Martha Choonmaker - Closeup Image

“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 Martha Schoonmaker, Executive Director, Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology at Montgomery College (PIC MC).

Martha Schoonmaker is the first Executive Director for the PIC MC Foundation, the entity that develops, manages, and markets the Germantown campus on behalf of Montgomery College for company locations. PIC MC is an integrated academic, business, and research campus and is the only community college with a hospital, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, located as the anchor resident partner.

 

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This event is free for biotech leaders is presented by BioHealth Innovation, VirginiaBio, Children’s National Health System, Deloitte, JLABS @ Washington D.C., Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Department of Commerce, Quality Biologics, George Mason University, University System of Maryland and AstraZeneca. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set the bar high for biotech innovation. Please join us for our Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.

 

Palo Alto office buildings at 3450 Hillview Ave. and 3460 Hillview Ave. A big Southern California real estate and investment firm has gobbled up its latest in a string of Palo Alto office property purchases, a deal that extends a buying spree in the Silicon Valley tech hub that now tops $850 million.

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PALO ALTO — A big Southern California real estate and investment firm has gobbled up its latest in a string of Palo Alto office property purchases, a deal that extends a buying spree in the Silicon Valley tech hub that now tops $850 million.

Alexandria Real Estate, acting through an affiliate, has bought two Palo Alto office buildings on Hillview Avenue near Arastradero Road, acquiring a site that’s in the famed Stanford Research Park.

The deal suggests investors still seek to collect commercial properties in choice and prestigious locations despite the economic uncertainties that the coronavirus has triggered.

Image: https://www.mercurynews.com

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Thank you for your interest in the 6th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum on Monday, October 19, 2020 that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.

We are thrilled to welcome executive-level biohealth industry leaders from across the country and overseas. To make the best use of your time and enable you to network with our 1000+ registrants and learn from the 58+ industry speakers, please use the instructions below to join our virtual event platform, https://eventmobi.com/biohealth2020

 

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October 14, 2020 – Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced today at the virtual 2020 HLTH conference the awardees for the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s, Maternal Health, and Diversity in Innovation QuickFire Challenges, which respectively aimed to catalyze pediatric innovation, improve maternal health in the United States, and support diverse innovators. These challenges embody Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s commitment to catalyzing potential solutions to today’s greatest healthcare challenges.

 

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At BioBuzz, we’re dedicated to bringing you interesting and important stories that emerge from the thriving life sciences ecosystem that is the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR). 

The heart of the BHCR biohealth cluster is Maryland, with its vast network of government research agencies, the strong university system, and a deep network of established, emerging, and startup life science companies across a wide range of fields, including cell and gene therapy, advanced biomanufacturing, phage therapy, medical devices and more traditional biotech and pharma organizations. That’s not even to mention the remarkable efforts of myriad Maryland vaccine companies to develop the first approved, safe, and efficacious SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

 

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Emmes today announced that it was selected as one of the best places to work in the greater Washington area. The Washington Post’s 2020 Top Workplaces list ranked private, public, nonprofit and government agencies based on the highest engagement ratings from their employees. The Washington Post partnered with employee research and consulting firm Energage, and the process is based on a scientific survey of employees who rate their workplace culture.

The Post’s annual survey honored 200 organizations as Top Workplaces. Emmes was selected in the large company category, which included organizations with between 500 and 999 employees. More than 3,600 area companies were invited to have their employees take the survey.

 

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If you’re located in New York City or the Silicon Valley, venture capital firms are abundant and well covered by the media — you can’t escape them. But entrepreneurs in the Baltimore-D.C. region don’t need to go so far to find a firm that could propel their startup to growth.

The local venture capital community is robust, with dozens of firms that invest in all sorts of industries, from healthcare to fintech to cybersecurity. And it’s part of the reason that in 2016, approximately $1.09 billion was invested in local high-tech startups by VC firms, placing the region in the top 10 funded clusters in the U.S.

 

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To meet the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed goals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) today announced an agreement with AstraZeneca for late-stage development and large-scale manufacturing  of the company’s COVID-19 investigational product AZD7442, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, that may help treat or prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

 

Brett Malone, Ph.D., President & CEO Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center

Not every research project succeeds. And not every company survives. However, the ones that align with the culture of winning and sign up and adopt the community charter are opting in for a much higher chance of disrupting their industry and changing the rules of the game.

So, you are probably thinking it’s not important, right?

But it is... At the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, we have the unique ability to witness effective project teams daily. With over 200 companies creating breakthroughs from nanomaterials to self-driving vehicles, we have a ready-made ‘team laboratory’ to understand what works and how to scale.

Image: Brett Malone, Ph.D., President & CEO Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center

BHCR Forum Save the Date 08242020 pdf 1 page

Join fellow 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 more than 55 BioHealth Capital Region industry leaders to this virtual event!

 

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Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)  President and CEO  Benjamin Wu Chats with Rich Bendis on BioTalk.

Listen now Apple https://apple.co/2SJB2a5, Google https://bit.ly/2SMLbmd, Spotify https://spoti.fi/34SWcrIhttps://bit.ly/2SMde5j, and YouTube Audio https://bit.ly/2GSHXeu

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of MCEDC, Ben Wu leads the public-private economic development of Maryland’s largest jurisdiction which comprises 25% of the state’s economy with a GDP greater than 13 states. A Montgomery County native, Ben is an accomplished executive with over three decades of professional experience leading operations at the highest levels of our nation and state.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (2d from left) chats with Gale Smith, PhD, Novavax Discovery and Preclinical Research and Chief Scientist, during a tour of the company’s Gaithersburg, MD, facilities. (Office of Governor Larry Hogan)

When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visited Novavax recently, President and CEO Stanley C. Erck shared some welcome news for the governor publicly: Novavax had more than doubled its workforce so far this year, adding 116 people to the 100 that it employed at the start of 2020.

“The plan is to double that again, to add another 200 in the coming six months just in the U.S.,” Erck said, part of an expansion plan by Novavax to grow its workforce to 1,000 people worldwide. Novavax recently expanded into a third building at its Gaithersburg, MD, headquarters, and is also in talks for an additional 200,000 square feet of lab space locally.

Image: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (2d from left) chats with Gale Smith, PhD, Novavax Discovery and Preclinical Research and Chief Scientist, during a tour of the company’s Gaithersburg, MD, facilities. (Office of Governor Larry Hogan)

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GAITHERSBURG, MD -- October 6, 2020 – NexImmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a portfolio of unique non-genetically-engineered T cell immunotherapies, announced today that it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 1/2 clinical trial for NEXI-002. NEXI-002 is a patient-derived cellular product that contains populations of naturally-occurring CD8+ T cells directed against several multiple myeloma (MM)-specific antigen targets. It is the second clinical product NexImmune has generated with its AIM nanoparticle technology.

“While the primary objective in this trial with NEXI-002 is to demonstrate safety and tolerability, we also hope to see initial signs of immunological and clinical activity,” said Han Myint, MD, Chief Medical Officer at NexImmune. “The AIM technology gives us the unique ability to direct populations of natural T cells against a powerful combination of cell surface and endogenous anti-tumor targets specific to multiple myeloma. We believe this approach has potential to address primary tumor escape mechanisms, and provide deep and durable clinical responses.”

 

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ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 5, 2020– GlycoMimetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLYC) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Company a Rare Pediatric Disease designation for rivipansel for the treatment of sickle cell disease in patients 18 years old and younger. This designation recognizes the significant needs in pediatric patients.

“The FDA’s designation recognizes the morbidity and mortality burdens of sickle cell disease as well as its significant impact during childhood with life-long implications. With this designation, the agency acknowledges the urgent need for improved treatment of children living with sickle cell disease,” stated Helen Thackray, Chief Medical Officer of GlycoMimetics.

 

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Our allergy assets remain an underpinning of Immunomic Therapeutics’ success, and have enabled our pivot to focus on oncology.

In addition to our canine atopic dermatitis vaccine concept,  our vaccines using ITI’s lysosomal targeting technology have already been tested in several clinical studies in both allergy and oncology.

 

QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit (Photo courtesy of QIAGEN N.V.)

QIAGEN N.V. (Venlo, Netherlands) plans to launch a novel straightforward approach to viral RNA epidemiology that will significantly simplify and accelerate PCR analysis and remove key testing bottlenecks for SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses.

QIAGEN’s innovative QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit combines a liquid-based sample preparation step completed in only two minutes with real-time PCR detection in a streamlined workflow that can be automated with standard lab equipment for any throughput, any assay and any reaction need from single to multiplex testing. The kit, which uses the most common transport media such as Universal Transport Media (UTMTM) as the starting material, includes both sample extraction components and optimized PCR reagents for only one procedure.

Image: QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit (Photo courtesy of QIAGEN N.V.)

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Across the world in 2019, UNICEF reports that over 2.4 million infants died in their first month of life, the vast majority in the developing world. 

The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is particularly dire: an infant born in that region is 10 times more likely to die during its first month of life than a child born in a high-income country. Most of these deaths are preventable. 

It was statistics like these that inspired biomedical engineers Sona Shah and Teresa Cauvel to found Neopenda in 2015.

Neopenda, a Cisco social entrepreneurship prize winner, is a social enterprise that develops innovative technologies for health systems in underserved populations. 

 

Children’s National Hospital has received 2020 Digital Health Most Wired recognition by The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) as a certified level eight. The CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively health care organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities. 

“Children’s National is honored to receive the Most Wired recognition for our inpatient and ambulatory venues,” said Matt MacVey, vice president and chief information officer at Children’s National. “We have made substantial investments in technology in support of our mission to provide a high-quality experience and optimal health outcomes for children regionally, nationally and internationally.”

 

Johns Hopkins Covid 19 Map Team

In the early days of managing the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard, experts at the university and those at Esri, the company providing the mapping software for the real-time pandemic tracker, had a friendly rivalry.

"They would tell us, 'Oh, your COVID map is big, but not as big as our Pokémon Go map,' which was their most in demand," says Reina Murray, an application administrator at JHU's Sheridan Libraries.

By March, the volume of web traffic to the Hopkins map effectively shut down that conversation—the Hopkins dashboard now holds the record as Esri's highest-used service of all time, drawing hundreds of millions of feature requests every day. At a peak in March, the dashboard saw 4.56 billion feature requests.

Image: https://hub.jhu.edu/

Welcome to bwtech@UMBC

Maryland universities are home to lots of cyber researchers and technologists working on new ways to secure our increasingly technology-reliant society. Those higher education institutions are also home to graduate students looking for an entrepreneurial leap.

A new program is looking to connect the two, and form new startups in the process.

The Maryland New Venture Fellowship for Cybersecurity, created by University of Maryland, Baltimore County incubator bwtech@UMBC and the University System of Maryland, is launching this fall to support 10 early-stage teams. The program was recently awarded $594,000 in federal funds from the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. With matching funds from Baltimore County, the total funding reaches about $1.3 million.

Image: Welcome to bwtech@UMBC. - Courtesy Photo

Webinar Flyer

You are invited to continue strengthening the Québec-Maryland collaboration!

 

Objectives of this webinar

  • Highlight the signing of the cooperation agreement between Québec and Maryland in the field of life sciences and public health and launch the work of the advisory committee.
  • Share the government's vision for life sciences and public health, particularly in the context of a health emergency.
  • Create links, strengthen cooperation and mutually inspire each other with the most innovative expertise and initiatives aimed at establishing joint alliances in a sector of excellence.

Introductory remarks

Québec Delegate General in New York, Catherine Loubier 

Schedule

The importance of the life sciences sector for Québec and the State of Maryland

Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, and
Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, Nadine Girault

Secretary of Commerce for the State of Maryland, Kelly Schulz

Québec-Maryland collaboration agreement in life sciences and public health


Montréal's life sciences ecosystem

CEO of Montréal In Vivo, Frank Béraud

 

Québec City's life sciences ecosystem

CEO of Québec International, Carl Viel

 

Maryland's life sciences and public health ecosystem

Director of BioHealth and Life Sciences, Maryland Department of Commerce, Ulyana Desiderio


Q&A with the panelists

Register here

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ozdJpKpXSMC9n0Esrqo-rA

life science

All the fundamentals are aligning for the life sciences industry, as Covid-19 accelerates already growing demand for real estate in the sector.

Rents are rising for lab space, vacancies are plunging and research and development, and employment and new development are expanding further, thanks to strong venture capital investment. 

In the top life sciences markets there’s currently about 13.9 million square feet of space under construction, but active tenant demand is outpacing that, running at about 14.7 million square feet, according to a new report from CBRE. Lab-space vacancy is historically low at less than 8% percent in most top life sciences markets, pushing rents higher.

 

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08 October 2020
 
Germantown, MD, USA (October 08, 2020) – Amarex Clinical Research, LLC, an NSF International company client, Amytrx Therapeutics ("Amytrx"), recently initiated clinical testing of their anti-inflammatory therapeutic product AMTX-100 for dermatological diseases and conditions with the enrollment of patients in a first-in-man Phase 1/2b study for treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. Amarex wrote and submitted the IND application for Amytrx and is now managing the clinical trial.  
 
Preclinical safety studies in the IND cover several other inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis, rosacea, acne, herpes type 1 and 2, and shingles. 
 

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IMN’s Virtual Investors’ Conference on BioHealth, taking place November 18, will provide a platform to understand the intersection of securitization across the biotech and healthcare sector, helping educate investors, borrowers and industry participants on the hottest new asset class in equity capital markets. This one-day virtual conference will focus on both on European and U.S. opportunities and challenges, as regulatory challenges will be forefront on both sides of the globe. 

BioHealth issuance in 2020 has now surpassed $60 billion globally, spurring this asset class to become the second most popular equity capital markets sector, with momentum driven by huge secondary moves and companies benefitting from a greater focus on healthcare investing that Covid-19 has generated.  

Join this must-attend gathering to engage with hedge funds, institutional investors, and more, to discover exciting new investment opportunities as this sector expands to comply with policy, market demand and changing consumer needs.

 

RichandJeff

American Gene Technologies International Inc. (AGT) CEO and Founder, Jeff Galvin returns to update us of their Phase 1 Clinical Trial of their lead #HIV Program, their expansion in a new facility, and what's next!

Listen now on Apple https://apple.co/2Gi2GIF, Google https://bit.ly/2GizVvu, Spotify https://spoti.fi/2GxROGd, and TuneIn https://bit.ly/3l9HK56.

FRAXA Video Conference Screen Shot

The BioHealth Capital Region was represented for the first time at the FRAXA Biotech Games and took home FOURTH PLACE! This national competition is hosted annually by the FRAXA Research Foundation to raise funds and awareness for Fragile X research. Fragile X is the most common inherited cause of autism and intellectual disabilities. The BioHealth Capital Region was represented by BioHealth Innovation team members Ashwin Kulkarni, Rini Pek, Salman Hasan, and Delphine Lissa. BHI’s CEO Rich Bendis proudly stated “The BioHealth Capital Region cluster ranks 4th in Genetic Engineering News and now in the FRAXA games thanks to our crack team of analysts. Going forward, we’re looking to move up in both ranking!.”

 
BHCR Forum Save the Date 08242020 pdf 1 page

Join fellow 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!

 

InvestorConferenceSavetheDate08312020PDF pdf 1 page

The BioHealth Capital Region Investor Forum is going Virtual on October 20th and 21st. Contact BHI at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply to be a Company or Investor at this invite-only event.

 
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Are you and early stage company with innovative biohealth technology? Have you considered non-dilutive funding to advance your technology? Learn more about whether or not federal or state non-dilutive funding makes sense for you. Discuss potential strategies for success. Sign up for a free 1:1 advice and feedback regarding non-dilutive funding strategy and applications with BHI staff who have helped companies secured SBIR, STTR and other awards—at twice the national average win rate.   This program is open to anyone, though scheduling priority is given to Montgomery County companies, courtesy support from MCEDC.

Click here to schedule a time.

 
Chris Mathia, Innara Health

One of Kansas City’s most under the radar startups is scaling up amid COVID-19 — thanks in part to a share of $250 thousand in non-dilutive funding from a Los Angeles-based accelerator and FDA sponsored pediatric device consortia.

“When COVID hit, one of the things I took from that was, ‘When you’re not selling, your process better be impeccable,’” said Chris Mathia, CEO of Innara Health, the healthtech startup behind the NTrainer — the only FDA approved solution for improving oral coordination in premature babies. 

Image: Chris Mathia, Innara Health

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) announces six awardees chosen in its annual "Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!" competition to share in $250,000 in grants funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the advancement of pediatric medical devices. The competition, powered by NCC-PDI partner MedTech Innovator, focused on cardiovascular, NICU, and orthopaedic and spine devices, which are areas of critical need where innovation can significantly improve children's healthcare. The virtual event aired today as part of the 8th Annual Pediatric Device Innovation Symposium presented by Children's National Hospital in conjunction with The MedTech Conference, powered by AdvaMed.