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Are you seeking an opportunity to engage your firm in a fun community-building activity?  Register one or more teams for the FRAXA Biotech Games.  The BioHealth Capital Region has been challenged by other clusters to demonstrate the greatest knowledge of biotech trivia. Proceeds benefit FRAXA Research Foundation, supporting Fragile X research projects at institutions around the world, including MIT, Harvard, Stanford and UCSD. Fragile X is the most common inherited cause of autism and intellectual disabilities.  BioHealth Innovation (BHI) is hosting the BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland, DC, and Virginia)’s participation in this exciting new event.   

Register one team or multiple teams this month to compete for the Cup in September!

 
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ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today commended the nearly 40 Maryland life sciences companies that are working on developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, improving diagnostic tests, and providing clinical research and technological support to ensure safe and effective health care delivery.

The University System of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University have also dedicated millions of dollars toward research, testing, and clinical trials. The University of Maryland School of Medicine recently began phase 3 trials of a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Judy Costello

“5 Questions With……” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This edition features 5 Questions with Judy Costello who is Managing Director of Economic Development for BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI).

Judy Costello is Managing Director of Economic Development for BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI). Prior to joining BHI, she served as Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences and as Deputy Director of the department’s BioMaryland Center. In these positions, she has worked to grow the region’s biohealth cluster by supporting industry recruitment and retention, commercialization, workforce, non-dilutive and dilutive fundraising, international soft landing, partnership, and promotion activities. She previously served as Executive Director of the Business Alliance for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

 

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The biotechnology company Novavax will soon begin the second phase of human testing for its COVID-19 vaccine.

The so-called phase 2b clinical trial will include a group of 2,665 healthy adults in South Africa, as well as a group of 240 adults with HIV who are considered medically stable but whose immune responses may differ from individuals without HIV, according to a statement released by Novavax on Aug. 17. HIV advocacy groups have pushed for people with HIV to be included in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, as companies like Moderna and Pfizer initially said they would exclude volunteers with the infection, Science Magazine reported. 

 

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GAITHERSBURG, MD, AUGUST 18, 2020 — MaxCyte, Inc., a global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, today announces the expansion of subsidiary CARMA Cell Therapies’ ongoing Phase I intraperitoneal delivery and dose-escalation trial of MCY-M11, its lead anti-mesothelin CAR-PBMC cell therapy candidate. The expansion will involve a new parallel cohort of patients and the initiation of two additional clinical sites.

The new parallel Phase I cohort will evaluate intraperitoneal delivery of MCY-M11 at escalating doses in additional patients with relapsed/refractory ovarian cancer and malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, with the addition of a preconditioning regimen of cyclophosphamide prior to MCY-M11 infusion. This parallel Phase I cohort with preconditioning will progress independently from the ongoing evaluation of MCY-M11 in the existing no-preconditioning Phase I cohort. The MCY-M11 Phase I trial will also allow for multiple treatment cycles where indicated for both future preconditioning and no-preconditioning patients.

 

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The OrganoPlate® Graft is the first in vitro cell culture platform that allows vascularization of 3D tissues like spheroids, organoids, and tumors in vitro.

In this webinar, you will learn:

Limitations of current models How to build 3D vascularized tissues How to form vascular beds in vitro How to add 3D microtissues in the OrganoPlate Graft How to set up available assays How to get started in your lab

Image: https://go.mimetas.com

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GAITHERSBURG, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company founded to provide an effective therapeutic response to the global rise of multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria, today announced Mayo Clinic has committed $1.75M as a lead investor in a $7 million convertible note financing round.

Mayo Clinic is collaborating with APT to conduct a clinical trial using PhageBankTM investigational therapy to address the significant unmet need for alternative treatments for chronic infections following joint replacement (referred to as “periprosthetic joint infections,” or “PJIs”). Proceeds from the convertible note are designated to initiate the trial.

 

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Are you a start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your complimentary virtual feedback session with BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and Analysts on one of the following dates: 8/26. (45 minute blocks of time beginning at 9:00 in the morning. Pre-registration is required; sign up www.tinyurl.com/EIRFeedback. For questions/more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
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Maryland’s 8th Congressional District has the highest proportion of science and engineering jobs in its workforce out of any district in the United States, according to a new report from the Information Technology Industry Council.

About 4.6% of the jobs in the district — which encompasses parts of Montgomery, Frederick and Carroll County — are in science and engineering, but the report found that the median U.S. district has less than 1% of such jobs.

 

Maryland Legislators Urge More Aggressive Use of Antibody Tests as Local Company Aims to Advance Research NBC4 Washington

Maryland's Department of Health announced Thursday it will partner with 13 hospitals around the state to launch an antibody study on unused blood samples. It's part of a new program to incorporate antibody testing into the state’s continued strategy to fight COVID-19.

The News4 I-Team first asked about that strategy in May, when Virginia began posting its antibody testing details online, with positive and negative results listed by local health district. In mid-July, Maryland provided the I-Team with data showing more than 81,000 Marylanders had been antibody tested through private vendors.

 

Laura Begley Bloom

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted cities across the country with varying force. New York City has been hardest hit, and it’s no secret that the Big Apple is going to be one of the places that will have the most challenging time bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, no matter when things subside. But which cities will have the best coronavirus recovery? And which other cities will struggle? Moody’s Analytics has issued a report that examines the potential to recover from coronavirus among the top 100 metro areas in the US—and while some of the results are to be expected, some are more surprising.

 

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(Rockville, MD – August 20, 2020) -  Scheer Partners is proud to announce that 704 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland is 100% leased.

In 2018 Scheer Partners’ affiliate, South Duvall, part of a joint venture with a publicly traded REIT, acquired 704 Quince Orchard Road. 704 Quince Orchard Road presented an opportunity to convert an underperforming office building in the Gaithersburg Life Sciences Cluster. Scheer Partners, Inc. provided brokerage, construction management, and property management services for the 80,000 square foot project and made the entire building “lab-ready.” Scheer Partners’ Adnan Sheikh spearheaded construction management of the project in partnership with their Property Management Division, led by Ayesha Murray, which continues to ensure the building operates at peak performance.

 

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS)

The cells that allow people to smell are a key entryway for the coronavirus, making nose coverings crucial, suggests new research from the Johns Hopkins University.

The nose already had been emerging as a main door for the virus and related respiratory disease. But this research specifically points to the olfactory cells because they have a very large number of receptors on their surface called ACE2 that have been shown to be vulnerable to coronaviruses.

 

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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently reissued the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the New Innovators Award (PAR-20-259). The first application due date is November 2, 2020. 

 The NIAID New Innovator Award supports a postdoctoral or newly independent Early Stage Investigator of exceptional creativity who proposes novel, original and insightful research concepts with the potential to produce a major impact, test scientific paradigms, or advance key concepts on broad, important problems in biomedical research of priority to NIAID. Applications proposing unexpected convergence of disciplines, new scientific directions, or the use of novel methodologies are encouraged. 

 

Sweden's vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Sweden expects to have as many as 18m doses of coronavirus vaccine by next year, enough to inoculate the entire Swedish population, according to the country's vaccine coordinator. "If these vaccines work and are safe, it's possible that we will have vaccinated everyone who wants it next year, or at the start of 2022," Richard Bergström told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. 

Image: Sweden's vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT 

Roundcube Webmail BioTechEmailMailer card 2020 15JUL 2 pdf

This invitation-only event is free for executive level biotech leaders and is presented by BioHealth Innovation, Virginia Bio, Children’s National Health System, Johns Hopkins University, JPMorgan, Maryland Department of Commerce, George Mason University, University System of Maryland, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, AstraZeneca, Deloitte, and Montgomery County Economic Development Corp.

The BioHealth Capital Region—Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC—sets the bar high for biotech innovation. So please join us for our 6th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.

For more information about our speakers and event schedule, please visit www.biohealthcapital.com/forum-2020

Click here to register!

#BHCRForum20

 
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Baltimore, MD. (Aug. 10, 2020) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Momentum Fund has invested $250K in miRecule, an emerging biotech company with a cutting-edge discovery platform to create RNA therapeutics alongside theFSHD Society as a co-investor. This investment is complemented by recent funding raised over the past year, which includes lead investor Alexandria Venture Investments as well as Pathway Bioventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and angel investors. In total, miRecule’s seed round raised more than $3.5M in private seed funding. In addition to its private investments miRecule has also been awarded a non-dilutive $2M Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute.

 

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a late stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced that the first volunteers have been enrolled in the Phase 2 portion of its ongoing clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The Phase 2 clinical trial expands on the age range of the Phase 1 portion by including older adults 60-84 years of age as approximately 50 percent of the trial’s population. NVX‑CoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein made using Novavax’ nanoparticle technology and includes Novavax’ proprietary Matrix‑M™ adjuvant.

 

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Women Building Bio is where the vision is transformed into reality. Women advancing the industry with all stakeholders, men and women, front and center joining forces.

Come join us for this half day interactive virtual conference on September 16, 2020.

Click here to register.

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the extension of the shelf life of NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray from 24 months to 36 months. Narcan Nasal Spray was the first intranasal form of naloxone approved by FDA and Health Canada for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.

 

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PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), an urban office REIT and the first, longest-tenured and pioneering owner, operator and developer uniquely focused on collaborative life science, technology and agtech campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, is at the vanguard of the vital life science ecosystem that is advancing solutions for COVID-19 through a multifaceted, highly impactful strategy that includes a mission-critical focus on making rapid COVID-19 testing available to all Americans. Widespread screening and diagnostic testing, in addition to safe and effective vaccines and therapies, are desperately needed to resolve the global COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Our annual cluster ranking profiles the top U.S. life sciences hubs and tracks the progress of the up-andcoming life sciencesmarkets that are fast becoming options of choice for life sciences companies and investors alike. Finally, the outlook introduces prominent industry trends that will provide new engines of growth.

In this report

In addition to highlighting the current state of life sciences real estate clusters across the U.S., this report will provide answers to three critical questions that both life sciences companies and lab developers must consider in order to remain at the crest of industry trends.

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Venlo, The Netherlands, August 13, 2020 – QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that it will continue to execute its successful growth strategy aiming to create significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders after the voluntary public takeover offer by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (NYSE: TMO) did not achieve the minimum 66.67% acceptance threshold from QIAGEN shareholders.

 

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GERMANTOWN, Md., Aug. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Precigen, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEN), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative gene and cellular therapies to improve the lives of patients, today announced that the first patient has been dosed with Precigen's PRGN-2009, a first-in-class, off-the-shelf (OTS) investigational immunotherapy utilizing the AdenoVerse™ platform designed to activate the immune system to recognize and target HPV+ solid tumors (clinical trial identifier: NCT04432597). HPV-associated cancers represent a significant health burden in indications such as head and neck, cervical, vaginal and anal cancer.

 

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SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Aug. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Tyvaso® (treprostinil) Inhalation Solution for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension associated with interstitial lung disease (PH-ILD). United Therapeutics expects the agency's review to be complete in April 2021.

 

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmes today announced that it provided the data and statistical analysis support for the Phase 1 clinical trial of the investigational COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273.  Three Emmes employees were co-authors on the Preliminary Report about the clinical trial, "An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2," published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 14.

 

TEDCO s Maryland Innovation Initiative Accelerates Technologies from Bench to Market TEDCO

COLUMBIA, Md. (August 13, 2020)— TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced its recent round of investments in six (6) start-up companies and funding to  fifteen (15) university projects through the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). 

Established in 2012, the MII program was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and University of Maryland, College Park. The program’s mission is to accelerate promising technologies with significant commercial potential to market while leveraging each partner University’s strengths. 

 

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We sourced the community, built a roster of Greater Washington’s hottest enterprises and innovators, and narrowed that list to the ecosystem’s 50 elite.

Then Thursday afternoon, we celebrated those fast-growing, move-making players: DC Inno’s 2020 Inno on Fire winners. All had banner years — for expansions, launches, fundraises and pivots — and all in a time of profound, unprecedented change.

 

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The 2020 Technology Showcase is going virtual! Reserve the afternoon of September 9th on your calendar for the 2020 Technology Showcase. The 4th annual event will highlight technologies being developed at the NCI and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) to encourage technology licensing and collaborations, startup company formation and the translation of NCI discoveries into solutions to benefit patients.