and struggling schools. At Saturday’s session, organized teams will set out to identify demands and resources, and brainstorm potential solutions.

Techcouncilmd

The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) has moved its headquarters to a new location within Rockville, the result of a transaction recently put together by two executives at Rockville-based Scheer Partners.

The leading provider of fully integrated commercial real estate services for the technology and health science industries in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas announces today that it has negotiated on behalf of TCM in a 3,962-square-foot lease on the top floor of 9210 Corporate Blvd.

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As Maryland’s bioscience industry focuses more on running clinical trials for drug developers, there’s a growing demand for the highly-trained workers needed.

Montgomery College answered that call this summer, with a course that focused on clinical trial project management and was offered to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. Eighteen people graduated from the course Saturday, including one who was immediately snapped up by Amarex Clinical Research, a Germantown contract research organization.

Business of bio series

University of Maryland BioPark, Life Sciences Conference Center

Meet with Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development, MedImmune The Changing Face of the Biopharmaceutical Industry—Creating a Culture of Innovation

The biopharmaceutical industry is not the same as it was even a decade ago. Today, there are even more pressures to produce not just safe and effective drugs but safe and effective drugs that the payers are willing to pay for. We also know that research and development costs are increasing while R&D productivity continues to be on the decline. How can we continue to make it in the industry when our ultimate goal is to provide much needed drugs to patients with unmet medical needs?

coventry-health-care

Aetna Inc. will acquire Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care Inc. in a $5.7 billion deal in cash and stock, a move that will make Aetna one of the largest providers of government-financed health care, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Aetna is paying $42.08 per share for Convetry, a 20.4 percent premium to Coventry's shares as of Friday's close. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to be announced on Monday.

NewImage

After a surgeon stitches up a patient’s abdomen, costly complications—some life-threatening—can occur. To cut down on these postoperative problems, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs.

The student inventors have described their device, called FastStitch, as a cross between a pliers and a hole-puncher. Although the device is still in the prototype stage, the FastStitch team has already received recognition and raised more than $80,000 this year in grant and prize money to move their project forward. Among their wins were first-place finishes in University of California, Irvine, and University of Maryland business plan competitions and in the ASME International Innovation Showcase.

umd-helmets

There are entrepreneurs all over our state. Here’s your chance to get to know them!

Startup Maryland is launching Pitch Across Maryland, a state-wide startup tour and business pitch competition. Taking place September 11 - 28, this two and a half week tour across the state will travel from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland; from Cecil County to St. Mary’s County; from the Baltimore Beltway and the DC Beltway. And everywhere in between.

fraser-claire-umd

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified 26 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiota that appear to be linked to obesity and related metabolic complications. These include insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure and high cholesterol, known collectively as “the metabolic syndrome,” which significantly increases an individual’s risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The results of the study, which analyzed data from the Old Order Amish in Lancaster County, PA, were published online on Aug. 15, 2012, in PLOS ONE, which is published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS). The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (UH2/UH3 DK083982, U01 GM074518 and P30 DK072488)