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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arcellx today announced the award of an EvansMDS Discovery Research Grant to Johns Hopkins University to support development of an Arcellx ARC-sparX therapy in the treatment of high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The collaborative effort, led by Amy E. DeZern, M.D., at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, aims to advance development of ACLX-002, an immune cell therapy candidate directed at the therapeutic target CD123. The collaboration includes research to be conducted by Craig Jordan, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and materials and expertise to be contributed by Arcellx.


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ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- REGENXBIO Inc. (Nasdaq: RGNX), a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company seeking to improve lives through the curative potential of gene therapy based on its proprietary NAV® Technology Platform, today announced the clearance of the Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the suprachoroidal delivery of RGX-314 in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). The IND is active, and REGENXBIO plans to begin dosing patients in a Phase II trial, ALTITUDE, in the second half of 2020.


Catalent Logo

(Reuters) - Catalent Inc said on Monday its Maryland facility would make the drug substance used in the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, starting “late in the third quarter” this year.

The New Jersey-based company said the drug substance will be made at its commercial gene therapy manufacturing facility in Harmans.

Catalent would supply the so-called viral vector, which is a genetically modified harmless virus designed to trick the human body into producing certain parts of the coronavirus. These proteins, in turn, prompt the immune system to develop an arsenal for any real COVID-19 infections.


Qiagen Logo

Qiagen has announced plans to launch a new digital test for COVID-19 antibodies that can run multiple samples at once on a small portable device and deliver results in about 10 minutes. 

With a small digital hub and interchangeable testing stick system, the eHub was developed for use against the novel coronavirus in collaboration with Australian diagnostic developer Ellume. The device can process up to eight samples simultaneously, or up to 32 tests per hour, to detect the presence of IgA, IgM or IgG antibodies in plasma or serum.


emergent biosolutions

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) announced today that the company’s board of directors appointed Marvin L. White as a Class II director to serve on the board effective October 1, 2020, with an initial term expiring at the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders. Mr. White was also appointed as a member of both the Scientific Review Committee and Strategic Operations Committee of the board.


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SOMERSET, N.J. – Aug 24, 2020 — Catalent, Inc. (NYSE: CTLT), the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy will provide drug substance manufacturing to AstraZeneca for the University of Oxford’s adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, at Catalent’s commercial gene therapy manufacturing facility located in Harmans, Maryland.


BHCR Forum Save the Date 08242020 pdf 1 page

This invitation-only event is free for executive level biotech leaders and is presented by the Association of University Research Parks, AstraZeneca, BioHealth Innovation, Children’s National Health System, Emergent BioSolutions, George Mason University, J.P. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Department of Commerce, Virginia Bio, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set 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.

We are excited to bring you an exceptional line up of speakers to this virtual event!

*Please note that attendees’ name might be recorded if participating in the chat function during the event.

From left, Secret Chord Laboratories founders Scott Miles, David Rosen and Robert Abelow will be participating in the third 757 Accelerate startup program. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be switching to operating virtually this year. (Courtesy photo)

Imagine being able to use science to choose the right music for an advertising campaign or being able to order food and groceries on a military base from a veteran-owned small business.

Hampton Roads startups are bringing these ideas and more to this year’s 757 Accelerate program. In the midst of a global pandemic, the region’s startup accelerator is moving its entire program online and implementing a new abridged program for three more area startups.

Image: From left, Secret Chord Laboratories founders Scott Miles, David Rosen and Robert Abelow will be participating in the third 757 Accelerate startup program. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be switching to operating virtually this year. (Courtesy photo)

Coronavirus has challenged the region's businesses to step up.

Coronavirus made 2020 the year of the pivot.

But the D.C.-area ventures having real, direct impact on the Covid-19 crisis have done more than tweak their business models; they’re innovating, persevering and committing to getting us through the pandemic in one piece.

They’re laying groundwork and executing on plans to tackle the disease. They’re developing resources and launching initiatives to serve our communities, as we grapple with dangerous and disruptive ripple effects born from the public health emergency. They’re conducting research, donating dollars and delivering on their promises, all with one goal: to push through this period and make life easier in the interim, and thereafter.

Image: Coronavirus has challenged the region's businesses to step up. fpm -

Peter Meath

In an interview, Peter Meath, J.P. Morgan’s co-head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries, says the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on the life sciences industry with startups raising venture funding at record levels as the virus has transformed the way people usually do business in the sector. 

Image: Peter Meath -

Western lowland gorilla (Trisha Shears/FreeImages)

Humans are not the only species facing a potential threat from SARS-CoV-2, according to the results of a study by an international scientific team headed by researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Using genomic analysis to compare the amino acids of a key part of the ACE2 protein that is used by SARS-CoV-2 to gain entry into human cells, with those of the ACE2 protein in more than 400 other animals, the team found it feasible that many different species, including some, like the Western lowland gorilla, which are highly endangered, could potentially be infected by the virus.

Image: Western lowland gorilla (Trisha Shears/FreeImages)

Silhouette Photography Of Boat On Water during Sunset Free Stock Photo

The United States aims to invest $765 million over the next 5 years in a dozen scientific centers dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS), such as quantum computing, the White House announced today. Numerous private tech companies such as IBM, Google, and Intel will also contribute to the twin pushes, which call for a total of more than $1 billion in research investment.


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The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the largest early stage life sciences investors, and funds over $1B in awards each year through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programmes, according to NIH representatives who spoke at the “Key Role of NIH in the Product Development Pipeline” panel session at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Digital International Convention on 9 June.


RE Biotech Games jtk delmarvagroup com Delmarva Group LLC Mail

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!

maryland gov logo

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. 


MaxCyte Logo

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


Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Logo

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.



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 For questions/more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paper Boats on Solid Surface Free Stock Photo

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.


Scheer Partners Logo

(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.



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

Click here to register!


miRecule Logo

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.