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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? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates:

  • 7/24/19 (All slots filled)
  • 9/4/19
  • 10/9/19
  • 11/20/19
  • 1/22/20
  • 2/26/20
  • 3/25/20
  • 4/22/20
  • 5/27/20

(45 minute blocks of time beginning at 9:00 in the morning. If the morning slots are filled, more time will be allotted beginning at 1 p.m.) 

These take place at BHI headquarters in Rockville or by videoconference via Zoom.

Pre-registration and forwarding of a power point deck one week before the session is required. Sign up here ("EIR resource" at BHI HQ, Rockville).  For questions, more information, or to be added to the wait list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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How did Virginia manage to snag the biggest economic development prize in recent memory?

Amazon says its abrupt decision in February to pull out of a deal to build part of its giant second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, was not about politics, despite speculation to the contrary. But when opposition in New York grew, Chairman Jeff Bezos and his team decided it only made sense to focus their efforts on the other victor in the HQ2 sweepstakes: Northern Virginia.

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Drones have made the news once again. This time, to aid in swift and reliable delivery of life-saving temperature-controlled medications required in emergency situations. A collaboration between Direct Relief, Merck (MSD outside the U.S. and Canada), Softbox, AT&T and Volans-i is pushing the boundaries and capabilities of UAVs- also known as drones, and confirmed a successful fourth pilot proof-of-concept mission was conducted in the Bahamas last week.

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The University of Maryland (UM) BioPark and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, today announced Illumina, Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems, as the newest tenant in the UM BioPark's 801 W. Baltimore St. building. The building is owned by Ventas, Inc., a life sciences real estate investment trust (REIT) and is part of Wexford's Knowledge Community development at the UM BioPark.

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In honor of the new JLABS @ Washington, DC – a 32,000 square foot facility located on the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC in partnership with Children’s National Health System[1] (“Children’s National”) - Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS announces the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge.

Visionaries within the fields of pediatric oncology, pediatric surgery and influenza are invited to submit innovative ideas for a total of 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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Join Women In Bio-Capital Region for our annual summer networking picnic on Sunday, August 11th, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Our chapter is providing the food and it will be brunch-style, under a lovely pavilion.

This is an open event, so please feel free to bring your family and friends for an opportunity to network and eat good food with your fellow WIB community. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming annual summer networking picnic.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – AMPEL BioSolutions today announces a breakthrough in precision and personalized medicine that could revolutionize the way doctors treat chronic diseases, like Lupus. Revealed in the peer-reviewed journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, the paper details our breakthrough machine learning approach to predict disease activity from gene data obtained from patient blood samples. The lab test, only a concept for the last few years, is now ready for development for practical use. AMPEL’s initial focus was Lupus, but the test can be used for many autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

AMPEL’s innovative machine learning approach, which is now ready to be developed as a decision support biomarker blood test could greatly impact health care, by allowing physicians to identify the cause of patient disease symptoms and select appropriate treatment more precisely. The application of our machine learning approach could assist pharmaceutical companies in drug development and clinical trials.

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Do you have an innovative idea to help solve a health issue affecting moms and kids today? Here’s your chance to make it happen! The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), part of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), invites you to participate in our four prize-awarded Challenges with a total prize purse of $1.5 million. These competitions seek low-cost, scalable, innovative solutions that improve the health of mothers and children across the U.S.

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On behalf of Bio-Trac, Co-Founder and Director Mark Nardone received a Governor’s Citation for Bio-Trac’s 33 years of service to the scientific community, having provided hands-on training to over 17,000 scientists. At last night’s well attended Stem Cell BioPanel event at the Montgomery College Bioscience Education Center, Mr. Nardone was caught by surprise, not knowing this award was to take place. In a heartfelt address, he mentioned to the audience of scientists that it was exactly the 1 year anniversary of Dr. Roland M Nardone’s passing and how he would have been pleased by the honor but even more so to see a room full of research scientists attending an event to gain knowledge, insight and network among their peers.

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American Gene Technologies (AGT), a leading gene and cell therapy company based in Rockville, MD, selected the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) as a new clinical site for its non-IND study, AGT-CS168, to collect clinical specimens from HIV positive individuals. AGT will use these materials to validate the patient-specific AGT103-T therapeutic manufacturing process. AGT expects AGT103-T will eliminate HIV from the body when infused back into the patient and will decrease or eliminate the need for lifelong antiretroviral treatment.

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AMPEL BioSolutions Co-Founder and COO/CSO, Dr. Amrie Grammer guests on BioTalk to discuss building the Company in Charlottesville, VA, her work and recognition at NIH, and being a leader from the southern part of the BioHealth Capital Region.

Dr. Amrie Grammer is the Majority Owner and Co-Founder of AMPEL BioSolutions, located in downtown Charlottesville Virginia. Amrie is a Translational Immunologist specializing in human Autoimmune Diseases. She trained at UVA (BS Chemistry, MS Pharmacology) before receiving her PhD in Immunology at UTSW Medical Center at Dallas. Amrie was recruited to the NIH to establish the B Cell Biology Group in the Autoimmunity Branch of NIAMS during the human genome sequencing project. She received multiple NIH awards for her work comparing signaling pathways and genes expressed in patients vs healthy individuals, including the prestigious Director’s Award.

Amrie founded AMPEL in 2013 to bring precision medicine to individual patients, especially those suffering from lupus to whom she has dedicated her career. Over the last six years, she has used her knowledge to design and implement a pipeline to predict disease activity and the “right drug for the right patient at the right time”. In addition, top drugs she identified for repositioning into lupus have had positive clinical trials. Amrie is a member of Sigma Xi and Sigma Delta Epsilon. She serves as a Chair of the UVA Alumni Board of the professional Chemistry Fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma. In December 2016, Amrie was elected to the Board of Directors of the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VA Bio). She is also a board member of the University of Virginia Fralin Art Museum (2011-present).

Listen now on Google Play bit.ly/2CzdnA9, iTunes, apple.co/2Arsfze, TuneIn bit.ly/2M60Wmx.

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The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced its recent investments through the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). With the latest round of funding, MII’s funding count for FY19 includes 26 technology assessment grants and seven start-up investments for a total of $4.22 million. True to its technology agnostic funding history, this year the startups ranged from Cleantech to AI and Biotech.

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Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Brady Urological Institute, and the Center for Computational Genomics at Johns Hopkins have received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study new treatment options for early-stage bladder cancer.

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At the close of the 2019 BioHealth Capital Region Forum in April, Floreo Inc. was announced as the winner of the BioHealth Innovation’s 4th annual Crab Trap Competition and the $10,000 grand prize provided by WSGR. Floreo, Inc., which is “…using the power of virtual reality to deliver immersive, fun, and affordable lessons for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)…”, was selected by the judges from a group of five finalists.

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Access to capital has been an ongoing challenge for biohealth companies in the BioHealth Capital Region (BCHR) and throughout the Mid Atlantic, though recent investment data suggests that capital market access is improving. “PwC/CB Insights ranks the region fourth with $944.07 million in 44 deals and Jones Lang Lasalle tallies $1.1 billion, good enough for third,” stated Rich Bendis, CEO of BioHealth Innovation (BHI), in his keynote speech at the recent The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Technology Transfer Showcase. 

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Arlington Capital Partners (“Arlington” or the “Firm”), a Washington, D.C. area based private equity investment firm focused on government-regulated sectors, today announced that it has successfully raised its latest fund, Arlington Capital Partners V, L.P. (“Fund V” or the “Fund”) with total capital commitments of approximately $1.7 billion – hitting the Fund’s hard cap. The fundraise, which was significantly oversubscribed, successfully reached its final closing in three months from its launch. The Fund sourced capital commitments from a hand-selected, globally diverse group of marquis investors, including public pension funds, corporate pension funds, insurance companies, fund of funds, and foundations.

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Dr. Marco Chacón sits down for a new episode of BioTalk to talk about his Founding of Paragon to its recent sale to Catalent, his current role with the University of Maryland Baltimore, and being a Leader in the BioHealh Capital Region

Marco A. Chacon, Ph.D., is the Assistant Vice President of Industry Alliances at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive and entrepreneur, Dr. Chacon works with the leadership team at UMB leading special projects to grow the BioPark tenant base and to strengthen the University’s research collaborations with industry.

Dr. Chacon is the Founder and Chairman of Paragon Bioservices, Inc., a Contract Development and GMP Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) located at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore. With  ~500 employees and 230k square feet of space, Paragon specializes in the development and GMP manufacturing of viral vectors and vaccines.

Dr. Chacon is also the Founder of IRAZU Biodiscovery, a regenerative medicine company seeking to develop therapeutic interventions to induce hypoxia tolerance and neuroprotection as described in experimental models of caloric restriction and hibernation, as well as during the neonatal period in mammals.

Dr. Chacon’s academic interests include control of metabolism, oxygen homeostasis and the regenerative potential of tissues and organs.

Dr. Chacon received a B.S. degree from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the UMB Foundation and was appointed in 2016 to the Life Sciences Advisory Board by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.

Listen now on Google Play bit.ly/2CzdnA9, iTunes, apple.co/2Arsfze, TuneIn bit.ly/2M60Wmx.

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Sometimes a Eureka moment sparks a breakthrough in innovation; other times it’s a rush to solve a crisis plaguing society — and the ones you love. That was the case for Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, a Maryland-based company she founded in 1996, and former CEO of GeoStar and creator of SiriusXM Radio.

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If biopharma firms want to get the most out of continuous manufacturing, they must rethink their viral safety strategies. Existing strategies work well for batch-mode production, as hard-won experience attests. These strategies, however, are still being adapted to continuous-mode production, where protocols and equipment preferences are in flux.