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Another day, another start-up making headlines about its transformational technology that's set to disrupt a traditional sector, or its scientific breakthrough that will change the treatment standard for a horrible disease. "Sounds great!" you may be thinking. "Where do I invest?" Unfortunately, you can't.

Let's face it. Most of us aren't able to invest in venture capital funds. The realm of private equity that fuels the growth of fledgling companies is reserved for endowments, pension plans, and high-net-worth, accredited investors. Is it possible for ordinary investors to gain exposure to this high-risk, high-reward arena? Yes, but only indirectly. 

 

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK government said today that it has formed a strategic partnership with four pharmaceutical firms and a charity to provide £200 million ($247 million) to support sequencing the genomes of hundreds of thousands of participants in the UK Biobank.

The project aims to improve health through genetic research and to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and chronic kidney disease.

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WASHINGTON, September 16, 2019 – Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has been appointed to the FasterCures advisory board, executive director Tanisha Carino announced today.

Gottlieb has a unique vantage point into the biomedical research system, how breakthrough medical technologies are developed, and the promise new therapies can hold to cure disease and save lives, according to Carino.

As a member of the advisory board, Gottlieb will leverage decades of exp

Image: Scott Gottlieb - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Gottlieb

Pioneering data research centres to enable cutting edge research and innovation to benefit UK patients HDR UK

Data hubs set up across the UK from October this year will enable cutting-edge research for health discoveries and aim to give patients across the UK faster access to pioneering treatments.

Pioneering data hubs that enable cutting-edge research for health discoveries and aim to give patients across the UK faster access to pioneering new treatments will be rolled out next month.

Led by Health Data Research UK, these hubs aim to improve the lives of people with debilitating conditions, and will link up different types of health data and make it more easily accessible and user-friendly for research, while maintaining strict controls around data privacy and consent.

Doug Ward

When Doug Ward joined Personal Genome Diagnostics in 2016 as the company’s first CEO, he brought a small team of scientists with global experience from international medical technology companies. But leading teams and transformations at big names like Bayer, General Electric, Roche, and Siemens didn’t just make him a competitive driver with the know-how to scale the business, it made him an executive hyper-focused on building the team and scaling a culture that will take a startup company from the Canton waterfront to global distribution.

Image: Doug Ward is the CEO of Personal Genome Diagnostics. (Courtesy photo)

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BALTIMORE, Md. — The Maryland Department of Commerce has awarded nine small and mid-sized Maryland companies with ExportMD grants to help promote their products and services in the global marketplace. The ExportMD grant program helps businesses finance the costs of marketing internationally, including trade show fees and travel expenses. Applications are accepted on a monthly basis and the next application deadline is October 1, 2019. Eligibility requirements can be found on the Commerce website.

 

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You and your company team will be competing against other biotech firms to win the coveted BioBowl Trophy and bragging rights!

...Until next year

Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2019
Time: 4:00 - 6:30 PM (TBC)
Location: Bowlmor – 15720 Shady Grove Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Invitation to follow.

Hosted by BioHealth Innovation and AstraZeneca

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Most people consider mosquitoes to be a summertime pest – the unwelcome guest at the backyard barbecue. More concerning are the threats from disease-carrying mosquitoes, those that can potentially result in Dengue, West Nile, Yellow fever and Zika. And now media are reporting alarming cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in the United States that have already killed at least three people and infected others.

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Lockheed Martin recently signed a $3 million charitable commitment to the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering. The three-year contribution will be used to fund work-related to vertical takeoff and landing research at the school’s rotorcraft lab, and high-speed flight experiments reaching up to Mach 8, or 6,000 mph.

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“I think most of you know how deeply I care for this city and its people, how much I love being part of a place with so much grit, and grace, and potential,” University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, told several hundred members of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (DPOB) at the group’s annual meeting Sept. 12. “I can’t imagine a higher honor than being in a position to help Baltimore reach that potential, to help it become what we know it can be.”

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The Maryland Momentum Fund has been successful in its first couple of years but needs to do a better job of marketing itself to all of the University System of Maryland’s institutions, the fund's director told the system’s Board of Regents Thursday. The fund, which the system uses to invest in startups related to system institutions, has ...

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RegenxBio Inc. just locked in another deal — this one with a company working to treat eye diseases.

The Rockville biotech has reached a licensing agreement with Alpharetta, Georgia-based Clearside Biomedical Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSD) for rights to its platform to treat several eye diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. RegenxBio (NASDAQ: RGNX) plans to evaluate one of its own gene therapy programs, called RGX-314, using Clearside’s in-office injection as an alternative to surgery.

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A small clinical study in California has suggested for the first time that it might be possible to reverse the body’s epigenetic clock, which measures a person’s biological age.

For one year, nine healthy volunteers took a cocktail of three common drugs — growth hormone and two diabetes medications — and on average shed 2.5 years of their biological ages, measured by analysing marks on a person’s genomes. The participants’ immune systems also showed signs of rejuvenation.

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In the world of drug discovery and development, there is increasing pressure to get novel products to market faster, cheaper and ahead of the competition. This is exactly what Insilico Medicine is helping leading pharmaceutical companies to achieve through their artificial intelligence technology for drug discovery.

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The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) continues to thrive and currently occupies the fourth spot in the most recent Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (GEN) top ten U.S. biohealth cluster rankings. More importantly, the collaborative efforts across industry, academia, government and nonprofits within the BHCR have generated powerful momentum that is now producing tangible results: The region has moved up two spots in GEN’s rankings in the last five years.

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United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the New Drug Application (NDA) for Trevyent® (treprostinil) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The FDA assigned the NDA a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of April 27, 2020. Trevyent is a post-phase III development-stage drug-device combination product that combines two-day, single use, disposable PatchPump® technology with treprostinil, for the subcutaneous treatment of PAH.  

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With product candidates acquired from AstraZeneca (AZN) and MedImmune, Viela Bio (VIE) is clinical-stage biotechnology to be followed carefully. Besides, at Phase 3 of development, the company could deliver positive results in 2020, which may make the share price run. After the IPO, we expect Viela to have an enterprise value between $180 and $310 million. With that, in our opinion, savvy individuals will try to acquire shares at an enterprise value of $200 million.

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QIAGEN N.V. has announced that it has decided to integrate its global sales resources into its Business Areas (Life Sciences, Molecular Diagnostics and Bioinformatics). This transition is expected to allow the Business Areas to oversee the full value chain from innovation to commercialization, which is expected to further increase focus and agility. QIAGEN plans to provide an update during the fourth quarter of 2019.

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University of Maryland researchers have discovered that seemingly identical cells can use different protein molecules to carry out the same function in an important cellular process. The scientists named this newly discovered variability "functional mosaicism," and it has significant implications for the development of therapeutic treatments, which are often designed to target a specific molecule, or a gene that produces a specific molecule.

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Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced today that it has appointed brain tumor expert E. Antonio ‘Nino’ Chiocca, M.D., Ph.D., Harvey W. Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School Neurosurgeon-in-Chief and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital to its scientific advisory board. ITI is currently applying its investigational UNITE™ platform in immuno-oncology, particularly for virally driven brain cancers, and Dr. Chiocca’s extensive expertise in this field will be instrumental to these efforts.

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By invitation only: For questions email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gaithersburg, MD

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Are you an experienced biohealth entrepreneur seeking new opportunities in the BioHealth Capital Region? BioHealth Innovation is developing a database of experienced industry personnel willing to work in potential C-suite positions with our university and startup partners. If you would like to have your contact information and vita included in this database for their review and have not done so already, please submit your information to BHI via this form.   

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Dr. Zan Fleming, M.D. and Thomas Seoh of Kinexum join Biotalk host Rich Bendis to discuss the company, Metabesity, and their upcoming 2019 Conference in Washington, DC

Listen now on Google Podcasts http://bit.ly/2kaI8Xt, iTunes https://apple.co/2kc7jsG, and TuneIn http://bit.ly/2lMk79l

Dr. Alexander Fleming is Founder and Executive Chairman of Kinexum, a company with diverse expertise in developing drugs, biotech products, medical devices and digital health technologies. He is also Executive Vice-President of Tolerion, a biotechnology company developing disease-modifying treatments for type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Dr. Fleming received his M.D. and internal medicine training from Emory, fellowship training in endocrinology at Vanderbilt and metabolism at National Institutes of Health, where he was a senior fellow. 

At the US Food and Drug Administration from 1986-98, Dr. Fleming was responsible for the therapeutic areas of diabetes, other metabolic and endocrine disorders, growth and development, nutrition, lipid-lowering compounds, and reproductive indications.  He led reviews of landmark approvals including metformin and the first statin, insulin analog, PPAR-agonist, and growth hormone for non-GH deficiency indications. He conceived and directed the first FDA pilot project to utilize the internet for regulatory communication and represented FDA on the expert working groups for Good Clinical Practices and General Considerations for Clinical Trials of the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) and participated on other ICH committees including the Common Technical Document working group.  

Dr. Fleming remains active in supporting the development of diabetes-related preventions, treatments, devices, and digital technologies.  He serves on the joint technology working groups of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and American Diabetes Association. 
  

Thomas Seoh is President and CEO of Kinexum, a strategic advisory firm that provides regulatory, clinical, CMC and other translational guidance for life science product development.  He is an entrepreneur/executive who has held senior leadership positions in public and private pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies for over 25 years. 

Mr. Seoh began his career as a corporate attorney in New York and London, then assumed legal management positions with the Consolidated Press group in Livonia, MI, then the ICN Pharmaceuticals group in Costa Mesa, CA.  He next became VP, General Counsel and Secretary, and later, SVP Corporate and Commercial Development, of Guilford Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed company in Baltimore which commercialized GLIADEL® wafer for glioblastoma multiforme and developed the propofol pro-drug LUSEDRA® and small molecules for Parkinson’s disease.  He then became CEO of venture-backed Faust Pharmaceuticals in Strasbourg, France, with a repurposed compound in Phase II for Parkinson’s patients, a re-positioned molecule for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and a GPCR drug discovery platform. 

Mr. Seoh subsequently served in leadership positions of medical device startups developing an ex vivo liver dialysis device, a novel mechanical thrombectomy device for Deep Vein Thrombosis and stroke and a state-of-the-art neurocatheter, and a plant-based skin substitute wound dressing.  He has served on industry-university advisory boards at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  He holds an AB in Philosophy and History and a JD from Harvard University.

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Congress and the Trump administration are considering proposals to reduce the price of drugs, but there is a strong causal link between current drug prices and revenues on one hand and future drug research and treatments on the other. Policymakers should keep in mind this trade-off between short-term affordability and long-term innovation: Reducing drug revenues today will lead to a decline in future R&D and a decrease in the number of new drug discoveries.

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708 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Three move-in ready laboratory/office modules; each approximately 1,200 RSF with communal services and amenities designed to facilitate collaboration.

  • Fully fit out laboratory space
  • Office space includes one furnished office and two workstations
  • Communal space includes reception/lobby area, pantry, conference rooms, IT closet, autoclave, glass wash, and ice maker
  • BioHealth Innovation will provide their Startup and Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs and various supporting services to guide and facilitate the growth of early-stage companies
  • FitLab, Alexandria’s state-of-the-art fitness center, is located in close proximity

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Viewed simply by dollar value, the value of mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) activity appeared to be zooming in the first half of this year: Statistics compiled for GEN by Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Medtrack and Strategic Transactions services showed a total $184.05 billion worth of deals for which values were disclosed, up nearly 38% from the $133.73 billion recorded for January–June 2018.

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Each Cyclops had a single eye because, legend has it, the mythical giants traded the other one with the god Hades in return for the ability to see into the future. But Hades tricked them: the only vision the Cyclopes were shown was the day they would die. They carried this knowledge through their lives as a burden—the unending torture of being forewarned and yet having no ability to do anything about it.