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McLean-based RxAnte, developing technologies that help make sure people take their prescription drugs, has received a $4.6 million investment from Aberdare Ventures and West Health Investment.

The company will use the financing to continue development of its technologies and take them to market.

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When science fiction films depict the future, the best writers and directors are often less concerned with accurately predicting how specific technologies might reshape the world than they are with confronting the moral or philosophical quandaries of present day. It’s what makes those stories compelling--and relatable. When futurists attempt to tell us how (and when) technology leaps will occur, they’re not only speculating about what we’re capable of achieving in the coming decades but also imploring us to prepare--scientifically and psychologically--for those events.

Envisioning Technology, the firm behind the massive infographic explorations of the future of emerging technology and the future of education technology, is, as you might guess, run by a futurist: Michell Zappa. His most recent visualization maps the next three decades of health technology, charting how regeneration, augmentation, diagnostics, treatments, biogerontology, and telemedicine will change over time. According to ET, the stuff of science fiction--from cryogenics to all-out life extension, from robot health care to 3-D-printed synthetic organs--will be very real before too long.

Law firm Fenwick & West, which handles legal issues for a variety of technology companies, has examined 186 venture fundings of U.S.-based companies in the life-sciences sector over the first half of 2012, and found that valuations have ticked upward.

Matt Rossiter, a partner at the firm and co-author of a recent survey on life-sciences deals, said he has also noticed increased involvement in deals by public medical-technology companies, who often turn to start-ups for new innovations.

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Representatives for Gaithersburg biotech company MedImmune hinted at an expansion of their campus at a mayor and council work session Monday evening.

Medimmune Executive Vice President of Operations Andy Skibo mentioned a “need to reassess how space is divided” on MedImmune’s Gaithersburg campus. “There are no specific construction plans at this time,” he said, though the company is working on a master plan with the city.

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Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen has been invited by the White House to attend a special forum on economic development, the county announced Tuesday.

The conference, which will take place next Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will bring together U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, senior White House officials, business leaders and municipal government officials to discuss effective economic development strategies.

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Peter Greenleaf, president of MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, addressed many of the challenges and growth opportunities for Maryland biotech companies at today's MdBio Leadership Series breakfast, hosted by the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM).

"Maryland is a hotbed of activity in the biotech sector, so changes taking place in the industry -- related to competitive threats and growth opportunities -- will no doubt have a big impact on businesses based in our state," said Art Jacoby, TCM's CEO. "Peter's remarks this morning provided valuable insight -- from not only his role as president of MedImmune, but from the perspective as chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority -- into the changes taking place in the biotech market and how companies at all stages can position themselves for success."

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AstraZeneca biologics arm MedImmune and WuXi AppTec have formed a joint venture (JV) to develop and commercialize MEDI5117, a new biologic for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases for China.

As part of the JV, MedImmune will provide technical and development support while WuXi AppTec will provide local regulatory, manufacturing, pre-clinical and clinical trial support.

TEDCO

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. awarded almost $1.2 million to 16 Maryland startups in its latest round of funding.

The funding, through TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund, is aimed at helping early-stage companies commercialize products they have developed working with universities and federal laboratories in Maryland.

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Vaxin Inc., a promising biotech company spun from research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, quietly moved from Innovation Depot to a new home in Maryland as it continues development of vaccines for the flu and anthrax.

The company, founded in 1997, has consolidated its staff and lab space on the East Coast in order to be closer to funding and a number of other vaccine development companies, Chief Executive Bill Enright said Thursday. He said other reasons for the move were to consolidate costs and get closer to the company's primary source of funding, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Developm

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The FDA, for most of the past 10 years, was the regulatory agency that many people in biotech and pharma loved to hate. Critics have long complained about bureaucratic foot-dragging, byzantine organization, poor communication, excessive aversion to risk, and arbitrary decisions around whether to approve new drugs for sale in the U.S.

But FDA bashers, at least in the pharmaceutical world, haven’t had much to complain about in 2012. Suddenly the FDA and the pharma industry it regulates look like best pals. The FDA, under commissioner Margaret Hamburg, has been making noise for some time about its desire to not just ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. drug supply, but to also help promote the development of innovative new medicines. This year, the agency has absolutely done everything it can to back up its rhetoric with actions that prove it isn’t an adversary but more of a partner in the development of new medicines.

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A trio of social entrepreneurs with industry success in technology, law and fashion are appointees to the inaugural Social-Entrepreneur-In-Residence team at the Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland.

The appointees are Kim Persons, a partner with the KAP Group and founding president (1999-2010) of Gecko Traders Inc., a manufacturer and global distributor of handbags and women’s fashion accessories; Drew Bewick, managing director of Tree House Ventures, LLC, a technology and innovation consulting firm serving multiple companies and non-profit organizations; and Darius Graham, co-founder of the DC Social Innovation Project – a non-profit providing seed funding and pro bono services to spur creative, new projects tackling pressing social issues in Washington, D.C.

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Apparently, there’s lots of innovation going on up at BD Diagnostic Systems in Sparks.

Forbes listed its New Jersey parent company, Becton, Dickinson & Co., to its list of “World’s Most Innovative Companies” in its latest issue. The medical device company employs 29,000 people total — including 1,600 in Baltimore County. It makes diagnostic equipment for the microbiology and molecular biology industries.

Maryland

They call themselves “shadows” — young Maryland residents brought to this country as children by their parents.

They worked hard. They excelled in our public schools. They want to go to college so they can be more productive members of our workforce. They do not ask for a free ride. Yet they remain shadows because their parents came without immigration papers. The Maryland Dream Act would bring these young people into daylight.

Startup maryland

Startup Maryland Teams with Regional Innovation Stakeholder to Co-Host Tour Stops Across the State of Maryland

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.

The bus will travel the state to visit incubators, economic development agencies and universities—all in the name of celebrating entrepreneurship.  At each stop, Startup Maryland will hold rallies sharing information about the incredible entrepreneurial resources across the state and within their region. Additionally, entrepreneurs will get coaching and support from business mentors and other leaders of Maryland’s innovation economy.

health records

Arlington-based Surescripts will partner with health record-keeping giant Epic Systems Corp. to allow doctors to transfer records between the two patient data networks, the company said Thursday.

Surescripts, which specializes in transmitting prescription data, launched a network for doctors to share all clinical data in 2010. Under the deal announced Thursday, doctors using that network will be able to connect to physicians using Epic's own network, known as the Care Everywhere interoperability platform.