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Sponsored by the Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research, the StarTUp Accelerator supports student and local business ventures in an intensive eight-week, cohort-based fellowship where start-up businesses take residency and work in a collaborative space to accelerate their ventures. The inaugural cohort is a diverse group that includes two student-based ventures, a 100% halal-certified consumer cosmetics brand, a sports betting game from recent TU grads, and ventures from current TU faculty.

 

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FDA Cleared Medical Device Improves Feeding Outcomes of Infants Born Prematurely

Olathe, KS and Rockville, MD, April 28, 2020—Innara Health, developer of the only FDA cleared medical device designed to improve the feeding outcomes of infants born prematurely, is partnering with BioHealth Innovation (BHI) to support the company’s plans for growth through greater market access and the development of NextGen technology.  Innara Health is dedicated to improving feeding outcomes for newborn and infants born prematurely.  “As we continue to expand our domestic footprint, we are very fortunate to call BHI our partner as their infrastructure and access will certainly support Innara in our journey to redesign the NTrainer, enter into adjacent markets, and expand globally” states Innara CEO Chris Mathia.  “We are excited to support Chris and his team as they expand, grow and develop new technology ultimately enabling many more NICU patients to return home to their families sooner and healthier” said BHI CEO Rich Bendis.

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Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”) a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today the close of a $61.3M financing led by HLB Co., LTD, a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel cancer drugs. This represents the second closing in the investment process for the HLB Consortium, ($10M was placed in February 2020), and substantially increases their holding in Immunomic Therapeutics to 47.6% of the common stock. HLB also secured an option to make further investment into the company in the months ahead.

 

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Gentian AS, a Norwegian company, with its US office at BioHealth Innovation in Rockville, Maryland is seeking collaborators to investigate if two of the biomarkers in their portfolio, cystatin C (FDA510(k) cleared) and plasma calprotectin (US research only), could potentially be useful for detection of the severely affected COVID-19 patients.

High mortality and long hospitalization are consequences of the severe cases with COVID-19 pneumonia. Gentian therefore believes that it is important to identify biomarkers that can aid in early, rapid and effective identification of the severely affected patients.

LifeSprout

BALTIMORE, Md., April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeSprout, a privately-held regenerative medicine company founded with technology licensed from Johns Hopkins University, has closed a $28.5 million Series A financing. The company is using proceeds to support clinical development of novel therapeutic products from its Regenerative Matrix platform.

The financing was led by Redmile Group, LLC, with new institutional investors Nexus Management, LP, Emerald Development Managers, LP, and the Abell Foundation joining the syndicate.

"We are delighted to complement the lead investment from Redmile with a strong cadre of Maryland-based and international investors," stated Sashank Reddy, MD, PhD, co-founder of LifeSprout. "The early, visionary investments made by the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund and others made this new financing possible."

 

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A Baltimore company will be at the forefront of producing a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Once a COVID-19 vaccine is ready for mass production, the company is going to be making hundreds of millions of them.

"We'll be providing the drug substance manufacturing which is essentially the vaccine itself," says Syed Husain, senior vice president of Emergent BioSolutions.

All of that work will happen at Emergent BioSolutions, which is located in front of Johns Hopkins Bayview.

 

Personal Genome Diagnostics Home

BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a leader in cancer genomics, announced today that the company has received market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for PGDx elio™ tissue complete, a comprehensive diagnostic kit that can be used by molecular laboratories to perform genomic profiling of cancer in a more efficient, reliable, and accurate manner. By automating the data analysis process, which is incorporated in the cleared product, PGDx is enabling the scalability of precision medicine in healthcare systems across the country.

 

REGENXBIO Announces Additional Positive Long term and Interim Phase I IIa Trial Update for RGX 314 for the Treatment of Wet AMD REGENXBIO Inc

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 provided additional long-term data from the ongoing Phase I/IIa trial of RGX-314 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).

"I am impressed by the overall outcomes in patients after a one-time administration of RGX-314. I believe that RGX-314 is the leading gene therapy program for a major retinal disease such as wet AMD and could be an important potential one-time treatment option for AMD patients who require frequent and burdensome anti-VEGF injections. Real-world evidence demonstrates that patients lose vision over time with our current standard of care and incur significant treatment burden with frequent clinic visits and injections," said Allen C. Ho, M.D., Director of Retina Research at Wills Eye Hospital and Mid Atlantic Retina and investigator surgeon in the RGX-314 trial.

 

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Alexandria LaunchLabs™ in Maryland, will provide fully equipped, affordable laboratory/office space with flexible lease terms, supporting infrastructure, access to amenities, and supporting services and programming through the project’s consortium of world-class partners, including Alexandria Venture Investments, BioHealth Innovation, Montgomery County, and the City of Gaithersburg. This unique, startup environment will accelerate the growth of local early-stage life science companies.

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—After weeks of consulting with leading scientists, business leaders, and public health experts, Governor Larry Hogan today introduced the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which provides a safe, effective, and gradual approach to reopening the state as it continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we begin to reopen, it will continue to be important for Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, to continue to stay home as much as they can,” said Governor Hogan. “All Marylanders should continue to avoid crowds and gatherings, and they should continue to practice physical distancing and to take precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their fellow Marylanders. Together, we are going to defeat this virus, and together, the State of Maryland will return stronger and better than ever.”

Image: https://governor.maryland.gov

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday announced his three-phase plan to eventually reopen the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hogan called the plan a “well-thought-out, gradual, safe and effective path forward,” supported by four pillars he has spoken about often in recent weeks: increases in testing, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and hospital surge capacity.

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Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (‘Emergex’), a biotechnology company developing CD8+ priming set-point vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the George Mason University, based in Virginia, in the United States.

The agreement specifies that George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases will provide their unique expertise and resources as a partner in the development of Emergex’s vaccines against highly pathogenic RNA viruses. In particular, George Mason University’s Biosafety 3 capabilities, coupled with their experience in dealing with RNA viruses, means that they are a well-suited collaborator on the vaccine validation studies, as well as the optimization of vaccine design.

 

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The rapid growth of biopharma is causing a shift to a new paradigm for the drug development and delivery model. In the same manner that the personal computing industry grew and developed business models that fit the way products were sourced, constructed and delivered, a business model for biopharma is taking shape.

Image: https://www.biospace.com

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) says it will work with Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) to produce more than a billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as it seeks to scale up global manufacturing of its potential treatment.

J&J says it is already preparing for clinical vaccine production at its Leiden facility in the Netherlands, with the aim of starting its Phase 1 clinical trial of its vaccine candidate on humans in September and potentially having it ready under an emergency use authorization next year.

 

What Is Contact Tracing How It Will Be Used for COVID 19 Time

In the coronavirus era, a host of epidemiological terms have entered common public use. There’s the now-ubiquitous “social distancing,” and the newly politicized “flatten the curve.” And as states and local governments seek a way out of lockdowns that have brought their economies to a near-standstill, “contact tracing” has made its way into everyday conversation as well.

Image: Public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth conducts a test for COVID-19 outside of the Salt Lake City Public Health Center on April 10, 2020, accompanied by Salt Lake County infectious disease nurse Travis Langston. When a swab test comes back positive, contact tracing starts. Scott G Winterton—The Deseret News via AP

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When a child gets seriously sick, it's up to us to fight for the world that they believe in. Johnson & Johnson Innovation is at the forefront of that fight. Helping to build a better future for the next child battling cancer, fighting the flu or facing the need for surgery.

The JLABS @ Washington, DC Children's QuickFire Challenge invites innovators to submit game changing ideas, technologies, and solutions that have the potential to impact pediatric oncology, pediatric surgery and influenza. The innovator(s) with the best idea(s) will be awarded up to $150,000 in total grant funding; one year of residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC with the use of a bench, workstation, and access to the JLABS @ Washington, DC community; and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

 

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Maryland tech companies started the year bringing in a surge of venture capital funding, and three of the state’s top 10 deals were in Baltimore, according to data from the latest PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree report. But a downturn in the last two weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic-caused slowdown took hold is leaving reason to keep celebrations on lockdown for now.

The $227 million that 21 companies raised from investors was a 44% uptick from the $115 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Image: The Huntress team. (Courtesy photo)

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Just over three weeks ago the CARES Act, a massive piece of legislation designed to combat the economic havoc being wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, was enacted.

One significant piece of that legislation is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows small businesses to borrow funds from the Small Business Administration and affiliated lenders roughly equivalent to 2.5 months of payroll costs. The use of borrowed funds is restricted to “payroll costs” (employee compensation, group health benefits, retirement benefits, state unemployment taxes), rent, mortgage interest, interest on other loans and utilities.

 

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Across the country, children’s hospitals are grappling with significant financial impacts due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are dealing with substantial decreases in revenue as well as increased expenses directly tied to addressing this global pandemic. Children's National Hospital is losing $1 million a day. I had a chance to share our challenges with NBC News Reporter Josh Lederman and to spotlight some potential solutions. #covid19 #pediatrics #finances #federalfunding #healthcare #childrenshospital

 

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Working as an emergency and critical care physician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Steven Tropello is seeing the lack of protective equipment for medical workers up close.

One particular area is during a procedure in which a tube is inserted into a patient’s airway, called intubation. It’s necessary to place someone on a ventilator, but presents danger of spreading the new coronavirus through the air or touch to doctors if they lack protection.

Image: CareCove. (Courtesy photo)

How to reopen the US according to Johns Hopkins and Harvard Business Insider

Most Americans are still stuck at home, but a trio of reports, out from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, are starting to lay a foundation for what reopening the country might look like, if done safely.

Though staying inside is certainly keeping more infections at bay right now, it's not without its costs.

Aside from the strain stay-at-home orders are putting on families, friends and communities, the newfound national quiet means the US is "hemorrhaging $100 billion to $350 billion a month," according to the new Harvard analysis, which was released on Monday.

Image: A worker wears a protective face mask in a factory of roll-forming machine maker Gasparini, in Mirano. Reuters

Banners and Alerts and Dr Anthony Fauci Not Overly Confident With US COVID 19 Testing TIME

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, says “we are not in a situation where we can say we are exactly where we want to be with regard to testing” capacity for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Fauci, in a discussion for TIME 100 Talks: Finding Hope on Thursday, says that the U.S. needs to not only increase the number of tests, which is happening as commercial testing companies increase production and the Food and Drug Administration continues to clear tests using different types of samples (including ones from the nose and saliva, as well as blood). But, he says, we also needs to make sure tests can actually be run the way they should.

 

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Even prior to COVID-19, change was afoot in the venture capital industry. Machine learning and algorithms were emerging as new ways to spot winners, and cities like Boston staked out turf as VC hot spots, proving that not all innovation takes place in Silicon Valley.

 

Collaboration Proposal COVID 19

We at Gentian AS believe it is the duty of all companies in the health industry to help combat the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19/Corona virus. High mortality and long hospitalisation are the consequences of the severe cases with COVID-19 pneumonia. Hence, it is important to identify biomarkers that early could aid in rapid and effective identification of the severely affected patients. In the Gentian test portfolio, the two biomarkers, cystatin C and plasma calprotectin, could be useful for the early detection of the severely affected COVID-19 patients. To do our part we are reaching out to research/hospital institutions who want to run a trial to assess whether these biomarkers can make a contribution in the detection of severe COVID-19 cases.

 

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In a different year, incoming freshmen would already have in hand a tightly choreographed schedule for late summer and early fall: the move-in date, the orientation and, finally, the first day of classes.

But on the coronavirus pandemic calendar, there are no dates yet for the next academic year. Just scenarios. And that unprecedented uncertainty is fueling a second wave of crisis for schools already plunged into financial distress.

 

Sarah de Crescenzo News Articles and Opinions Xconomy

Even as the novel coronavirus has derailed daily life and business operations, the life sciences sector continues to see companies make public debuts and ink both financing and partnership deals.

In venture capital, US deal activity in the first quarter tallied 2,300 financings totaling $34.2 billion, according to the latest report by the National Venture Capital Association, which uses data from PitchBook. That’s roughly on track to match the total raised in the past two years, both record-setters in one way or another. But the likelihood of that pace continuing is slim, according to the report.

Image: Sarah de Crescenzo

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In these uncertain times, we are proud to have so many BioHealth Capital Region federal, state, local and private sector organizations focused on combatting COVID19.  Please use these links to stay abreast of the last news and resources available for your business.

District of Columbia 

Maryland

Montgomery County, MD

Virginia

US Small Business Administration 

Volunteers

 

AstraZeneca Donates 3 Million Surgical Masks to Direct Relief for Covid 19 Supply Needs in the U S

Direct Relief today announced a donation from AstraZeneca of 3 million surgical masks for US healthcare workers battling Covid-19.

“For the dedicated and courageous healthcare workers across this country treating Covid-19 and non-Covid19 patients, working without an adequate supply of face masks and other protective equipment is like going into battle without body armor,” said Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe. “This generous and timely donation from AstraZeneca will make a substantial difference in keeping these vital workers safe and able to continue providing care for us all.”

Image: Pallets of surgical masks, donated by AstraZeneca, are prepared at Direct Relief's global distribution facility in California for delivery via FedEx to health workers battling Covid-19 across the United States. (Photo: Direct Relief)

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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? There are a couple openings remaining for tomorrow (Wednesday) ‘s EIR session. Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs by videoconference here by 2 p.m. today, Tuesday and forward your power point deck to BHI at that time. Next month’s session is scheduled for May 27th.

Click here to schedule a time with us and send your slide deck to: bhi(at)biohealthinnovation.org.

Contact Judy Costello for more information.

E:  jcostello(at)BioHealthInnovation.org

P: 301.637.8854

 
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It was a year ago this month that Johnson & Johnson Innovation first unveiled plans to launch a healthcare innovation facility in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with BARDA—also known as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

BARDA's mission: the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition and manufacturing of medical countermeasures—vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools and non-pharmaceutical products—needed to protect us from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) health security threats, as well as pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

Image: Photo courtesy of Children’s National Hospital

Aledade raises 64M in Series C supports doctors with COVID supplies Washington Business Journal

Bethesda’s Aledade Inc. has done it again.

The fast-growing health tech startup, which helps physician practices cut costs and build accountable care organizations, has raked in a whopping $64 million in Series C financing, after kicking of 2019 with $56 million in then-new investments — and all in a moment of general investor restraint.

The funding will enable Aledade to continue expanding its national network of doctor-led ACOs, the company said Monday. It will also support the addition of more value-based contracts with Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plans. It comes as Aledade sees annual revenue grow 60% and projects it will surpass $150 million within the next year, it said in an email to the WBJ.

Image: Farzad Mostashari is the CEO and founder of Aledade. JOANNE S. LAWTON

FW 200 Investors for Tech Hubs jtk delmarvagroup com Delmarva Group LLC Mail

RESI is planning its first ever, dedicated, digital partnering event on April 29-30th with over 200 investors participating! We’re offering a special opportunity to our tech hubs to help your companies continue their business development in these difficult times. If you are able to promote this event among your constituents, we would like to offer them the possibility to register at a 50% discount, good until April 17th. That means the registration for 2 full days of partnering will cost less than $300!

Special 50% Discount Offer for Tech Hub Constituents (2-Day registration only, ends April 17th) Registration price $595 = $297.50

REGISTER HERE Discount Code: RESITH50

Medcura moves into New Corporate HQ

RIVERDALE, Md., April 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Medcura, Inc., a commercial-stage medical device company, announced today that it has moved into a new purpose-built facility in Riverdale, Maryland that will support the manufacture and commercialization of its growing product line.  

Medcura chose the Discovery District, a growing center for technology and innovation, where high-tech companies can build businesses that develop, manufacture and commercialize disruptive new products. The Company worked with Terrapin Development and St. John Properties to design and deliver a facility that can house product development, manufacturing and leadership functions that will support commercialization of consumer, clinical, surgical and military applications of its proprietary platform. The Company intends to manufacture core cGMP compliant hemostatic and wound treatment materials at a scale necessary for commercial launch and in support of the clinical development of implantable devices.

Image: PRNewsfoto/Medcura, Inc. 

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QIAGEN N.V. QGEN announces the receipt of the FDA’s approval for its therascreen BRAF V600E RGQ polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) Kit (therascreen BRAF V600E) as a companion diagnostic to the BRAF inhibitor, BRAFTOVI (encorafenib). The company also announced the subsequent launch of the kit. The FDA approved the use of the PCR kit as a companion diagnostic in combination with cetuximab to treat adult patients, who have metastatic colorectal cancer (“CRC”), with a BRAF V600E mutation after prior therapy. Notably, CRC patients having the mutation will be identified, using an FDA-approved test.

 

Advancing Medicine With Precision™ Precigen

GERMANTOWN, Md., April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Precigen, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEN), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative gene and cell therapies to improve the lives of patients, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Investigational New Drug (IND) application to initiate a Phase I/II trial for 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. HPV+ cancers represent a significant health burden in indications such as head and neck, cervical, vaginal and anal cancer.