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In an age of information overload where getting in front of the right investors and potential strategic partners is harder than ever, where do you go to find the support you need to build the next iRobot, Zipcar, Constant Contact, or Achillion?

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Patrick Fung, a partner at New Enterprise Associates Inc., talks about the venture capital firm's New Experiment Fund, a seed-stage fund for financing student startups and investing in the U.S. East Coast. He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West."

Johns Hopkins University

JHU Research Accelerator is a platform that facilitates an easy and secure collaboration and sharing of resources across the JHU scientific community as well as other insitutions within the Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation (SPIRiT) Consortium of the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award program. Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University and the the University of Chicago are institutions currently members of the SPIRiT Consortium.

Johns Hopkins University

Last week we told you about some ambitious app development going on at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Well this week, Hopkins did themselves one better: They're diving in to not only create apps, but also to evaluate the 10,000-plus universe of health apps for efficacy and safety, according to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun.

Hopkins also will judge whether the apps are more or less effective than traditional care, such as in-person visits.

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Biotechnology firms are coming around to a harsh reality: The gravy days are over.

These small, innovative drug companies were once an investment darling, able to secure millions of dollars from venture capitalists and even more later through public offerings. But in recent years, venture financing for biotech has been in decline, due to the tough economic environment and poor returns from stock offerings.

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Ten biotechnology companies in Montgomery County last year received almost $6 million from investors who were spurred by the state and county’s biotech investment tax credit programs, officials said Monday.

The county’s program, which received its initial funding this fiscal year after being approved by the County Council in 2010, is the first such local one for biotechs in the nation, said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) during a news conference at the Rockville headquarters of biotech Sequella. Officials approved $500,000 in fiscal 2012 and another $500,000 for fiscal ’13, which starts July 1.

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Program Spurs Nearly $6 Million in Investments

Among Ten Local Biotech Companies

March 19, 2012

10:00 am

Sequella, Inc.

9610 Medical Center Drive, Suite 200

Rockville, Maryland 20850

Montgomery County Executive Isiah LeggettMontgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will announce the first 10 biotech companies to receive significant investments through the County’s biotech investment tax credit program. The program allows investors receiving tax credits from the State of Maryland to also receive a supplemental payment from the County based on their investments in local biotech companies. The County’s program is modeled after Maryland’s Biotech Investment Tax Credit Program and works in conjunction with it.

Leggett will join other local and state elected officials, local biotech company executives and representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.  

Group to draft rules of the road for

University of Maryland Ventures, a new joint effort between the University of Maryland’s two biggest campuses, will soon create groups to help standardize the schools’ product licensing and technology transfer initiatives. The program calls for the two schools — the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park — to create teams of individuals to help both schools increase the commercialization of their research programs. The teams will focus on developing and refining ideas for boosting intellectual property, patent submission, tech transfer and community outreach efforts for university researchers.

Startup maryland

When Startup Maryland kicks off March 30, it will be confronted with a challenge unique to this region’s three Startup America subgroups: How to bring life sciences and information technology — the state’s two major tech industries — under one banner. The pro-entrepreneurship effort introduced by President Obama in January is the last of the region’s trio to launch. Startup Virginia got under way Jan. 31 in Arlington, Va., with Startup D.C. following later that day. Nationwide, there are 17 Startup America regions.

Gov. Martin O'Malley

Maryland first state in the nation to use online auction to raise funds for venture capital program

InvestMaryland will deploy first round of funds to seed early stage companies this summer

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 15, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley and Peter Greenleaf, chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, today announced that $84 million has been raised for Maryland’s Innovation Economy through InvestMaryland – an historic initiative created by the Governor and passed by the General Assembly last year to invest in the State’s promising start-up and early stage companies. The $84 million raised far exceeds a goal of $70 million and was generated through an online auction of premium tax credits to insurance companies with operations in Maryland. While other states have sold tax credits to fund similar venture capital initiatives, Maryland is the first state to use an online auction to raise the capital for such a program. The inaugural round of investments will be made in innovative companies this summer through several private venture capital firms and the State’s successful Maryland Venture Fund (MVF).

FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) DA has published draft guidance describing plans on how to handle serious drug safety issues with marketed drugs, which is now open for comment.

The guidance is intended to lay out a framework for the agency's response to post-marketing safety issues including serious adverse events, product quality issues and medication errors, with a ranking system to help prioritise each issue according to its level of risk.

The FDA has been criticised in a string medical journal articles in the last 18 months for not monitoring its own adverse event reporting (AER) database effectively enough and failing to communicate safety issues in a timely and effective way to healthcare professionals and the public.

Kauffman Life Science Ventures Summit

Starting a company is always challenging, but for founders of life science startups, the regulations and funding hurdles make it dauntingly complex, overwhelming, and seemingly insurmountable.

This first-time conference will answer the critical questions that founders must address to start and grow viable life science companies. Industry experts and successful entrepreneurs will provide practical guidance on how to commercialize innovations in each of four sectors: medical device, therapeutics, diagnostics, and digital health. If you have a new startup in this space or are ready to start one, this two-day event may be for you.

OriGene

OriGene Technologies, Inc. announces the acquisition of Beijing Zhongshan Golden Bridge Biotechnology Co., Ltd (ZsBio). The strategic acquisition establishes OriGene's leading position in the Chinese pathology testing market.

Headquartered in Beijing, China since 1993, ZsBio provides pathology testing products to the growing Chinese oncology diagnostic market. ZsBio has an industry leading position in the Chinese pathology testing market because of its innovative product portfolio, expertise, strong client relationships, and has established itself as a thought leader in the Chinese pathology diagnostic field. The Chinese pathology testing market has been experiencing double-digit growth annually and is one of the fast-growing segments of the Chinese diagnostic industry.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed up to $220 million for the next five years to Rockville-based Aeras, a nonprofit dedicated to developing new vaccines for tuberculosis.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation    has committed up to $220 million for the next five years to Rockville-based Aeras, a nonprofit dedicated to developing new vaccines for tuberculosis.

The grant extends the Gates Foundation’s longtime backing of Aeras, whose pipeline includes several mid- and early-stage TB vaccine candidates being developed through pharmaceutical and academic partnerships. The $220 million represents about half of what Aeras needs to meet its vaccine development targets through 2016, the nonprofit said in a news release Wednesday.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has launched a Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) under the leadership of Joga Gobburu, PhD, FCD, MBA, to help improve medical product development efficiency.

“By establishing the Center for Translational Medicine, the School of Pharmacy is demonstrating its commitment to improving the drug development and regulation process,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, professor and dean of the School of Pharmacy. “As a leader in the field of pharmacometrics, Dr. Gobburu’s expertise as director of the center will enhance our educational and research programs and will lead to substantial partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry and other collaborators.”