Allergy Cold Disease Free photo on Pixabay

With more than 378 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 15 associated deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively monitoring, and trying to contain, the transmission of the disease, called COVID-19. 

In some cases, depending on risk level, the CDC may ask individuals or families to self-quarantine or remain in isolation. Here's a look at what that means and tips for implementing such measures.

 

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In this age of near-exclusive reliance on electronic communication, practically nobody asks for your number any longer — we just text, email or AirDrop critical identifiers.

However, some of us still must record our activities numerically, and innovators are certainly not immune from exchanging numbers — usually with interested leaders or colleagues, for the purpose of benchmarking.

 

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The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) has a long history of leading the fight against new, frightening diseases, like Ebola and the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is quickly spreading across the globe. Leading public health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and others believe the COVID-19 virus has the potential to reach pandemic levels as infection numbers rise beyond China’s borders.

Image: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

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As one of the largest healthcare tech deals in 2020, Thermo Fisher is buying coronavirus diagnostics company Qiagen NV for €9 billion. QIAGEN is considered a leading global provider of molecular diagnostics and sample preparation technologies. The deal has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies as well as the managing board of QIAGEN.

 

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced progress in its efforts to develop a novel vaccine to protect against coronavirus disease COVID-19. Novavax has produced and is currently assessing multiple nanoparticle vaccine candidates in animal models prior to identifying an optimal candidate for human testing, which is expected to begin by the end of spring 2020.

 

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arcellx today announced that the first patient has been dosed with its engineered T cell therapy utilizing a novel deimmunized synthetic binding domain in the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. This first-in-human Phase 1 trial is the first in a series of clinical trials planned for efficient, stepwise development of the Arcellx ARC-T + sparX cell therapy platform, with BCMA as an initial target.

 

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Who runs the healthcare world? Women make 80% of all buying decisions and make up over 70% of the healthcare workforce—yet in 2020 we still do not have an equal voice in the ranks of leadership.

Diversity is also an issue when it comes to venture capital. Female entrepreneurs continue to struggle to raise as much capital as their male counterparts. Although capital investment in all-female founding teams hit an all time high of $3.3 billion in 2019, it represented only 2.8% of capital invested across the entire U.S. startup ecosystem.

Join JLABS for an evening panel discussion as we tackle these issues, and discuss avenues for capital, while forging a path forward for two of the most prohibitive factors at play: a lack of a robust network of female mentors and lack of investment dollars in female-led startups. 

 

IBBR Researchers Awarded 850K from NSF to Study How Plants Defend Against Fungal Invasion Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

(Rockville, MD, February 25, 2020) Researchers at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) recently received $850K from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance our understanding of how fungi like powdery mildew infect plants including food source crops, and how plants fight back. IBBR Fellow Dr. Shunyuan Xiao (Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources) is the principal investigator on the award.

 

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and MANCHESTER, N.H., Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) and DEKA Research & Development Corp. today announced receipt of an additional 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to the Unity Subcutaneous Delivery System for Remodulin® (treprostinil) Injection, also referred to as the Remunity™ pump, enabling United Therapeutics to launch the system using drug reservoirs that have been prefilled by specialty pharmacies.

 

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BALTIMORE, Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Capsulomics, Inc., a Baltimore-based molecular diagnostics company whose mission is to detect and prevent cancer through earlier detection, today announced a research partnership with Johns Hopkins University, funded by a 5-year, $3.7 Million NIH Academic-Industrial Partnership grant, to conduct an important clinical research study to detect esophageal cancer and its precancerous precursor condition, Barrett's esophagus (BE).

 

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Alex Triantis, dean of the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, says a new $25 million gift from the school’s namesake foundation will go toward accelerating the transformation of the MBA curriculum into a much more healthcare-oriented experience, among other uses. Carey photo

At Johns Hopkins University, nearly a quarter of the Carey Business School’s full-time faculty study or teach in health-related fields. About 38% of current full-time MBA students and 35% of part-time MBA students focus on health-related areas of study.

Image: https://poetsandquants.com

Maryland Commerce releases FY19 annual report Maryland Business News

Over the past year, the Maryland Department of Commerce has continued to foster business growth throughout the state, by simplifying the process of starting a business, prioritizing customer service, and investing in our innovative companies.

During fiscal year 2019, the department provided financial assistance to 167 different economic development projects statewide, from Kite Pharma in Frederick to Smithfield Foods in Cecil County, bringing in a total capital expenditure of $630.5 million. More than 70 of these projects fell under the small, minority, and women-owned business category, according to the recently released annual report. 

 

NIH Is Supporting Entrepreneurs To Address The Looming Public Health Crisis Life Science Nation Interview with Todd Haim Ph D Chief Office of Small Business Research National Institute on Aging National Institutes of Health Next Ph

Todd Haim(TH): I began working on small business grant programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) more than 10 years ago when I joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. After 9 years at NCI, I was asked to lead the launch of a new Office of Small Business Research (OSBR) at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA’s OSBR was created just over 1 year ago. It serves as the main coordinating office for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants that are awarded to companies working on solutions to address aging and aging-related diseases.

Image: https://blog.lifesciencenation.com

Idea Innovation Business Free photo on Pixabay

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office has suggested making the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) tax credit refundable, which would eliminate the portion of the tax credit going to tax brokers and increase the funding available to target businesses. Other proposed changes would strengthen the applicant review process and expand data collection to improve program accountability. 

 

BioTalk Rich Judy 2020 Skyscraper

Judy Costello is the Managing Director of Economic Development for BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI). A longtime supporter of the region’s entrepreneur and start-up communities, Judy Costello joined BioHealth Innovation in August 2017. Prior to that she served as Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences and Deputy Director of the department's BioMaryland Center. She previously worked for fifteen years for the Business Alliance organizing venture pitch forums, entrepreneur bootcamps, tech transfer showcases, educational seminars, and other programs connecting entrepreneurs, faculty innovators, students, and industry leaders in Maryland, DC and Virginia with each other and with those providing funding and other resources to young companies.

Ethel Rubin

By Ethel Rubin

Opportunities abound for every investor looking for deal flow. Conversely, there have never been so many opportunities for entrepreneurs to pitch, network and mingle with investors. No matter what space you are in – fintech, biotech, edtech, cleantech, medtech – the world of investor showcases is exploding. Nevertheless, whatever the stage of your technology, there is nothing like a “warm” introduction and a few surefire ways of getting investors to take a look at you:

 

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Register Now for the 6th Annual BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) Forum held on April 14-15 at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD. Join your peers biotech and life science executives and expert speakers from industry, academia, healthcare, government, finance and real estate development, among others, converged to discuss the BHCR’s path forward to becoming a top three U.S. biotech cluster by 2023.

Register Now

 
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If you have been in fundraising mode anytime in the past 2-3 years and have gotten any term sheets with terms that were either outrageous or draconian, we want to hear from you. BHI Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ethel Rubin is working on a future blog post and would like to hear from you. Email here at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and share your term sheet stories today. Any information shared will be de-identified before adding to her post and you name/company will be kept confidential.

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WASHINGTON (February 19) – Today, a diverse group of research and scientific organizations, as well as those directly involved in commercializing new products, launched Bayh-Dole 40, a coalition that will celebrate and protect the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, better known as the "Bayh-Dole Act."

The Bayh-Dole Act has empowered universities, small businesses, and nonprofits that have received federal grants to retain ownership of any patented inventions -- and license those patents to private firms, who then turn promising ideas into real-life products that improve peoples' lives. Thanks to Bayh-Dole, the public and private sectors have worked together to translate basic scientific research into life-saving drugs and medical devices, internet and GPS technologies, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and countless other innovations.

Andrew Kessel

Orgenesis Inc (NASDAQ:ORGS) announced a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University to utilize its point-of-care platform to develop and supply gene therapies and technologies. 

The company’s POCare cell therapy platform is designed to advance the development of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products — medicines based on genes, tissues or cells — through collaborations and in-licensing with other companies. 

CEO Vered Caplan is confident in the pedigree and resources of the Baltimore research university. 

 

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LumaCyte, an advanced bioanalytical instrumentation company specializing in vaccine and cell and gene therapy bioprocess, production, and R&D analytical capabilities, announces its expansion into Europe with the establishment of LumaCyte, B.V. in The Netherlands. LumaCyte has experienced a rapid increase in global demand for Radiance®, it’s label-free single cell analysis instrument, with a large portion of that demand coming from Europe. In the fall of 2019, LumaCyte reported that it was strengthening its infrastructure to support a growing customer base, with strong efforts being placed on servicing the expansive European market. The company has expanded its US headquarters, significantly increasing manufacturing and laboratory footprints, as well as completed the rigorous EU specific regulatory CE mark certification, indicating Radiance® conformity with EEA health and safety standards, which is a prerequisite for its instrument sale and use.

 

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Incoming University of Maryland President Darryll Pines may describe himself as a bit of a joker — but he is serious about building out the school’s tech and startup ecosystems.

“The university is an incredible innovation ecosystem, but we were not leveraging every aspect of it. Now you will start to see a lot more startups coming out of the University of Maryland,” Pines told the Washington Business Journal in an interview after a Friday press conference punctuated by accolades, off-script jokes by Pines and plenty of Terrapin pride.

Image: Darryll Pines has been named the next president of the University of Maryland, College Park. JOHN CONSOLI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

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The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) is evolving quickly and it can be tough to keep pace with the latest news emerging from the host of biotech, medical device and cell, and gene therapy companies in the area. BioBuzz, when combined with some strategic social media follows, can help you stay on top of the latest developments, news and thought leadership coming out of the BHCR. 

Image: https://biobuzz-io.cdn.ampproject.org

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U.S. healthcare providers in 2019 experienced almost triple the number of breaches to their records than they did in 2018.

That’s the assertion of healthcare compliance analytics platform Protenus in its Protenus Breach Barometer report, which reported that 41 million patient records were breached in 2019. The increase in breaches was a 48.6% difference from 15 million in 2018, while the trend of at least one health data breach per day — a trend first reported in 2016 — remains.

 

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Less than 4% of money raised for cancer research targets pediatric cancers, but a D.C.-area charity that’s devoting resources to benefit young cancer victims is sponsoring trials at Children’s National Hospital.

Clinical trials underway for about a year are turning patients’ own immune system cells into an army of soldiers to attack their brain cancer tumors.

“We’re all really excited,” said Dr. Eugene Hwang, associate division chief of oncology at Children’s National Hospital. “The biggest problem would have been if we ran into a big side effect or toxicity signal, and we have not.”

 

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WASHINGTON (February 19) – Today, a diverse group of research and scientific organizations, as well as those directly involved in commercializing new products, launched Bayh-Dole 40, a coalition that will celebrate and protect the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, better known as the “Bayh-Dole Act.”

The Bayh-Dole Act has empowered universities, small businesses, and nonprofits that have received federal grants to retain ownership of any patented inventions — and license those patents to private firms, who then turn promising ideas into real-life products that improve peoples’ lives.

Image: https://www.ipwatchdog.com

Solicitations CAPCaT CIMIT

Date: 1/22/2020 Expressions of Interest are due no later than 4:59pm EST on Monday, March 2, 2020.  CAPCaT Contact: Mary Dubuque  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Funding Opportunity The Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders (U54HL143541) announces the 2020 solicitation of grant applications focused on developing, adapting, or validating point of care technologies that can be rapidly applied to heart, lung, blood, or sleep disorders, with additional interest in projects that incorporate complementary and integrative health approaches.  We plan, based on the receipt of meritorious applications, to fund up to six awards of up to $100,000 over 12 months, with one or more award(s) focused on complementary and integrative health.

 

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BALTIMORE, Feb. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The W. P. Carey Foundation, whose generosity launched Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, has made a $25 million commitment to the school to recruit renowned faculty, enhance academic programs, and help launch student careers. The gift will be matched with commitments from Johns Hopkins University and contributions from other donors for a total of $50 million.

The W. P. Carey Foundation's new gift provides Carey Business School with support to ensure its path of growth and advancement in shaping business leaders of the future.

Image: Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

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Doylestown-based Pennsylvania Biotech Center (PABC) this week announced a sponsorship program intended to support early-stage biotech companies via supplier services, education and collaboration.

This comes seven months after PABC announced a $50 million dollar investment fund and accelerator providing seed and Series A and B funding to its incubator companies.

The program was created by Hatch Biofund Management, LLC, the operators of the life science venture fund. Sponsors in the program will specifically work with early-stage companies in PABC’s incubator and the Unite IQ incubator PABC runs at The Discovery Labs in King of Prussia.

Image: Pennsylvania Biotech Center's future expanded campus.

Why the BioHealth Capital Region Needs to Do More To Attract Top Talent BioBuzz

Most companies would admit that they miss more often than they hit when it comes to talent.

McKinsey & Company recently cited three rather stunning stats about talent: (1) 82% of Fortune 500 companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented people; (2) Of companies that do believe they recruit great talent, only 7% believe they can retain it; (3) and only 23% of managers and senior executives that deal with talent-related issues believe their current strategies actually work.