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A new initiative spearheaded by Johns Hopkins is setting out to organize and grow the digital health community in the region, with an aim of fueling successful startups.

The Chesapeake Digital Health Exchange (Chesapeake DHX) wants to create more connectivity between the stakeholders in digital health, such as companies, investors and healthcare providers. The regional effort aims to include Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia.



BioSciCon, Inc., a woman-owned small business based in Rockville, Maryland focused on providing a low-cost and accessible diagnostic system for the detection of cervical cancer announced today that it is seeking a partner to make its proprietary MarkPap® platform available to women in low- and middle-income countries.

According to BioSciCon Director and President of the Global Academy for Women’s Health Dr. Olivera Markovic, “In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), thousands of women still are dying needlessly every year from cervical cancer due to the astonishingly low screening in LMICs for this highly preventable disease. Our kit and screening model, if applied as designed, could prevent the deaths of about 300,000 women annually, through improved and expanded screening and early detection of cervical cancer.”

The idea for BioSciCon was conceived by Drs. Olivera and Nenad Markovic upon discovery of a new bioactive protein residing only in specimens obtained from abnormal cervical tissues. Continued success of their team of scientists led to the development of a proprietary technology for visualization of this protein by simple laboratory pathology means known as the CAP-PAP Test. The MarkPap® System has been tested in more than 2000 women and proven to result in faster, less expensive and more accurate diagnosis of cervical cancer than the conventional Pap and liquid-based Pap test.  These improved outcomes have been documented in more than 60 publications in peer-reviewed  journals and in the reference guide “What Every Woman Should Know about Cervical Cancer”).  To further the company’s mission to save women’s lives through early intervention in LMICs, BioSciCon is seeking a partner to distribute MarkPap kits to underprivileged women in low resource settings.

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COLUMBIA, Md., Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- TEDCO, Maryland's economic engine for technology companies, announced its recent round of funding for select projects through the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). This round of funding includes project grants for technology assessment and investments in the spin-out companies, from its five partner universities for a total of $2.63M.

Established in 2012, the MII program was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University; and Morgan State University. 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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Hi, I am Harsha Rajasimha, Founder and Chairman of IndoUSrare, an independent non-profit organization focused on helping patients with rare diseases of Indian origin in the USA, India and globally with a vision to build collaborative bridges between the east and the west to accelerate research and development of diagnostics and therapies through education, advocacy, research & grants.


GlycoMimetics and Apollomics Announce Exclusive Collaboration and License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Uproleselan and GMI 1687 in Greater China GlycoMimetics Inc

ROCKVILLE, Md. & FOSTER CITY, Calif. & HANGZHOU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2020-- GlycoMimetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLYC), a leader in the field of applied glycotechnology for cancer, and Apollomics, Inc., an innovative biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of oncology combination therapies, announced today an exclusive collaboration and license agreement for the development and commercialization of uproleselan and GMI-1687 in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, also known as Greater China.


Cells Human Medical Free image on Pixabay

Oncology, neurology, and fatty liver disease are among the areas where one can expect to see significant activity this year, according to forecasts from investment bank analysts.

Anticipated highlights for 2020 include potentially the first regulatory approval of a drug to treat the liver disease nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH; the launches of two new drugs for sickle cell disease; and late-stage data for a drug to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, among others. Several company executives also shared their insights in a story published over the weekend.


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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), an S&P 500® REIT, is the first and longest-tenured owner, operator, and developer uniquely focused on collaborative life science, technology , and agtech campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle. Alexandria has a longstanding and proven track record of developing Class A properties clustered in life science, technology, and agtech campuses that provide our innovative tenants with highly dynamic and collaborative environments that enhance their ability to successfully recruit and retain world-class talent and inspire productivity, efficiency, creativity, and success.


The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy welcomed nearly 200 researchers from across the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to the second UMB-JHU Joint Symposium on Drug Discovery on Dec. 3. Organized by Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy, and Barbara Slusher, MAS, PhD, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery, the symposium provided an open forum for scientific exchange and interactive communication among students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from two of Baltimore’s preeminent academic institutions.

Image: Nearly 200 researchers from across UMB and JHU gather for the second Joint Symposium on Drug Discovery. -

Collin S. Smith

Here we are… 2020. As we approach this new decade with a fresh lens of excitement and rejuvenated ambition for impact, there are a few fundamentals that we should review. Elements we all know are important in our commercial strategy, yet can be abandoned in the hustle of launching a new product, service, or company to market. We should take a moment to reflect on the past decade’s success and challenges specific to the life science industry. Many questions still remain as we progress into the new year—will painful blood draws finally be a thing of the past thanks to Velano Vascular’s needless vascular access device? Or, could cutting edge digital health companies, such as Livongo or Virta Health, eliminate chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes? Further, many often wonder, will traditional pharmaceutical drugs be replaced by Prescription Digital Therapies (PDT) altogether? 



BioSpace is proud to present its NextGen Bio “Class of 2020,” a list of up-and-coming life sciences companies in North America that launched* no earlier than mid-2018.

To come up with this list, BioSpace sorted companies into that age grouping, and they were then weighted by a number of different categories and finally ranked in a cumulative fashion, based on the points awarded for each category. These categories were: Finance, Collaborations, Pipeline and Innovation (view methodology below).


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Competition for startups aims to increase the pace of development and commercialization of critically needed pediatric medical devices. In the world of innovation, devices used for pediatric medical care, particularly the very young, are lagging behind those created for adult purposes. A contest is now open, inviting innovators to do something about it. Top contenders will be awarded with support from an innovation accelerator to further develop their device and an opportunity to win up to $250,000 in grant money.



GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NexImmune, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel immune-therapeutics based on a proprietary Artificial Immune Modulation (AIM) nanotechnology platform, announced that industry veterans Han Myint, MD, and John Trainer, MBA, have been appointed as the Company’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.

Dr. Myint commented, “I am very excited to join NexImmune at such a time where I can leverage my professional experience to oversee the Company’s first two clinical trials for NEXI-001 and NEXI-002 in patients with relapsed forms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Multiple Myeloma, respectively. The Company has developed a novel technology that directs endogenous T cells against multiple tumor antigen targets. For patients suffering from a variety of cancers, I believe this approach has the potential to deliver potent anti-tumor activity while minimizing potential off-target toxicities, and I am looking forward to working with team to make this a reality for these patients.”


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GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON), a leader in the engineering and industrialization of biology to improve the quality of life and health of the planet, announced today that it will refocus the company on healthcare, change its name to Precigen, Inc. and, effective immediately, has appointed Helen Sabzevari, PhD, as President and CEO. The new Precigen will encompass Intrexon's wholly-owned healthcare subsidiaries Precigen, ActoBio Therapeutics, Exemplar Genetics, and its majority ownership interest in Triple-Gene, as well as equity and royalty interests in therapeutics and therapeutic platforms from companies not controlled by Intrexon. Randal J. Kirk has been appointed Executive Chairman.  Additionally, Intrexon has executed binding agreements to sell its smaller non-healthcare businesses for $65.2M plus certain contingent payment rights and entered into an agreement to sell $35M of its common stock.  The proceeds from these transactions, combined with the company's cash and short-term investments on hand at December 31, 2019, approximates $175 million thus attaining Intrexon's year-end objective.


Home Precigen

GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Precigen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative gene and cellular therapies to improve the lives of patients, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation (ODD) to PRGN-3006, a first-in-class investigational therapy using Precigen's non-viral UltraCAR-T™ therapeutic platform for patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (clinical trial identifier: NCT03927261). Precigen announced in Q3 2019 that it had completed enrollment for the first cohort of this clinical trial and expects an initial data readout in the second half of 2020.


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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- MaxCyte, the global clinical-stage cell-based therapies and life sciences company, announced today that Shruti Abbato has joined the Company as Executive Vice President, Business Development for CARMA Cellular Therapies. Ms. Abbato will lead development of new partnerships for the Company's CARMA platform programmes. 


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Oxford, UK – 18 December 2019: Vaccitech Ltd announced today that its strategic collaboration with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Ludwig), Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT), has entered into a clinical partnership with Cancer Research UK to develop VOLT’s VTP-600 immunotherapy as a treatment option for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).



The Maryland Technology Development Corp. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded four companies a total of $448,000 to develop NIST-licensed technologies for the market, TEDCO announced Tuesday.

The NIST Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (N-STEP) focuses on commercializing NIST research. It lets NIST researchers who have left the agency or will soon be leaving the agency to commercialize technology they researched.

Image: Money, money. In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, freshly cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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Eight months after Maryland Technology Development Corp. halted investments through some of its funds, the state-backed organization announced Friday it is ready to accept new applications from startups seeking investment.

TEDCO has launched a new online application process for several of its funding programs: the Rural Business Innovation Initiative, Builder Fund, Seed Fund and Maryland Venture Fund (MVF). New investments through these programs have been on hold since June, while TEDCO has enacted legislature-directed reforms prompted by a damaging audit report aimed particularly at the MVF.



Scientists from the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) this week proposed a new theory, based on the findings of three previously published studies, to improve the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy drugs. The theory calls for a new design for these drugs that would prevent side effects like life-threatening immune system reactions and enable a higher dose of the drug to be administered.



Johns Hopkins University will close its graduate programs in Rockville by the summer of 2020, dealing a blow to the county’s ambitions of expanding higher education opportunities.

The university plans to consolidate the Center for Biotechnology Education on Medical Center Drive with the program’s main campus in Baltimore, said Leslie Ford Weber, the director of campus, government and community affairs for Johns Hopkins in Montgomery County.



As president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Jay A. Perman, MD, has challenged the University to promote big ideas and be forward-looking. To celebrate his nearly 10-year tenure, however, a look backward was appropriate.

In that vein, nostalgia and sentiment filled the air Dec. 12 at the SMC Campus Center, where a crowd of about 400 packed the second-floor Elm Ballrooms to pay tribute to Perman, who will become the fifth chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) on Jan. 6.

Image: Dr. Perman greeted a line of well-wishers before and after the celebration on Dec. 12 at the SMC Campus Center. -

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The University of Maryland School of Medicine is being recognized by a national news publication for groundbreaking biomedical research that “is making the world a better place.” The publication, WIRED magazine, is featuring the innovative work of UMSOM’s Samuel Tisherman, MD, professor of surgery, and the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center on a list of 19 items or advances recognized in 2019. 


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COLUMBIA, Md. (January 3, 2020)—TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today that its programs: Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBII Fund), Builder Fund (Builder Fund), Seed Funds (Seed Fund) and Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) are now accepting applications for investments. 

In accordance with new statutory requirements enacted by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session, TEDCO has developed and adopted regulations governing its investment programs.  The new law also tasked TEDCO with developing an application process for its investment programs. With the new regulations in place and a compliant on-line application portal up and running, TEDCO is now able to begin accepting applications.  



2019 was an eventful year in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR), to say the least, and BioBuzz has been there to document it every step of the way.

Whether it was the retirement of the MedImmune brand, Viela Bio’s $150M IPO, the $1.2B acquisition of Paragon Bioservices, Kite Pharma’s new manufacturing site in Frederick County, Maryland, an HIV cure emerging in Maryland or our continued coverage of the region’s expanding cell and gene therapy cluster-it’s been a truly remarkable year within the BHCR.


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Cancer Research UK and Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT), today (Wednesday) announce a new partnership to bring a novel immunotherapeutic vaccine strategy to patients with lung cancer.

The vaccine treatment developed by VOLT, a strategic collaboration between Vaccitech Ltd and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, is designed to stimulate the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. It will deliver cancer-associated antigens (MAGE A3 and NY-ESO-1) to antigen presenting cells called dendritic cells, causing the immune system to produce cytotoxic T cells, which target and kill cancerous cells expressing the antigens.



Do you want to work with cutting-edge technology in 3D Tissue Model space. Mimetas, the market leader in 3D platform technologies, is seeking a critical thinker to work in our Gaithersburg, MD location. This person will have opportunity to influence discovery in a variety of disease indications, including cancer, inflammation, and drug safety. See attached description for more details.



This VC investment graph sums up the purpose of Healthcare Pizza. 🍕

As you can see, investors are increasingly focusing on larger, later stage rounds.

At least among CB’s 2019 Top 150 digital health startups.

There’s reasons, including the fact that more mature companies were more likely to be placed on the list.


Old people can produce as many new brain cells as teenagers New Scientist

Old age may have its downsides, but losing the ability to grow new brain cells isn’t one: healthy people in their seventies seem to produce just as many new neurons as teenagers.

The discovery overturns a decades-old theory about how our brains age and could provide clues as to how we can keep our minds sharper for longer.

In mammals, most brain cells are created at or soon after birth and are not renewed. Recently, it was discovered that the human hippocampus, associated with learning …

Image: We keep on growing neurons – even as we age - THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Significant strides have been made towards the management of pediatric cancers, yet we still come up short with delivering a cure for many of our littlest patients. Further, even when children achieve long-term survival, they can experience long-term adverse effects from the disease or treatment.



The Healthcare Technology Report is pleased to announce and recognize a unique set of accomplished women playing vital roles in some of the most important global companies shaping the future of biotechnology. The awardees of 2019 were each selected based on a detailed review of the depth of their professional experience and the caliber of their career achievements. These women are leaders not only in title or position but based on what they’ve been able to accomplish inspiring the teams and organizations around them. They have also demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of biotech. We congratulate each of this year’s awardees of The Top 25 Woman Leaders In Biotech of 2019.



President Moon Jae-in announced in May that the government would designate the biohealth industry as one of the three new sectors for future growth, help the industry account for at least 6 percent of the global pharmaceutical and medical device market share by 2030, achieve $50 billion biohealth exports, and nurture the sector as one of the five major export industries.

The announcement came during his visit to Osong, North Chungcheong Province, which has a cluster of biotech research firms.



The largest biotechnology incubator of its kind in New York City has opened at 180 Varick Street in Hudson Square.

BioLabs @ NYULangone is designed to attract the nation’s most innovative companies working in early stage life sciences.

The co-working facility currently has 22 companies and is expected to house more than 40 early-stage biotechnology and life sciences companies, 160 scientists, business personnel and support staff, in 50,000 s/f of newly renovated and fully equipped laboratory and office space.

Image: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joins representatives of NYCEDC, NYU Langone Health and BioLabs at the official opening. -

low carb

Low-carb diet success story Sabrina Williams, above, who drastically reduced her weight from 257 pounds.

A new group called the Low-Carb Action Network (LCAN), a coalition of doctors, academics, and average Americans with personal success stories using low-carb diets, has launched to urge U.S. nutrition leaders to include a true low-carb diet as part of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

LCAN members point to a large and rapidly growing body of strong scientific research showing carbohydrate restriction to be a safe and effective strategy to prevent and even reverse chronic, diet-related conditions such as pre-diabetes/type 2 diabetes, overweight/obesity, and high blood pressure along with a broad array of other cardiovascular risk factors.



RoosterBio Inc., a leading supplier of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) working cell banks and hMSC bioprocess systems, announces today an expansion of its facility in Frederick, Maryland for the second time in 2019. The addition of 5,000 square feet to its existing 15,500 footprint supports the company’s expansion efforts and provides infrastructure to meet a growing international demand for its standardized hMSC bioprocess tools. By strengthening its cell manufacturing solution portfolio and presence in the Asia Pacific and Europe, RoosterBio is giving more people around the world the ability to advance regenerative medicine cures.



A planned new, 10-story cancer center at the University of Maryland Medical Center will transform the appearance of the front of the decades-old hospital building on the west side of downtown Baltimore.

The cubic glass and steel structure will rise above what is now the hospital’s driveway and main entrance off Greene Street, covering the existing building’s brick, institutional look.

Image: University of Maryland Medical Center officials presented three designs Thursday for the new cancer center addition to the hospital that will remake its face fronting Greene Street in downtown Baltimore. (Meredith Cohn / Baltimore Sun)