As you may know, the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (MCDED) led the County's participation at the 2012 BIO International Convention held June 18-21 in Boston, MA.

Our team of business development professionals participated in dozens of business partnering forum meetings with national and international biotech companies during the course of the Convention.  On June 19,  MCDED held a press conference from the floor of the BIOMaryland Pavilion, kicked off by Human Genome Sciences CEO and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Board Chairman Tom Watkins and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.  The press conference highlighted the success of the County's biotech investment incentive program - the nation's ONLY such local program which helped spur more than $6 million in investments to 10 County-based biotech companies in 2011 -  and the creation of the County-inspired, regional biotech intermediary BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI).  BHI is chaired by Scott Carmer, Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations, MedImmune and sponsored by Human Genome Sciences and several other local private-sector companies and academic institutions.  The press conference also featured a panel, moderated by MedImmune CEO Peter Greenleaf, of County-based, serial biotech entrepreneurs discussing why and how they started companies in Montgomery County.

California

At least 68 “big” deals — investments of at least $2 million — have been done in digital health so far in 2012, according to a new report by the healthcare accelerator Rock Health. Nineteen states were in on the action.

Not so surprising, California lead the way in both the number of deals done and the overall investment. And traditional healthcare investing strongholds like Massachusetts were among those that did the most deals. But there were lesser known regions involved as well that invested significant dollars and did a notable number of deals, namely Texas, Illinois, Georgia and Connecticut.

Here’s a list of every region that did digital health deals so far this year.

Apple Cherry

At least 68 digital health companies have raised $2 million or more so far this year for a total of $675 million in digital health investments, according to a new report by healthcare accelerator Rock Health.

Look closer, though. Five companies accounted for nearly 40 percent of those total dollars.

It’s clear that patient shopping tools and home health technologies are where the big bets are going. Here’s the breakdown of the Big 5 deals.

Human Genome

US biotechnology firm Human Genome Sciences (HGS) has set a deadline of 16 July 2012 for offers to acquire the company, but has failed to tempt GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) into the process.

HGS has undertaken the strategic alternative review to sound out potential buyers who now have until the deadline to submit definitive proposals to purchase all outstanding common shares in the company.

The company adopted the strategy immediately after GSK made its offer to acquire HGS, valuing the company at $2.6bn.

Startup maryland

The entrepreneur support and advocacy group founded this spring will crisscross the state on a two-and-a-half-week bus tour in September. The trip starts Sept. 11 with a trek to Ocean City and is scheduled to wrap up Sept. 28 in Howard County after canvassing the rest of the state.

At stops along the way, Startup Maryland will roll out the first round of its business pitch competition. Organizers said they are still working out how much prize money will be distributed and how it will be divvied up.

BIOSTL

Four new Entrepreneurs In Residence (EIRs) have joined the BioGenerator, a nonprofit subsidiary of BioSTL, to create, lead, and support new bioscience companies St. Louis. The EIRs will work with existing start-up companies across the region to further their growth and with researchers and entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises.

In just the last two years, BioGenerator’s new programs for pre-seed funding (Spark Fund and i6 Project) and shared laboratory facilities (Accelerator Labs), along with its historical seed funding program, have supported the creation of 17 new bioscience companies in St. Louis, validating the rich supply of bioscience innovation locally. These new EIRs will help to advance the growth of existing companies and assist in the creation of additional regional startups.

bio-internation-convention

Maryland’s biotechs continued to leave their mark on the industry at this week’s global convention in Boston, with several executives claiming prominent board positions and a new report showing the state outpacing national growth in life science employment.

More than 15,000 executives and others were expected at this year’s Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention, which started Monday and ended Thursday. More than 31 state companies sought the world’s attention at the Bio Maryland 2012 pavillion, which the state also had at last year’s convention in Washington, D.C.

johns-hopkins-center-bio-ed

The Johns Hopkins Center for Biotechnology Education (CBE) welcomed more than 20 academicians onto campus last weekend for the 1st Annual International Bioentrepreneurship Education Conference (BEC). During the one-day event, bioentrepreneurship education leaders from as far away as South Africa, South Wales, Sweden and Denmark – as well as a number of stateside leaders – met to share information and assess where bioentrepreneurship education currently stands.

One of the biggest takeaways: Similar to entrepreneurs, academic leaders are concerned about funding resources. In the case of academia, the concern was identifying resources that can help support these exciting, and in many cases, new programs.

bio-internation-convention

On the last full day of the BIO Convention, Tom Watkins, President and CEO of Human Genome Sciences and Chairman of the Board for BIO, reviewed the major policy advocacy activities of BIO over the past year at the Keynote luncheon session.

BIO has advocated for expedited approval of biosimilars in the passage of the Biosimilars User Fees act (BsUFA), and has been working to ensure policy changes that enhance transparency and help minimize review times FDA approvals are included in the fifth renewal of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) which is anticipated to pass later this year.

johns-hopkins-medicine

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Health System (together known as Johns Hopkins Medicine, or JHM), has been awarded a $19.9 million grant by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), over a three-year period, to improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivered to JHM patients.

The grant is part of CMS’s $1 billion Healthcare Innovation Challenge, a competitive initiative that seeks to identify and support innovative opportunities to improve care delivery and achieve its three-part aim of “improving the individual experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita costs of care for populations.”

tesaro-logo

Tesaro, a biotech focused on the treatment of chemotherapy-induced symptoms, announced terms for its IPO on Tuesday. The Waltham, MA-based company plans to raise $81 million by offering 6.0 million shares at a price range of $12 to $15. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Tesaro would command a market value of $360 million.

The company's lead product candidate, rolapitant, is in Phase 3 trials, the results of which are expected in the 2H13. No revenue has been generated to date. Venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, InterWest Partners and Kleiner Perkins will hold 39%, 10% and 7% post-IPO stakes, respectively. Certain undisclosed insiders have expressed an interest in purchasing approximately $25 million of stock in connection with the offering.

md-dbed

Maryland’s economic development office has formed a partnership with a Paris region to team on disease research and translational medicine.

The letter of intent for the partnership was signed Wednesday at the Bio 2012 International Convention in Boston by Christian Johansson, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and Paris Medicen Del. Gen. Francois Chevillard. The Paris Medicen region is considered a life sciences hub in France’s capital city.

Md bio enterprise

Trying to meet the future work force where it is, some Maryland biotech executives are backing a unique strategy to help market an educational video game to students.

A version of one game, developed by Hunt Valley gaming company BreakAway Ltd., is being previewed at the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention this week in Boston. The MdBio Foundation, an affiliate of the Tech Council of Maryland, will offer the game to science teachers free of charge beginning next year, with help from financial partners.

EAGB Logo

The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) announced today that it has completed a formal agreement to serve as Greater Baltimore's primary business partner with BioHealth Innovation (BHI), Maryland's private-public collaborative that focuses on commercializing market-relevant bio health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in central Maryland.

BHI is the first regionally focused innovation intermediary created to connect the university and hospital bio health research strengths of Baltimore with the bioscience industry and federal laboratory strengths of Montgomery County.

UMD BioPark

Two new companies are moving in to the University of Maryland    BioPark, university officials said Tuesday.

Biogen Diagnostics Ltd., based in the United Kingdom, has opened a satellite office at the BioPark. Global Scientific Solutions for Health Inc., a new laboratory testing company that operates in southeast Asia and Africa, has set up its headquarters there.

The 12-acre west side BioPark houses life sciences companies that work with University of Maryland researchers. BioPark leaders said they want to attract international companies to broaden the reach of the university’s research and the BioPark’s development beyond the Baltimore region.