University System of Maryland

The University System of Maryland played a role in launching or propelling about 180 startup companies in fiscal 2013, according to a new report from the university system.

The companies’ ties to a state university varied — some licensed technology developed at a university, others leased office space at a university research park and took advantage of the resources there, and still others were heavily coached and mentored by university experts.

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When GlaxoSmithKline made a clean sweep of Human Genome Sciences execs last year following its $3.6 billion buyout of the Rockville biotech, one big question (among many) was where would they land?

At least two have found their way back into Maryland biotechs. Last month, former HGS chief commercial officer Barry Labinger joined Anthrax-vaccine-maker Emergent BioSolutions as head of its bioscience division. And on Thursday, pre-IPO biotech MacroGenics announced the appointment of David Stump, formerly executive vice president for research and development at Human Genome, to its board of directors.

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Sure, Johns Hopkins University is known for its medicinal prowess, but what better way to increase the university's influence on the health care sector than by cosponsoring an accelerator aimed toward spurring the growth of more health information technology companies.

Johns Hopkins announced its plans  to work with DreamIt Health Baltimore on Wednesday, a four-month long boot camp for innovators in the health IT business. Teaming up with BioHealth Innovation and DreamIT Ventures, Johns Hopkins will be powering the accelerator designed to fast-track promising ideas aimed at solving problems in America and abroad.

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Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic announced today that Mayo will become a technology transfer participant to join Arizona Furnace, the startup accelerator that supports entrepreneurial teams using designated research discoveries and intellectual property as the basis for new companies.

As ASU and its current partners prepare to launch the second application season for AZ Furnace, Mayo Clinic will provide access to high potential technologies in their extensive intellectual property vault. These technologies, as well as those from ASU, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health in Arizona, will be made available to entrepreneurs interested in using those discoveries to create products, services and new companies.

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To us, biomedical research is not an abstract idea funded by wasteful government spending. It is work done by driven and passionate young people like ourselves who want to save lives -- but that work requires money, resources, and time.

We are a group of graduate students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Medical Scientist Training Program, earning our joint MD-PhD degrees with the goal of becoming physician scientists. We aim to be well versed in both scientific research methods and clinical practice so that we can expand and improve medical care, save lives, decrease the cost of health care and drive medicine forward. Thus far, the discussion surrounding the sequestration has lacked the perspective of trainees in biomedical research and the implications that budget cuts have had on our training and future careers.

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The University of Maryland, Baltimore, has broken ground on its largest building ever, a $305.4 million, 10-story, 428,970-square-foot biomedical research facility called the Health Sciences Facility (HSF) III. University of Maryland President Jay A. Perman, MD, was joined by Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, and several hundred invited guests at a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 17 on the site of the new building ý the old dental school facility on North Pine Street.

"This is a proud day for the University of Maryland, Baltimore," Dr. Perman told the crowd. The campus has expanded from 1.9 million square feet in 1975 to occupy 5.9 million square feet in 2013, he noted. "The University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University System of Maryland's founding campus, has experienced robust growth in recent years. The Health Sciences Facility III further strengthens our footprint in west Baltimore and, as a result, our economic impact on the city and the state. We're privileged to be able to help revitalize our critical important Baltimore neighborhoods and the state of Maryland as a whole, and at the same time, enable biomedical research and education that has the potential to save lives."

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The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM), Maryland’s largest trade association for bioscience and technology companies employing more than 200,000 in the region, today announced that Philip Schiff, formerly chief strategy officer of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), has been named CEO.

“Maryland has a dynamic technology sector, which has been leading the state’s economic recovery during the past few years," said Doug Doerfler, chairman of TCM’s Board and founding president and CEO of MaxCyte, Inc. "Phil understands the major role our enterprises play today, and will use his extensive experience managing a national association, combined with his understanding of complex technology, to execute TCM's vision and lead critical advocacy efforts on behalf of Maryland's technology entrepreneurs for the future.”

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Rockville biotechnology company Emergent BioSolutions plans to buy a Gaithersburg building and move its 112 employees at its headquarters there, as well as add 133 jobs over the next five years, executives said Monday.

As part of the deal, the Gaithersburg City Council was expected to consider awarding a $250,000 economic development grant to Emergent during its meeting Monday evening.

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The University of Maryland (UMD) and Siemens Corporation announced today the largest ever in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software. The in-kind grant has a commercial value of more than $750 million. Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) software will provide UMD students and researchers with a uniquely valuable and sophisticated design and simulation tool for course work, research, academic projects and team-based competitions.

This in-kind grant from Siemens gives students and faculty access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop and manufacture innovative products in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, machinery, shipbuilding, and high-tech electronics, among others.

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Fenwick & West LLP, one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to high technology and life science clients, today announced the results of its First Half 2013 Life Science Venture Capital Survey.

The survey analyzes the valuations and terms of venture financings for 149 life science companies headquartered in the United States that reported raising capital during the first half of 2013, as well as trends in venture capital financings, fundraising and exit events.

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Winning a $1.6 million federal grant to buy a robotic system to store 1 million blood, urine and tissue samples was easy compared to finding space for it at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The "monster" machine, to be known as the university's "bio bank," is 13 feet wide, 20 feet deep and 10 feet high, said Dr. Alan Shuldiner, associate dean for personalized medicine.

But free lab space is scarce on the school's West Baltimore campus.

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A report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), “Health IT-Enabled Quality Measurement: Perspectives, Pathways, and Practical Guidance,” outlines experts’ viewpoints on how information technologies are advancing the science of quality measurement. Over the course of the 2-year project, diverse perspectives were identified regarding how to operationalize quality measurement as well how to prioritize iterative advancements in health IT-enabled quality measurement.

Stakeholders agreed on the importance of addressing measure development, implementation, and testing; data elements and data capture; data access, sharing, aggregation, and integration; patient engagement; and collaboration and education. They also agreed that they would like to see quality measurement move beyond “checking the box” to truly support the quality improvement process. They suggested that quality measurement should be actionable and timely to allow patients and providers opportunities to improve care.

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While the first half of 2013 saw a surge in initial public offerings (IPOs) by venture-backed biopharma companies, the overall financing environment for privately held life science companies remains slow.

The average valuation increase for life science companies receiving venture capital financing during the first half of 2013 was roughly even with 2012 results, and the percentage of "up round" financings declined slightly. Fundraising by life science venture capitalists continued to decline as well.

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In investing, comedy, and business, timing is a key component of success.  It’s not enough to have a sense of where the future is going, directionally – you have to have some sense of when it’s likely to arrive.

In investing, this challenge is perhaps seen most vividly in bubbles, as Gregory Zuckerman details in The Greatest Trade Ever, providing example after example of exceptionally smart people — from Isaac Newton to Stanley Druckenmiller — who were able to correctly perceive a bubble, but who nevertheless lost huge sums of money by inaccurately estimating when it would burst.

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Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) has launched the first cyber-security technology startup accelerator program in the U.S. The Mach37 Cyber Accelerator is intended to locate and leverage the wealth of cyber security talent in Virginia to create companies that will develop and launch new products.

Mach 37 represents 37 times the speed of sound, which is approximately the same as the Earth’s escape velocity.