Barbara Mikulski

Nearly 90,000 Maryland jobs come from the state's 400 biotechnology companies, so when a senior Democrat on the Senate committee looking into industry regulations asks for a meeting, local businesses are the first to the table.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., met with representatives from several Frederick County biotech companies Tuesday at MedImmune, a Frederick-based pharmaceutical firm. The discussion, the third stop on Mikulski's Maryland biotech listening tour, focused on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and the Medical Device User Fee Act.

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This day-long event will explore the opportunities for accelerating technology transfer in those universities that have not traditionally focused on this activity. It will demonstrate how this has been successfully achieved at places like Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer rose from 98th to 26th in the AUTM rankings within 4 years. It has increased disclosures from less than 100 to more than 300 a year and start ups from less than 5 to more than 10 a year. Other institutions like The Ohio State University are doing similar things. These newly emerged academic centers in technology transfer are showing how even late-comers can make the quantum leap in technology transfer.

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In recent months, state and federal policy makers have launched a broad set of innovative programs aimed at accelerating technology transfer, the commercialization of government- and university-created intellectual property, or IP, through licenses and business startups. This fall, for example, the Obama administration directed federal agencies and labs to measure and expand their technology transfer efforts. At the state level, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D-MD) Maryland Innovation Initiative, announced in January, would provide seed funding and foster greater cross-university collaboration to help close the state’s gap between its research levels and commercialization results.

Some universities, too, are rethinking their policies. Penn State, for example, announced in December that the university is no longer required to own intellectual property created by industry-sponsored research. “In short we consider the net present value of the interactions and relationships that our faculty and students have with industrial professionals to be real and therefore greater than the apparent future value of the proceeds from such IP,” wrote Hank Foley, Penn State’s vice president for research, in announcing this news. “Our goal … is to flatten any and all barriers or impediments to innovation and that includes our own past stance on intellectual property.”

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Emerging Technology Center JHU Eastern, 1101 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD

Join Governor Martin O'Malley for a reception and press conference celebrating Innovate Maryland.

Inspiring collaboration, commercialization and job creation in public and private universities.

Please register to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The National Capitol Area Chapter of SoPE in concert with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, MedChi, and Medical Society of Northern Virginia presents:

"Beyond the Stethoscope--How MD-MBAs Influence the Current Challenges in Healthcare"

Telling Our Stories: How physicians have taken the science of business and integrated it with their medical training to accelerate their faculty positions, redefine their careers, change their perspectives and leave a bigger footprint.

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H.I.G. BioVentures, a Miami-based venture firm with ties to Maryland’s biotech cluster, has raised a fresh $268 million to invest in drug, medical device and diagnostics companies.

Managing Director Bruce Robertson, who lives in Maryland and is a familiar face in the I-270 life sciences community, said he’s “very optimistic” the firm will be able to deploy some of that capital in the D.C. region – something that hasn't happened with H.I.G’s last $150 million bio fund.

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The President has issued an innovation challenge, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) can help you answer it! Join the FLC at its 2012 national meeting, Bridging Federal Technologies and Industry, in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 30-May 3, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

The meeting offers technology transfer (T2) training, as well as informational sessions such as:

  • Partnering with federal laboratories
  • Leveraging social media • Available entrepreneur programs
  • Case studies
  • And much more!

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With President Barack Obama signing the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Bill into law today, the crowdfunding provision could mark a new era for startups and make it easier to raise money with more investment from new investors who fuel early and later-stage healthcare companies.

But some investors believe that with less-rigorous regulatory checks and balances on company finances, the risk of investors getting burned by fraud will lead to new dynamics in the investment landscape, like novice investors partnering with individuals and groups with more experience. Three individuals from the investment landscape share their thoughts.

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For scientists pursuing careers in biotech, clusters of life science-related companies and research institutions in the eastern United States may be a promising place to look for jobs. These so-called bioclusters have a 30-year history in the region and, in recent years, have seen an uptick in active support from academic institutions and state and local governments. We focus on three leaders in the region, the bioclusters in Massachusetts, Maryland/Washington, DC, and North Carolina. By Shawna Williams

Bioclusters have their roots in a pair of 1980 government decisions, explains Peter Abair, head of economic development and global affairs at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, an industry group. One of these, the Bayh-Dole Act, for the first time allowed discoveries made with federal dollars to be licensed for commercial purposes. The other was a Supreme Court decision that DNA could be patented.

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Join us on April 25th at Stella Restaurant for another BioBuzz in Montgomery County!

This month's corporate sponsor, BioHealth Innovation, inc. (BHI) is an innovation intermediary that translates market-relevant research into commercial success by connecting management, funding and markets. BHI's vision is to transform the Central Maryland region into a leading global bio-health entrepreneurial and commercialization hub. BHI will identify and translate market relevant research into commercial success by connecting research assets to appropriate funding, management and markets.

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When the Human Genome Project got underway in 1990 it was expected to take 15 years to sequence the over 3 billion chemical base pairs that spell out our genetic code. In true Moore’s Law tradition the emergence of faster and more efficient sequencing technologies along the way led to the Project’s early completion in 2003. Today, 22 years after scientists first committed to the audacious goal of sequencing the genome, the next generation of sequencers are setting their sites much higher.

 

About a thousand times higher.

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In the world of drug development, honing an effective molecule is just the first step. As everyone in the drug delivery business knows, issues like solubility, permeability and targeting can be vexing challenges to getting treatment where it needs to go. But what if you could deliver drugs the same way the body dispatches white blood cells to fight infection, or the same way a virus proliferates throughout the body?

That's what researchers at U.S. universities are working on, aiming to develop synthetic cells that could target ailments and release drugs to treat them. As Popular Mechanics reports, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are using plastics to build artificial white blood cells called leuko-polymersomes, which would be guided by synthetic molecules designed to mimic the natural receptors white blood cells use to find enflamed tissues and stick to them.

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Dr. Charles Hamner has been researching the nanotechnology industry since, as he puts it, “before they called it nanotechnology.”

But he says it’s not an industry – “It’s a community, because the technology is going to spread across all industries,” particularly into biotechnology.

 

Nanotech deals with small particles, at the molecular level, and is applied by companies to create technological innovation. An example is Liquidia, a biotech that uses the nanoparticles in its vaccines.

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Maryland has chosen a London firm to oversee the selection of venture capital firms interested in making investments in young state companies through the InvestMaryland program.

Altius Associates was tapped to ensure the process is open and transparent and not influenced by the state, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development said in a statement.