The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on global health and highlighted the importance of international cooperation to effectively combat SARS-CoV-2. Since the discovery and publication of the virus’s genome in January 2020, scientists have rushed to develop vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics on an unprecedented timescale. To date there are 80 vaccines in clinical trials and 70 more in clinical development, setting the stage for some of the fastest vaccine development and testing in modern history1. The vaccine technology platforms used by the most promising vaccine candidates range from viral vector–based and protein-based technologies to mRNA and lipid nanoparticle technology. Despite these impressive scientific achievements, barriers such as the vaccine cold chain and multiple forms of intellectual property (IP) protection stand in the way of equitable access and fair allocation.


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The April jobs report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on May 7, generated considerable attention due to the 266,000 jobs added being far less than anticipated. Contributing to this topline number are quite a few trends moving in different directions, including a severe decline in automotive manufacturing employment — likely driven by the global semiconductor shortage — increasing restaurant and R&D employment, and declines in part-time work. Ultimately, the April employment data suggest a far more complex portrait of the economy than what is being covered in many sources.



The universal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed our understanding of the lives we knew both collectively and personally. No one is immune to the effects of an “enemy” that we cannot see and at times cannot comprehend.

It would be safe to say that feelings of uncertainty and uneasiness are a normal part of our daily lives over the past year. Regaining a sense of control and the promise of returning to some semblance of safety and normalcy is a priority.


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WYNNEWOOD, PA / ACCESSWIRE / May 19, 2021 / Lankenau Ventures is a new business established to accelerate development and commercialization of medical inventions conceived by frontline healthcare workers. It is an initiative comprising a leading medical research institute and commercialization and entrepreneurship experts.

The joint venture includes the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR; the research division of Main Line Health) and L2C Partners, both in Philadelphia and Early Charm in Baltimore.


The Terp Entrepreneur Network (TEN) is a University of Maryland Alumni Association industry-focused group with a broad mandate to foster a vibrant Terp alumni entrepreneurship ecosystem. Bringing together UMD’s significant investments in innovation and our talented network of alumni, TEN generates tremendous value for the Terp community. TEN serves as a dedicated platform to connect Terp alumni with the resources, tools, and connections needed in meaningful ways to advance their entrepreneurial goals.



FastForward U has announced the winners of its inaugural Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, which awarded more than $100,000 to eight student startups.

The I&E Challenge gave students a streamlined process to apply for multiple funding opportunities that enable them to make progress on their ventures over the summer without having to balance a job or internship. All four awards include money to pay for room and board, co-working space at FastForward U, and access to mentors and advisers.


Amritha Jaishankar, Ph.D.

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission announces the appointment of Amritha Jaishankar, Ph.D. as Executive Director, Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). In her role as the Executive Director of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, Amritha oversees all MSCRF activities and six programs accelerating stem cell research, commercialization, and cures. She will remain committed to helping our scientists, physicians, and companies advance their research and deliver cures to patients in need.


Cursor and Had You Purchased Alexandria Real Estate Equities in 2001 Here s Your Result My Morning Joe Stock Watch

The investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a twenty year holding period (or even longer), and reconsider making the investment in the first place if unable to envision holding the stock for at least five years. Today, we look at how such a long-term strategy would have done for investors in Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc (NYSE: ARE) back in 2001, holding through to today.


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Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here

For questions/more information, contact BHI.



BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), is a Montgomery County innovation intermediary which translates market-relevant research into commercial success by bringing together management, funding, and markets. BHI is seeking an experienced life science professional with venture investment experience to join the BHI EIR team and serve as a part time Entrepreneur-in- Residence (EIR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

This position will report to and work closely with our lead at the NIH Office of the Director, Office of Extramural Research and specifically support the portfolio of companies funded by NIA’s ~$130M annual investment in small businesses focused on Alzheimer’s disease & related dementias, disorders of aging and supportive technologies for senior living and care providers.

Click here for more information.

Julie and Rich Bendis

Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer, The University of Maryland, joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk to discuss Ventures, Collaborations and growing the Quantum footprint in the BioHealth Capital Region.

Listen now via Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

Julie Lenzer is the Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland and Acting Director for the newly-launched Quantum Startup Foundry. In these roles, she is charged with fostering and deploying innovation to drive economic and social impact from both university-affiliated and community based innovators. She currently oversees UM Ventures, the university’s tech transfer office, the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Maryland International Incubator (MI2), the Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC), as well as university engagement with the Discovery District (UMD’s 150 acre research park). An active angel investor, she is also on the investment committee of the $10M Maryland Momentum Fund.

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Gaithersburg, MD, May 4, 2021 – Cartesian Therapeutics, a fully integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering RNA cell therapy in and beyond oncology, today announced a $2 million competitive R&D award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support its clinical development for Descartes-30, the first RNA cell therapy for respiratory diseases.

This is the fourth Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded to Cartesian to support its clinical-stage investigational therapies developed with the company’s proprietary RNA Armory® combination therapy platform.  Cartesian previously won research grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for Descartes-11 in multiple myeloma ($2.3 million) and from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for Descartes-08 in generalized myasthenia gravis ($2 million).



The rapid development of new COVID-19 vaccines and treatments over the past year is a triumph of innovation. Billions of vaccine doses are being manufactured and should be distributed to all adults globally over the next 18 months. But some argue that suspending intellectual property (IP) rights to allow any company to manufacture vaccines will mean faster access for developing countries. These arguments have culminated in a proposal at the World Trade Organization for a temporary global waiver on COVID-19-related IP rights. 



Montgomery County and the region’s booming life sciences ecosystem is reaping the benefits of a talent pipeline being developed by the Universities at Shady Grove, a unique higher education campus in Rockville that brings together approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs from nine different institutions within the University System of Maryland.


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A Johns Hopkins University-led team has created an inexpensive portable device and cellphone app to diagnose gonorrhea in less than 15 minutes and determine if a particular strain will respond to frontline antibiotics.

The invention improves on traditional testing in hospital laboratories and clinics, which typically takes up to a week to deliver results—time during which patients can unknowingly spread their infections. The team's results appear today in Science Translational Medicine.



In a news cycle dominated by vaccines and an economy focused on innovation, cities see life sciences as not just a good bet but a critical piece of their economic development future. But while many metros believe they can attract jobs with increased investment in lab space, only a relative handful can become new centers of industry growth.

Image: Courtesy Hines Levit Green, a forthcoming development in Houston, exemplifies the spread of life sciences campuses across the U.S.


A longtime pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s National Hospital, Dr. Julia Finkel has long wanted a more objective way to measure how much pain patients are feeling.

“For pain, we do it very empirically,” Dr. Finkel said. “The patient says they hurt, we give them a drug. They either feel better or they don’t…It’s done in a very empirical way without a physiologic measure, and there are consequences for that.”


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About the business: TaylorMade Experience is a Silver Spring-based event management business that also assists clients with fundraising efforts. It is a certified woman-owned small business, has about a dozen employees, and ranked 15th among the Washington Business Journal’s most recent List of largest meeting and event planning companies based on the 40 local events it held in 2019.

Image: Christina Taylor launched TaylorMade Experience in 2008 as an events management business but made the pivot to all-virtual events during the pandemic. TAYOR-MADE EVENTS

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Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the launch of a $150 million effort to directly address historic underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, and to prepare a new, more diverse generation of researchers and scholars to assume leading roles in tackling some of the world's greatest challenges.


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ROCKVILLE, Md., May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmes (the "Company"), a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation and a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, today announced that it has acquired Orphan Reach, a CRO specialized in clinical research related to rare diseases. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


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Set on the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus will be a one-of-kind innovation hub. The nearly 12-acre campus will house leading entrepreneurs, thinkers, innovators and experts aiming to improve the health and well-being of patients around the world. Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC will occupy a 32,000—square foot facility open to biotech, medical device, consumer and health technology start-ups aiming to develop new medicines, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health tech applications. Additionally, in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, JLABS @ Washington, DC will be the hub for BLUE KNIGHT. Blue Knight is a collaboration dedicated to and aimed at anticipating health security threats, activating the global innovation community, and amplifying technological advancements to prepare for and respond to our rapidly evolving global health environment. We look forward to the opening of JLABS @ Washington, DC in collaboration with our partners at Children’s National Hospital and BARDA to support innovation for patients.


Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies to treat infectious diseases, today announced that the company has closed a $40.75 million Series B investment round led by Deerfield Management Company. Also joining the Series B round are existing investor Mayo Clinic and an additional undisclosed institutional investor. Proceeds of this financing will be used to accelerate clinical development of PhageBank™ phage therapies, as well as for general corporate purposes.


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By 2022, Frederick County will see an estimated 1,500 new jobs after diagnostics solutions company Ellume moves in.

The Australian-based company, which makes at-home COVID-19 tests, is set to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Frederick, county officials announced Monday.

The 180,000-square-foot facility in the Progress Labs Corporate Park off Md. 85 will be home to the plant.



Ellume, an Australian company specializing in diagnostics solutions for infectious diseases, is set to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Frederick, county officials announced Monday.

The 180,000-square-foot facility in the Progress Labs Corporate Park off Md. 85 will serve as a manufacturing plant, where Ellume will make at-home COVID-19 tests and bring an estimated 1,500 jobs to Frederick County by 2022. 

“This is great news for Frederick County,” Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said in a news release. “Ellume is on the cutting edge, making products that will help the world to overcome this health pandemic. We are excited to welcome Ellume to our thriving life science and biopharma family."

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Maryland is Open for Business Make Your Move

Maryland’s biohealth boom continues, with Australian bio company Ellume announcing its entrance in the United States. Ellume, a Queensland digital diagnostics company, recently signed a $231.8 million agreement with the federal government to accelerate domestic production of its COVID-19 home tests. The company will establish a manufacturing facility in Maryland, its first in the United States, to accommodate the demand for its products targeting infectious diseases. 


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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, May 10, 2021 BioHealth Innovation Inc. (BHI) announces the addition of Dr. Natsumi Takahashi-Vitiello, PhD in the role of Analyst. In her new position, Dr. Takahashi-Vitiello will assist the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Program at BHI in the evaluation of early-stage technologies, strategic planning for start-up companies, and identification/developmental strategies of new venture opportunities.

 “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Natsumi Takahashi-Vitiello to the BHI family,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President, and CEO. “Her biohealth business experience and scientific background will support the BHI clients in their commercialization and fund-raising activities.”


Rich Bendis welcomes Dr. Anne Khademian, Executive Director, The Universities at Shady Grove, on BioTalk to discuss Higher Ed in Montgomery County, their Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) facility, and Strategic Partnerships.

Listen now on Apple , Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

Dr. Anne Khademian was named to serve as the Universities at Shady Grove’s third executive director in October 2020, following a nationwide search and her appointment to the post by Dr. Jay Perman, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. As executive director of USG – a regional higher education center of USM in Montgomery County, with programs from nine universities on one campus – Dr. Khademian also holds the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for USM.


Aziyo Biologics Inc. is executing growth plans it established ahead of its initial public offering last fall — and starting to see results.

The regenerative medicine firm, which started trading on the Nasdaq in October, saw a first-quarter revenue increase year over year “despite some ongoing Covid-related headwinds,” President and CEO Ron Lloyd said in a statement this week.


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The University of Maryland will launch a new business development arm to nurture quantum-focused startups, President Darryll J. Pines announced last night at an event honoring the institution’s inventions, startup, mentor and student entrepreneurs of the year.

The Quantum Startup Foundry will support new businesses in the quantum technology field, which Pines said stands “poised to disrupt everything from cybersecurity and energy, to medical discoveries and the financial field.” It will be created through an initial $25 million investment from the university’s newly established Discovery Fund, with key funding from the state of Maryland.


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HOLON, Israel, May 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and a leader in predictive target discovery, today announced that it has expanded its research collaboration with Johns Hopkins University to include studies investigating the biology of a novel myeloid target that was computationally-discovered by Compugen. Initial preclinical studies demonstrate the potential of this target to serve as a novel myeloid immunomodulator, with significant tumor growth inhibition observed upon genetic deletion in in-vivo studies.


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The AIM-HI Accelerator Fund’s Women’s Venture Competition is a first-of-its-kind program that provides funding, coaching and networking opportunities to women-led oncology start-ups. Subject to due diligence and negotiation, the winning company of 2021 Women’s Venture Competition will receive a total of $1 million in investment from AIM-HI and co-investors. Click here to download the flyer!