UofMFoundingCampus

The first symposium on "the notion of entrepreneurship" by the newly formed University of Maryland (UM) Ventures was a breakthrough event for technology collaboration between the Baltimore and College Park campuses, said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

UM Ventures is a joint effort among the technology transfer offices at the two campuses and the entrepreneurial business services programs at College Park, and is a core initiative of the new collaboration called MPowering the State.

Risk

If you raised seed capital from a DC VC last quarter you are part of an exclusive club.  Only 3 firms raised seed capital from DC firms last quarter from VCs headquartered in our region and 2 of those companies got money from Virginia’s CIT. CIT is a state-sponsored fund chartered to make early stage investments and doesn’t represent the standard risk profile of a traditional VC.

John Backus and the New Atlantic Venture team were the only greed-based, non-state-sponsored fund laying down startup seed-stage bets last quarter with two investments of $3.2M each in American Honors College and Quad Learning Inc.

Lily Qi

On any given weekend, there are countless community events throughout the Greater Washington region, many in ethnically diverse immigrant communities.  A Korean church service, an Indian American business conference, a Chinese choral concert and an Iranian Nowruz celebration, whether held in Maryland or Virginia, all draw crowds from the Region’s many counties and cities on both sides of the Potomac River.  These “new communities,” as we are often called, frequently travel across county and state lines to be connected with our own communities to worship, to learn, and to have a good time.  These activities and events add much vitality to local living.

The Washington Metropolitan area is one of the most transient metropolises in the country, with transplants and migrants defining and redefining much of the local demographic landscape.  In fact, in Montgomery County, where I live and work, one in three residents are from other countries and three out of four are from other states. What attracted many of us from other states or countries to this region was economic and career opportunities and a good quality of life afforded by a metropolitan area.  Immigrants like me have no roots in this country and will pursue opportunities wherever they are.

PPI NY

The Public Policy Institute (PPI), the research arm of The Business Council of New York State, today released an in-depth study on the challenges in attracting and retaining private-sector jobs and companies in New York's lucrative bioscience sector.

Based on interviews with 30 industry experts as well as existing research, Cultivating the Next Generation of Discoveries and Development in New York Bioscience explores the opportunities and barriers facing companies in various stages of development and offers three public policy recommendations to foster public-private partnerships and make New York more competitive with other states:

jhu-carey

The Carey Business School, an offshoot of Johns Hopkins, has tended to be the institution’s least glamorous sister. Founded in 2007 (but with origins dating back a century before that) thanks to a $50 million donation from William Polk Carey, the freestanding school is too new to have established itself as an MBA powerhouse; instead of banking on a storied history, the program has opted to make its name through innovative programs. And now they’re revamping that system yet again.

The reorganization, announced this week, will shift the school’s focus to business as it relates to health care and the life sciences. The move seems like a smart one, both because Hopkins is such a medical powerhouse and because more and more business is happening in the health care arena.  “Health care is approaching 20 percent of the national gross domestic product, and it’s a key factor in the costs of any economic model, whether in manufacturing or services,” said the school’s interim Dean Phillip Phan. “Understanding the complexities of the modern health care industry is a crucial skill for any business manager. For those who manage in the health care sector, Johns Hopkins is the place to learn.”

bio-internation-convention

The U.S. regulatory environment strongly impacts innovation and the development of new drugs and biologics. With this in mind, the Achieving Regulatory Approval and Compliance educational track at the 2012 BIO International Convention will tackle the most pressing regulatory issues facing the industry, specifically the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V), implementation of the new biosimilars pathway, and efforts to modernize and expedite drug development. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), this year's global event for biotechnology will take place June 18-21, 2012 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.

"Attendees can expect to hear from a distinguished group of speakers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies," said BIO CEO and President Jim Greenwood. "Sessions will address the steps involved in research and development of healthcare products and how to successfully bring these products to market, all while maintaining rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and compliance."

Ablitech logo

Ablitech, Inc., a biotechnology company developing delivery systems for gene silencing and cancer-fighting treatments, today announced that Dr. Daniel Bednarik has been named the Director of the Research Advisory Board.  

In his part-time role, Bednarik will assemble and manage a committee of scientists who will provide guidance to the corporation's research efforts, enhance funding, and create partnering opportunities.  

Health datapalooza

Plug into the Ecosystem of Health Innovation. Bring creative ideas, and connect with startups, developers, and designers. Learn how to utilize the exploding market of healthcare data innovation, and network with recognized VCs, funders, policy makers, and potential partners.

The Health Datapalooza will feature keynote addresses, a Data & Apps Expo, demonstrations of cutting-edge apps, hands-on data deep dives, and thought-provoking panel discussions. There will also be plenty of time for networking and one-on-one interaction.

RHT Consulting

Right now there are probably thousands of late-stage cancer patients waiting for drugs that could prolong their lives. Where do they look? Research labs all across the country. In a process called technology transfer, drugs go from the lab to the market, with a few steps in between, and the push is on to speed up the process, without leaving any loose ends.

Recent technology transfers have resulted in treatments for fibromyalgia, a joint and muscle pain illness, called Lyrica; a form of fatal breast cancer, now leaving the disease undetectable, Herceptin, and new chemotherapy agents.

Johns Hopkins University

The National Institutes of Health announced Friday it has awarded Johns Hopkins University $15 million to help establish the school’s new Center for AIDS research.

The Center will tap researchers from Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, the school of medicine and school of nursing to address HIV in Baltimore. It will also be supported financially by Johns Hopkins Provost Lloyd Minor and the deans of the Bloomberg School, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

Tatrc logo

TATRC within the Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command is taking steps to move research forward according to the article “TATRC: Translating Research into New Medical Products” published in the May 2012 issue of “Mercury”.

Ron Marchessault, Director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization for TATRC, is busy developing a comprehensive commercialization program for more than 1,800 research projects funded since 2000. So far, 2.3 percent have resulted in commercial products, generating $209 million in sales from a total federal investment of $74 million. TATRC manages these projects at universities, government laboratories, and high-tech start-up companies.

human-genome-sciences

GlaxoSmithKline PLC is taking its unsolicited $2.6 billion bid for Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences Inc.    directly to the biotech's shareholders through a tender offer this week, a hostile move that will test GSK's partnership with the smaller firm, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Human Genome Sciences last month rejected GSK's $13-per-share share offer as too low, and said it had hired two banks to advise it on "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale of the company. In a statement Wednesday, Glaxo said it won't participate in Human Genome Sciences' strategic review process, and will instead launch a cash tender offer this week at $13 per share.

National Heard Lunch and Blood Institute

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in the Spring 2012 NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts to establish Centers for Accelerated Innovations (CAI). The CAI will address the problems that hinder the critical early steps necessary to translate novel scientific advances and discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools that improve patient care and advance public health.

The Need for Accelerated Innovation

Despite the remarkable success of NHLBI in enabling the development of interventions that have greatly reduced the health burdens due to cardiovascular, lung, blood and sleep disorders, much remains to be done. Cardiovascular and lung diseases still account for 3 of the 4 leading causes of death; 4 of the 10 leading causes of infant death; $392 billion in health care dollars, and 22% of the total economic costs of illness, injuries, and death.

Unfortunately, the pace of translating discoveries from NHLBI-supported research into medical products that can further reduce the public health burden of heart, lung, and blood (HLB) diseases appears to have slowed. Major pharmaceutical firms have announced their intention to abandon drug development efforts for cardiovascular diseases and venture capital and angel investors have shown a decreased interest in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors.

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

From the electric light bulb to the Internet, American innovations have made lives better for people in this country and all over the world.

The kind of work we’ve done to advance technology, communication and so many other aspects of people’s lives is about to get a jump start in health care, thanks to today’s announcement of 26 Health Care Innovation Awards. The awards are part of our We Can’t Wait initiative.

“What America does better than anyone else is spark the creativity and imagination of our people," said President Obama during his 2011 State of the Union address, and that’s exactly what the Health Care Innovation Awards aim to do.  These awards provide our most creative minds—whether they’re health care professionals, technology innovators, community-based organizations, patients’ advocacy groups, or others—with the backing they need to build the strong, effective, affordable health care system of the future.  These are 26 unique projects, tailored to the needs of patients by local doctors, hospitals, and other leaders in their communities.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the first batch of organizations for Health Care Innovation awards. Made possible by the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – the awards will support 26 innovative projects nationwide that will save money, deliver high quality medical care and enhance the health care workforce.  The preliminary awardees announced today expect to reduce health spending by $254 million over the next 3 years. 

“We can’t wait to support innovative projects that will save money and make our health care system stronger,” said Secretary Sebelius. “It’s yet another way we are supporting local communities now in their efforts to provide better care and lower cost.”

The new projects include collaborations of leading hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technology innovators, community-based organizations, and patients’ advocacy groups, among others, located in urban and rural areas that will begin work this year to address health care issues in local communities.  This initiative allows applicants to come up with their best ideas to test how we can quickly and efficiently improve the quality and affordability of health care.