What if you had the power to save a life? What would you do with it? How would you share it?

J. Roberto Trujillo, President & CEO, TruBios, LLC, which is located on the university’s Montgomery County Campus, is working diligently to answer these tough questions as he sets a lofty goal for his company and its affiliates and subsidiaries: to eradicate all viral diseases in the Americas within the next 38 years. He and his colleagues call this goal Project 2050. One of the first diseases they’re targeting is cervical cancer.

According to Trujillo, 80% of cervical cancer cases can be found in developing countries where the resources needed to treat these kinds of diseases are scarce.


When Lynn Johnson Langer, a faculty member in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ Advanced Academic Programs, began her career as a microbiologist at the National Institutes of Health, one of the first things that struck her was the dichotomy between business and science.

“Businesspeople and scientists didn’t speak each other’s language,” Langer says. “They didn’t always respect each other.”

When she transitioned out of NIH and into the business world, she further saw just how far apart the two worlds were, and how seldom the two seemed able to “play nicely in the sandbox.”


Maryland will be giving away $300,000 to promising entrepreneurs as part of a business competition.

The InvestMaryland Challenge is part of the state’s venture capital initiative that raised $84 million for seed and early stage companies earlier this year. The challenge will award $100,000 prizes to the most impressive companies in three categories: information technology, life sciences and general.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is seeking approval from the White House for a prototype of a reporting system that would encourage patients to report medical mistakes and unsafe practices by health care providers, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 9/22).

AHRQ already has funded the development of the prototype patient reporting system. The agency is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget to test the prototype's efficacy (iHealthBeat, 9/10).


United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR) announced today that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Ascendis Pharma A/S to apply Ascendis Pharma's proprietary TransCon technology platform to United Therapeutics' treprostinil molecule, the active ingredient in Remodulin® (treprostinil) injection.  United Therapeutics believes that the TransCon technology platform may enable a controlled, long-acting release of a novel, carrier-linked product, significantly enhancing the delivery profile of treprostinil by establishing a self-injectable alternative for patients who currently use the drug via a continuous infusion pump for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

"We are thrilled to enter into this license agreement with Ascendis Pharma," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  "The potential to bring another novel therapeutic option to PAH patients represents an exciting new opportunity for Remodulin delivery as we constantly re-charge our mission to better the lives of patients suffering from PAH."


The Pitch Across Maryland tour, a statewide event to provide guidance and access to resources to potential entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses, kicked off last week with a first stop in Ocean City.

Startup Maryland last week launched its Pitch Across Maryland tour with the first stop on a two-week plus trip across the state. At each stop, Startup Maryland is holding rallies, sharing information about the vast resources available to young entrepreneurs in the state and region and providing coaching and support from business mentors and other economic leaders in Maryland.


QIAGEN NV, a provider of sample and assay technologies, has announced an agreement with Lepu Medical Technology Co., Ltd., a medical device company in China, to provide QIAGEN's ESEQuant Lateral Flow System for use in emergency rooms with Lepu's tests for cardiac markers that diagnose acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The agreement expands QIAGEN's presence in China and adds a new point of need diagnostics application. China's State Food and Drug Administration, or SFDA, has approved the ESEQuant Lateral Flow detection system with Lepu Medical's five cardiac marker tests. Lepu will market the system in China under the name LEPU Quant-Gold.


Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) announced the launch of the second AccelerateBaltimore program in partnership with the Abell Foundation. The program will start accepting applications in early October 2012, and the accelerator will begin in February 2013 with up to 6 companies—a 50% increase from the first AccelerateBaltimore program.  

With the Abell Foundation as the funding partner and the ETC providing the program support services, the first AccelerateBaltimore was launched in April 2012. It was the first business accelerator in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland. The goal of AccelerateBaltimore is to help technology companies meet the challenges facing a start-up and get to market quickly.


Adventist HealthCare hopes an improved economy and a possible asset sale will make the difference when it tries again to secure Maryland regulatory approval to move Washington Adventist Hospital from Takoma Park to White Oak.

But the clock is ticking. The 105-year-old hospital is on pace to lose money this year as revenue continues to decline, which hospital President Joyce Newmyer said is partly a reflection of the increasingly untenable problems faced at its current location, which executives say is too cramped and isolated to accommodate health care reforms.


You are invited to join Governor Martin O’Malley for a special announcement and launch of the InvestMaryland Challenge, a new national initiative hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and Inc. Magazine.  

Stay tuned to for more information.


The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund's (MSCRF) Annual Symposium consistently delivers a comprehensive agenda that features a powerful line-up of speakers, scientific talks, poster presentations, and ethic discussions. In addition, the symposium will include an exhibitor showcase, workshops, a reception, and ample networking opportunities. This two day event will facilitate a bridge between academia, industry, and the scientific research communities while promoting innovative advances towards stem cell therapies, regenerative medicines, basic research, and technologies.


Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has become the world leader in biomedical research because of its unique innovation ecosystem. Read below to learn how funding for the National Institutes of Health strengthens our nation's health and economy from research laboratories to private industry to patients – the ultimate beneficiaries of medical research.



The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

A series of webinars will be held to answer questions about the current Phase I solicitation (NSF 12-605, due date of December 3, 2012) and the submission process.

Upcoming Webinar Dates:

September 24th, 2012 October 3rd, 2012


A Bethesda, Maryland startup BrainScope has been awarded a $2.67 million contract over two years to develop a miniature, hand-held, non-invasive medical devices that can rapidly evaluate traumatic brain injury in the field.

Industry: Medical Devices

Solution/Product: BrainScope has developed the Ahead system to help to triage patients who may have traumatic brain jury, including concussions.


September 25, 2012 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Webinar to provide information about FY2013 SBIR-TT Topics 317 (Wound Healing Preparations Incorporating Nitric Oxide-Releasing Materials) and 318 (Test to Predict Effectiveness of Docetaxel Treatment for Prostate Cancer)

Meeting participants will learn the technical background for these topics and the processes for licensing these technologies from NIH. Presentations will be followed by an interactive questions and answers period with the inventors, SBIR program directors, and NIH and NCI Technology Transfer experts.

Read FAQs for the topics:

Learn more about NCI SBIR:


Wondering how many top life sciences CEOs got where they are today? The 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference, taking place September 27-28 at the Bethesda Marriott, will give attendees the inside track on how area biotech CEOs found their way to the top during a panel on building value and planning exits.

In addition, CEOs from the area’s top hospital centers will provide insight into the delivery of healthcare services today. Are today’s hospitals willing to buy new technology? How can today’s hospital system be successful? Conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to speak to the executives at the top of Adventist Healthcare and Inova Health System.


By tour’s end, between 60 and 100 Maryland entrepreneurs will have met the StartUp Maryland Pitch Tour bus now traversing the state to offer an exciting opportunity— to have their ideas heard and possibly realized.

The incandescent yellow and black bus, swathed with the Maryland flag started its tour in Ocean City, Maryland on its way to Baltimore’s Merriweather Pavilion on September 28th, with 20 stops which have already included Salisbury, Cambridge, Easton, Chestertown, Wye Mills and Annapolis among others.


MedImmune is increasingly concentrating its workforce in Maryland, both through new hires and consolidations from California, as it prepares to take a host of midstage drug candidates through clinical trials.

The Gaithersburg biotech is entering a pivotal period. Its parent, British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca PLC, is laying off employees by the thousands at the same time that it is investing more heavily in its Maryland-based biologics arm.


QIAGEN N.V.  today announced an agreement with Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., a leading medical device company in China, to provide QIAGEN's ESEQuant Lateral Flow System for use in emergency rooms with Lepu's tests for cardiac markers that diagnose acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). The agreement expands QIAGEN's presence in China and adds a new point of need diagnostics application.

China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has approved the ESEQuant Lateral Flow detection system with Lepu Medical's five cardiac marker tests. Lepu will market the system in China under the name LEPU Quant-Gold. Globally, this is the first regulatory approval in human healthcare for QIAGEN's pioneering ESEQuant platform which was acquired in 2010.


The Maryland Biotechnology Center, an office of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, opened the application process for its FY 2013 biotechnology development awards. Since 2010, the program has made nearly two dozen awards totaling $4.5 million to Maryland companies.  The deadline to apply for the awards that range from $50,000 to $200,000 is October 17 and applications are available online here.

“Though we’re just entering the third year of our awards program, it already has enabled organizations to begin translating their research to reality,” said Dr. Judith Britz, Executive Director of the Maryland Biotechnology Center. “Because of our award, companies like Telcare are partnering with industry leaders like QualComm and are able to attract significantly larger private investments.”


Art Jacoby’s turn as chief of the Tech Council of Maryland was intended as a stop-gap gig, meant to fill the interregnum between the departure of the Old Boss and the arrival of the New Boss. This summer, the council’s board quietly made Jacoby the New Boss, dropping the “interim” of his job description.

Perhaps his promotion didn’t merit an announcement because, practically, nothing had really changed. Since his arrival in January, Jacoby has never really acted like anything but the full-time CEO.


In a recent article in Slate magazine’s Future Tense project,  Pascal Zachary made a key observation about the strange estrangement of science from technology in U.S. policy when he wrote:

"Neither candidate will ask, for instance, why taxpayers spend some $30 billion annually to try to understand the basic causes of diseases but virtually nothing on delivering effective new medical therapies to the ill."

Indeed, over the past 10 years, $340 billion in federal funds have been allocated for basic medical research to improve and lengthen the lives of Americans. But how much money does the government spend actually translating medical science discoveries into workable therapies? Surprisingly little.


Deadline to Apply: October 17, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

The Maryland Biotechnology Center’s (MBC) Biotechnology Development Awards provide funding to advance biotechnology research and development in Maryland along the path to commercialization.   

Applications for the Maryland Biotechnology Center’s FY2013 Biotechnology Development Awards for Biotechnology Commercialization or Translational Research now are available in the column to the left.


McLean-based RxAnte, developing technologies that help make sure people take their prescription drugs, has received a $4.6 million investment from Aberdare Ventures and West Health Investment.

The company will use the financing to continue development of its technologies and take them to market.


When science fiction films depict the future, the best writers and directors are often less concerned with accurately predicting how specific technologies might reshape the world than they are with confronting the moral or philosophical quandaries of present day. It’s what makes those stories compelling--and relatable. When futurists attempt to tell us how (and when) technology leaps will occur, they’re not only speculating about what we’re capable of achieving in the coming decades but also imploring us to prepare--scientifically and psychologically--for those events.

Envisioning Technology, the firm behind the massive infographic explorations of the future of emerging technology and the future of education technology, is, as you might guess, run by a futurist: Michell Zappa. His most recent visualization maps the next three decades of health technology, charting how regeneration, augmentation, diagnostics, treatments, biogerontology, and telemedicine will change over time. According to ET, the stuff of science fiction--from cryogenics to all-out life extension, from robot health care to 3-D-printed synthetic organs--will be very real before too long.

Law firm Fenwick & West, which handles legal issues for a variety of technology companies, has examined 186 venture fundings of U.S.-based companies in the life-sciences sector over the first half of 2012, and found that valuations have ticked upward.

Matt Rossiter, a partner at the firm and co-author of a recent survey on life-sciences deals, said he has also noticed increased involvement in deals by public medical-technology companies, who often turn to start-ups for new innovations.


Representatives for Gaithersburg biotech company MedImmune hinted at an expansion of their campus at a mayor and council work session Monday evening.

Medimmune Executive Vice President of Operations Andy Skibo mentioned a “need to reassess how space is divided” on MedImmune’s Gaithersburg campus. “There are no specific construction plans at this time,” he said, though the company is working on a master plan with the city.


Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen has been invited by the White House to attend a special forum on economic development, the county announced Tuesday.

The conference, which will take place next Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will bring together U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, senior White House officials, business leaders and municipal government officials to discuss effective economic development strategies.


Peter Greenleaf, president of MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, addressed many of the challenges and growth opportunities for Maryland biotech companies at today's MdBio Leadership Series breakfast, hosted by the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM).

"Maryland is a hotbed of activity in the biotech sector, so changes taking place in the industry -- related to competitive threats and growth opportunities -- will no doubt have a big impact on businesses based in our state," said Art Jacoby, TCM's CEO. "Peter's remarks this morning provided valuable insight -- from not only his role as president of MedImmune, but from the perspective as chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority -- into the changes taking place in the biotech market and how companies at all stages can position themselves for success."

Medimmune logo

AstraZeneca biologics arm MedImmune and WuXi AppTec have formed a joint venture (JV) to develop and commercialize MEDI5117, a new biologic for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases for China.

As part of the JV, MedImmune will provide technical and development support while WuXi AppTec will provide local regulatory, manufacturing, pre-clinical and clinical trial support.


The Maryland Technology Development Corp. awarded almost $1.2 million to 16 Maryland startups in its latest round of funding.

The funding, through TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund, is aimed at helping early-stage companies commercialize products they have developed working with universities and federal laboratories in Maryland.


Vaxin Inc., a promising biotech company spun from research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, quietly moved from Innovation Depot to a new home in Maryland as it continues development of vaccines for the flu and anthrax.

The company, founded in 1997, has consolidated its staff and lab space on the East Coast in order to be closer to funding and a number of other vaccine development companies, Chief Executive Bill Enright said Thursday. He said other reasons for the move were to consolidate costs and get closer to the company's primary source of funding, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Developm