Biontech Logo

German-based BioNTech has announced that it will soon be joining Montgomery County’s growing list of world-renowned international companies in the “Immunology Capital Next to the Nation’s Capital.” BioNTech is acquiring a Gaithersburg manufacturing facility and cell therapy research and development platform from Kite, a unit of Gilead Sciences, to support the development of BioNTech’s expanding pipeline of novel cell therapies.


AURP Darmody

The Endless Frontier bill, now incorporated into the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, made progress in the U.S. Senate while parallel legislation in the House also advanced to create a Technology Directorate in the NSF. Congress and the Administration also advanced through the budget process and other Congressionally authorization bills billions of dollars to create new tech hubs, advanced manufacturing, increased tech transfer, test beds, and applied research. Collectively this is one of the largest investments in applied research and tech based economic development undertaken by the federal government.


You have invested the time, expertise, and financial resources to develop a therapy that changes patient lives for the better. After all of your hard work and dedication, how can you ensure your product reaches patients? What are the key commercialization considerations for healthcare innovators, large and small? Learn how to unlock product potential in this step-by-step guide to making the most of your commercialization investments.



Matan Companies breaks ground on Progress Labs at Riverside I The City-based project will feature 215,000 square feet of biomanufacturing-ready space -- including a 96,000 square foot existing building, which is available for immediate occupancy, as well as a 118,000 square foot expansion building, which will be delivered in June 2022.



ROCKVILLE, MD, July 15, 2021 /Globe Newswire/ -- American Gene Technologies (AGT) announced today that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) voted unanimously to continue AGT’s HIV cure program without modification, after safety analysis of the participant’s data revealed no adverse effects from the treatment. AGT’s Phase 1 trial of AGT103-T, a new cell and gene therapy for HIV disease, is designed to induce durable viral suppression by delivering therapeutic genes to the recipient's immune cells. The cells are collected by leukapheresis, modified outside the body, then re-infused. Once infused, the cells are expected to durably suppress the virus at undetectable levels without the need for antiretroviral treatment.


Immunomic Therapeutics logo

ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”), a privately-held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today that its’ academic collaborator, Dr. John Sampson of Duke University’s Department of Neurosurgery, has been recognized as a World Expert in Glioblastoma by Expertscape, an online resource that identifies the world’s top experts in all medical fields. The publication recognized the top 0.1% of scholars writing about glioblastoma over the past ten years, a level they label as "World Expert”. Dr. Sampson’s recognition as a World Expert in glioblastoma is part of Glioblastoma Awareness Day, which is being celebrated today, Wednesday, July 21, 2021.


Cursor and Notification Center

MAINZ, Germany & SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”) and Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD, “Kite”) today announced the two companies have entered into a purchase agreement for BioNTech to acquire Kite’s solid tumor neoantigen T cell receptor (TCR) R&D platform and clinical manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, MD. The acquired Gaithersburg facility will provide production capacity to support clinical trials in the United States and will complement BioNTech’s existing cell therapy manufacturing facility in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. The facility will support the development of BioNTech’s expanding pipeline of novel cell therapies, including cancer product candidates based on its CAR-T Cell amplifying mRNA vaccine (CARVac) and NEOSTIM platforms as well as the newly acquired individualized neoantigen TCR program.



Montgomery County Planning Department
A rendering of the 200K SF lab building on Darnestown Road in Rockville.

Montgomery County is set to consider plans for the first phase of a five-building life sciences project in Rockville. 

An affiliate of life sciences giant Alexandria Real Estate Equities filed plans for a 200K SF research and development building as part of an 18-acre project on Darnestown Road. The Montgomery County Planning Board is scheduled to hear the plans on July 29. 

Image: Montgomery County Planning Department A rendering of the 200K SF lab building on Darnestown Road in Rockville.

The White House Lawn

The biomedical research ecosystem has delivered advances that not long ago would have been inconceivable, exemplified by highly effective COVID-19 vaccines developed by global partners and approved in less than a year. The United States stands at a moment of unprecedented scientific promise and is challenged to ask: What more can we do to accelerate the pace of break-throughs to transform medicine and health? Toward that end, President Biden recently proposed to create a new entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “to develop breakthroughs—to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer,” requesting $6.5 billion in the fiscal year 2022 budget.


Game Changer of the Week.

Come join the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for Game Changer Week! Game Changer Week, set for August 23-27, 2021 will bring together industry disruptors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers for a variety of online and in-person events. Events include webinars, happy hours, start-up mentoring, special guests, open houses, and more!


Ascentage Pharma Logo

SUZHOU, China, and ROCKVILLE, Md., July 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK), a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancers, chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and age-related diseases, today announced that the company has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of National Institutes of Health, under which they will collaborate on the non-clinical and clinical development of Ascentage Pharma's drug compound pelcitoclax.


Save the Date - July 29, 2021

The Data Safety and Monitoring Board has met and evaluated the safety data from the first participant treated with AGT103-T, our HIV-cure drug candidate. The participant experienced no significant adverse events, and the DSMB voted unanimously to "continue the study with no modification".

AGT is now a clinical-stage biotech company with initial safety data on a potential cure for a disease affecting over 1.2 million people in the U.S. and nearly 40 million people globally!


Maryland based Novavax s effort to vaccinate the world from zero to not quite warp speed This takes time and expertise Baltimore Sun

On a sweltering June morning, Novavax CEO and COVID vaccine maker Stanley Erck stood on a stage unmasked and did something that would have been unthinkable six months ago: He shook hands with Maryland’s governor.

Erck was with Gov. Larry Hogan to announce Novavax’s global vaccine headquarters ― a Gaithersburg campus expected to house laboratories and more than 800 employees. Hogan called Novavax’s future “bright” and crowed that more than 71% of the state’s adults had received at least one shot.

Image: - From Video

Ronald Piervincenzi, CEO of U.S. Pharmacopeia

Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D., has served as Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) since February 2014. USP is an independent, nonprofit, scientific organization that sets quality standards for medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients worldwide. USP’s quality standards are legally recognized in the United States and elsewhere and are used in more than 150 countries.

Image: Ronald Piervincenzi, CEO of U.S. Pharmacopeia

President Biden will nominate Laurie E. Locascio to lead the federal agency in charge of promoting innovation and technology, the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Driving the news: Biden will name Locascio, currently vice president for research at the University of Maryland, as Undersecretary for Standards and Technology at the Department of Commerce.


GSK to build 549m biotech hub in Stevenage UK

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has plans to open an approximately $549m (£400m) biotechnology campus in Stevenage, UK, which would possibly create up to 5,000 skilled jobs in the coming five to ten years.

The plan for the new hub was developed in collaboration with Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK Government, Stevenage Borough Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Image: GSK’s R&D site in Stevenage, UK. Credit: GSK / Flickr.

Venture capital.

((Photo by Flickr user, used via a Creative Commons license))

Venture capital totals for D.C. area companies got off to a strong start in 2021, and they’re continuing to rise with a new record high through the halfway point of the year.

In the second quarter of 2021, companies in the metro area collectively raised $1.27 billion across 72 deals, according to data from the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, a quarterly report produced by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association with support from Silicon Valley Bank.

Image: Venture capital. ((Photo by Flickr user, used via a Creative Commons license))


Until recently, biotech companies tended to be founded with a focus on a single technology or biological pathway. An early exemplar of this was Genentech, founded in 1976 on the promise of recombinant DNA to generate proteins relevant for human health.1 Proof of concept came with the production of the hormone somatostatin in 1977, and the company made its synthetic insulin breakthrough in 1978, alleviating the need to harvest the protein from animal pancreases.


Johns Hopkins Logo

The news: Johns Hopkins spinoff Bayesian Health has $15 million in VC backing to offer an AI-based clinical decision support platform designed to make health systems’ electronic health records (EHRs) more predictive.

Here’s how it works: The system analyzes EHR-collected patient data and sends providers real-time clinical signals when a critical moment is detected. It targets high-priority areas such as clinical deterioration, sepsis, pressure injury, and transitions of care.



FREDERICK, Md., July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Beckham Gumbin Ventures (BGV), a commercial real estate investor and developer, is beginning construction on brand new R&D laboratory spec suites and amenities at Ballenger Bio (321 Ballenger Center Drive) in Frederick, Maryland. Ballenger Bio will offer several 3,000 to 7,000 SF R&D laboratory spec suites, with the ability to combine up to 37,000 SF of contiguous space on a single floor. Building such spec labs will allow for growing biotech companies to focus on their business as opposed to construction costs and timelines.



DNA-modified cells can behave unpredictably in the body and there is a risk that they could proliferate uncontrolled, cause severe toxicities, and even survive unchecked for months or years. Cartesian uses its platform technology to engineer RNA into cells, making time-controlled changes. The company is developing treatments for cancer, respiratory conditions, and autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis. We spoke to Murat Kalayoglu, president and CEO of Cartesian, about its RNA-engineered cell therapies, how they work and how the company is pushing the use of cell therapies beyond cancer.


Childrens Hospital

If you are interested in pediatric medical device innovation or alternative solutions to surgery such as focused ultrasound, these two topics will merge at the Pediatric Device Innovators Forum, July 22, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. This free livestream event, hosted by the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), features clinical, regulatory and reimbursement experts discussing the topic “Focused Ultrasound for Pediatric Indications.”


Progress Labs Logo

Montgomery County, Maryland, home of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and more than 480 life sciences companies, continues its momentum as a magnet for new life sciences development with a major surge in leasing and investment. With rising demand and just 5.2% availability for the county’s existing lab space, an additional 1.6 million square feet (SF) of lab space is in development—joining the current 10.6 million SF of total lab inventory already in Montgomery County. 


Cursor and Notification Center

In May 2021, American Gene Technologies (AGT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced the treatment of the first participant in its Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety of the cell and gene therapy product AGT103-T. Designated as the RePAIR trial (Restore Potent Antiviral Immune Responses, NCT04561258), participants are infused once with their own CD4 T cells that were enriched, for cells capable of reacting to HIV, and genetically modified to resist infection. This is a first-in-human study for AGT103-T. The primary endpoint is safety; testing related to secondary endpoints evaluates responses to treatment including changes in the immune response to HIV. This video explains AGT's research and HIV cure program strategy.

Alexandria Logo

Lab Space industry analysis included the latest data on revenue numbers, product information and earnings of the major firms. The data includes a breakdown of earnings for the Lab Space international marketplace and a forecast for exactly that same period. This report also includes the most important business strategies that have been identified by the key players in the global Lab Space marketplace. The report also highlights the risks and strengths of key competitors in the global Lab Space market. The market’s vital information is provided by the study on Worldwide Lab Space Market 2021. This report covers all the current facts about Lab Space marketplace, which is crucial in helping to foster this market. A comprehensive assessment of the Lab Space marketplace’s dynamic background is provided at the end of the research.


world map with data on it.

As the world waits for the results of the investigation into the Wuhan biosafety laboratory and the verification of the COVID-19 origin , experts are turning to other high-security biological research facilities with a renewed interest. The Wuhan lab is only one of many around the world, but where are these other facilities? What are they working on? And most importantly, what security procedures are in place to keep future pandemics from happening?


Emergent Bio Building

Emergent BioSolutions (EBS +1.1%) has gained in morning hours after the company announced that a government agency exercised an option to extend a contract term related to its supply of Smallpox vaccine into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (“ASPR”), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), has modified the contract with the exercise of the second of nine annual contract term extension options, the company said.


People on a conference call.

With the opening of its state-of-the-art facility in Rockville in 2017, GSK has been strengthening its manufacturing presence in the US. As a result, the site’s portfolio of programs and bulk production has been growing steadily, with many immediate full-time job openings at the site. BioBuzz recently hosted a Virtual Recruitment Event for job-seekers to learn more about the various roles at GSK Rockville BioPharm, its work culture, and what the company is looking for in prospective employees.


Brian Darmody

Improving university/corporate research partnerships is key to advancing US competitiveness. Reform of the IRS rules surrounding corporate sponsored research taking place in university facilities funded by tax-exempt bonds has long been sought by the higher education community and will stimulate more public-private partnerships. With Congress considering new ways to fund research through a new NSF Technology Directorate and the possibility of a large infrastructure package, an opportunity is now open for Congress to address these long-standing reforms in IRS rules.



BUFFALO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emerge Capital Management (“Emerge”) has officially launched EMPWR, an emerging managers program. Emerge’s EMPWR program includes a roster of elite, emerging portfolio managers with a special focus on women portfolio managers. It provides full back-office support, platform support, and ESG monitoring dedicated to high performance.



NEWARK, Del., July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) confirms that it has received $153M in new funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as announced by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at NIIMBL's National Meeting in Washington, DC. The two awards include $70M to continue federal funding for NIIMBL for an additional five years and an additional $83M for coronavirus response projects under the American Rescue Plan (ARP).



BUFFALO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emerge Capital Management (“Emerge”) has officially launched EMPWR, an emerging managers program. Emerge’s EMPWR program includes a roster of elite, emerging portfolio managers with a special focus on women portfolio managers. It provides full back-office support, platform support, and ESG monitoring dedicated to high performance. 

“What's important is that we are focusing on top performing managers who would earn their place at the table not just because they are wonderful, talented women, but because they are strong credible portfolio managers”  Tweet this