baltimore-innovation-week

Baltimore Innovation Week is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Baltimore. The annual week of events is intended to grow the impact of this innovative region through programming focused on technology, collaboration and improving Baltimore.

Baltimore Innovation Week 2012 takes place September 20 to September 29.

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Johns Hopkins Medicine received an $8.9 million grant Tuesday to put toward patient safety research.

The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, based at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, was awarded the grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation plans to award $500 million over the next 10 years for research on eliminating preventable harm in hospitals.

Johns Hopkins University

In a study to decipher clues about how prostate cancer cells grow and become more aggressive, Johns Hopkins urologists have found that reduction of a specific protein is correlated with the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, acting as a red flag to indicate an increased risk of cancer recurrence.

Their findings are reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Aug. 27, 2012.

The team focused on a gene called SPARCL1, which appears to be critically important for cell migration during prostate development in the embryo and apparently becomes active again during cancer progression.  Normally, both benign and malignant prostate cancer cells express high levels of SPARCL1, and reduce these levels when they want to migrate. The team correlated this reduction or “down regulation” of SPARCL1 with aggressiveness of prostate cancer.

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Universities and their inventors earned more than $1.4-billion from commercializing their academic research in the 2011 fiscal year, collecting royalties from new breeds of wheat, from a new drug for the treatment of HIV, and from longstanding arrangements over enduring products like Gatorade.

Northwestern University earned the most of any institution reporting, with more than $191-million in licensing income.

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The University of Maryland BioPark announced today that Fluxome Inc., a nutraceutical ingredient company using novel metabolic engineering and fermentation methods, is the newest company to join the growing community of commercial tenants at the BioPark. According to Fluxome’s lease with building owner Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, Fluxome has based its U.S. headquarters and commercial operations in the BioPark building at 801 West Baltimore Street in Baltimore.

Said Jane Shaab, University of Maryland Research Park Corporation Senior Vice President, “It’s exciting to have another international tenant join us and it is especially rewarding to welcome Fluxome’s President and CEO Angela Tsetsis, who was previously on the management team at Columbia-based Martek (now Royal DSM N.V.), back to Maryland’s business community. Under Angela’s leadership, Fluxome is an example of a next-generation Maryland life sciences company.”

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Rockville Economic Development Inc. has chosen the winners of its annual Start­Right business plan competition, awarding the top prizes to entrepreneurs who created a social networking Web site and a device for people with sensory processing issues.

The competition, now in its ninth year, aims to foster women in business by inviting female entrepreneurs to pitch a detailed business plan and doling out roughly $20,000 in prize money.

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As a special offering presented during the upcoming annual Mid-Atlantic Bio conference, co-hosts announced a comprehensive line-up of programming focused on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to help interested companies learn more about specific opportunities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sessions will include an update on the recent rule changes and new requirements, advice on how to apply for the competitive program and the opportunity for individual meetings with program managers from a variety of Institutes of the NIH.

"The SBIR program continues to be an important source of funding and support for emerging companies seeking to commercialize innovative research and develop market applications," Jeffrey M. Gallagher, Virginia Bio Interim Executive Director and co-host of Mid-Atlantic Bio said. "We are particularly grateful that our geographical proximity to NIH's world class program managers allows us to provide conference attendees individual interactions and one-on-one meetings during our upcoming event."

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It's now much faster and easier to search for federal laboratory inventions that are available for transfer to business partners. The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) has developed a free online search engine that can quickly locate a particular type of technology anywhere in the nationwide system of federal labs and research centers.

Instead of sifting through the websites and records of each lab, users can now make a single search—typing in the keywords for the technology they're looking for. The search engine, which uses Google technology, scans available federal lab technologies and quickly returns all relevant results.

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued the new SBIR contract solicitation aimed at supporting the development of innovative biomedical and behavioral research technology with the potential for commercialization.

This SBIR solicitation is a separate and independent offering from the NIH and is not connected to their year-long Omnibus SBIR/STTR Grants solicitation. The contract solicitation is much smaller, and the topics are more focused and specific to each agency’s mission.  For example, topics available in this year’s solicitation range from New Methods to Detect and Assess Myocardial Fibrosis to Smartphone Application for Global Birth Defects Surveillance.  Budgets are also strictly enforced, and are limited to $150,000 for Phase I and $1 million for Phase II.   

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According to a new policy announced this week (August 20) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists receiving more than $1 million in direct NIH grant funds each year will be more carefully reviewed when they submit new proposals. The policy is a variation on one instituted in May that initiated an additional layer of review for researchers with $1.5 million or more in total annual funding. This extra scrutiny is designed to avoid overlap from ongoing research and stretch the flat NIH budget as far as possible.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a reliable method to turn the clock back on blood cells, restoring them to a primitive stem cell state from which they can then develop into any other type of cell in the body.

The work, described in the Aug. 8 issue of the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS), is Chapter Two in an ongoing effort to efficiently and consistently convert adult blood cells into stem cells that are highly qualified for clinical and research use in place of human embryonic stem cells, says Elias Zambidis, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering and the Kimmel Cancer Center.

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MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that it has been awarded LEED® Gold building certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).  Two facilities, the 308,000 square-foot R&D laboratory and 9,800-square-foot fitness center, received the certification.  LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is the nation’s preeminent program for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“We’re very proud to achieve LEED Gold certification. MedImmune is committed to environmental sustainability and strives to be a good corporate citizen and neighbor to surrounding communities,” said Andy Skibo, Executive Vice President, Operations, MedImmune.

Telcare

Bethesda-based Telcare Inc. has secured more than $25 million in equity funding.

Telcare, the developer of the first FDA-cleared wireless glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes, will use the funds for marketing, sales, research and development and ongoing operations.

Sequoia Capital led the round, which includes backing from existing investor, Qualcomm Inc., acting through itsQualcomm Life Fund.

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Voting is currently open for the South by Southwest (SXSW) PanelPicker!  SXSW has evolved to become one of the largest interactive media, technology and innovation conferences in the country.  While panels span topics from ‘Art and Inspiration’ to ‘Science and Space Exploration’, the ‘Government or Citizen Engagement’ track has been receiving a lot of attention in recent years.  Of the 3,123 proposals this year, 82 have been tagged as "Government or Citizen Engagement."     

Show your support for by voting for Entrepreneurs-in-Residence: Not Just for VCs!  Venture capital firms have utilized the services of ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Residence’ (EIRs), seasoned innovators with functional expertise to help spur entrepreneurship and fill gaps in expertise. Now, imagine combining the “innovation mojo” of EIRs with some of the government’s brightest intrapreneurs to solve the nation’s most pressing challenges.

Dennis-Purcell

The life sciences venture capital industry is undergoing rapid change. Although many innovative ideas have been taken from the bench to scientific discovery to treating patients, funding today to develop new products and services is getting more difficult to attain. Getting a product to market involves not only a long scientific process, but a carefully orchestrated financial process. This article attempts to explain how a typical VC fund operates and makes investment decisions.

Although many management teams readily approach us for possible funding, more than a handful are not knowledgeable about the inner workings of a venture capital firm, specifically the process by which we decide whom we will ultimately fund. I believe an understanding of the entire funding mechanism will better help entrepreneurs understand what to expect, the types of information the venture capital fund will request, and how long the process will take.

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Initiated by gb.tc (formerly the Greater Baltimore Technology Council) and sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School ofEngineering, local tech, nonprofit, business and government leaders are gathering this weekend at a new event called “unWIREd.”

Billed as an “unconference,” unWIREd hopes to pull together and mobilize Baltimore’s resources in a way that addresses the city’s challenges, according to a gb.tc press release.

UnWIREd is hosted by Johns Hopkins University and will take place at Maryland Hall on the Homewood campus, this Friday from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Attendees will plan the conference’s agenda upon arrival, with Friday’s session dedicated to a series of status updates on current efforts to address local problems such as poverty, violence and struggling schools. At Saturday’s session, organized teams will set out to identify demands and resources, and brainstorm potential solutions.

Techcouncilmd

The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) has moved its headquarters to a new location within Rockville, the result of a transaction recently put together by two executives at Rockville-based Scheer Partners.

The leading provider of fully integrated commercial real estate services for the technology and health science industries in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas announces today that it has negotiated on behalf of TCM in a 3,962-square-foot lease on the top floor of 9210 Corporate Blvd.

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As Maryland’s bioscience industry focuses more on running clinical trials for drug developers, there’s a growing demand for the highly-trained workers needed.

Montgomery College answered that call this summer, with a course that focused on clinical trial project management and was offered to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. Eighteen people graduated from the course Saturday, including one who was immediately snapped up by Amarex Clinical Research, a Germantown contract research organization.

Business of bio series

University of Maryland BioPark, Life Sciences Conference Center

Meet with Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development, MedImmune The Changing Face of the Biopharmaceutical Industry—Creating a Culture of Innovation

The biopharmaceutical industry is not the same as it was even a decade ago. Today, there are even more pressures to produce not just safe and effective drugs but safe and effective drugs that the payers are willing to pay for. We also know that research and development costs are increasing while R&D productivity continues to be on the decline. How can we continue to make it in the industry when our ultimate goal is to provide much needed drugs to patients with unmet medical needs?

coventry-health-care

Aetna Inc. will acquire Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care Inc. in a $5.7 billion deal in cash and stock, a move that will make Aetna one of the largest providers of government-financed health care, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Aetna is paying $42.08 per share for Convetry, a 20.4 percent premium to Coventry's shares as of Friday's close. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to be announced on Monday.

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After a surgeon stitches up a patient’s abdomen, costly complications—some life-threatening—can occur. To cut down on these postoperative problems, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs.

The student inventors have described their device, called FastStitch, as a cross between a pliers and a hole-puncher. Although the device is still in the prototype stage, the FastStitch team has already received recognition and raised more than $80,000 this year in grant and prize money to move their project forward. Among their wins were first-place finishes in University of California, Irvine, and University of Maryland business plan competitions and in the ASME International Innovation Showcase.

umd-helmets

There are entrepreneurs all over our state. Here’s your chance to get to know them!

Startup Maryland is launching Pitch Across Maryland, a state-wide startup tour and business pitch competition. Taking place September 11 - 28, this two and a half week tour across the state will travel from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland; from Cecil County to St. Mary’s County; from the Baltimore Beltway and the DC Beltway. And everywhere in between.

fraser-claire-umd

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified 26 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiota that appear to be linked to obesity and related metabolic complications. These include insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure and high cholesterol, known collectively as “the metabolic syndrome,” which significantly increases an individual’s risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The results of the study, which analyzed data from the Old Order Amish in Lancaster County, PA, were published online on Aug. 15, 2012, in PLOS ONE, which is published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS). The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (UH2/UH3 DK083982, U01 GM074518 and P30 DK072488)

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Johns Hopkins imaging specialists are teaming up with investigators from the National Institutes of Health to host the second annual molecular imaging symposium on Sept. 21.

The inaugural event, held last September at Johns Hopkins, was the brainchild of Sanjay Jain, M.D., a TB expert and an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and his colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Imaging Research.

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Deal will accelerate development of affordable Pneumococcal Vaccines in China

Fina Biosolutions LLC, a research and development stage biotechnology company focused on developing affordable conjugate vaccines, and The Chengdu Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd (CDIBP) announced their agreement to license Finabio’s conjugate vaccine technology for the development and manufacturing of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in China. The agreement will accelerate the multi-valent Pneumococcal vaccine development program at CDIBP.

The structure of the license in China includes an upfront payment, payments based on achievement of Chinese regulatory milestones, and royalty payments that are contingent upon successful development and commercialization. The agreement includes process development, personnel training at Fina BioSolutions labs in Rockville MD and scalable manufacturing of conjugate vaccines at CDIBP.

umd-mips

University of Maryland’s Maryland Industrial Partnerships awarded $4 million to 19 technology development projects.

The projects team Maryland technology companies with university researchers in an effort to bring promising technology to the commercial marketplace.

MIPS contributed $1.5 million of the grant money; the companies involved in the projects contributed the remaining $2.5 million.

nih-applications

We all know that NIH has seen a large increase in applications over the past decade, but how much of this is due to scientists writing more applications and how much is a result of a larger number of scientists doing biomedical research? I decided to take a closer look at this question, particularly at competing applications for investigator-initiated research project grants (RPGs), i.e., those that are not submitted in response to a specific request for applications.

BioGreenleaf

The state of the Life Sciences Industry

The biopharmaceutical industry has experienced major changes in the past few years with more changes expected to come. MdBio is proud to have Mr. Greenleaf provide his perspectives of the state of the global biotech industry and critical business/regulatory/government issues impacting the industry.

As Chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, Mr. Greenleaf will also discuss recent developments within the Maryland life sciences industry, including an implementation update of the InvestMaryland Program.

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The Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference today announced that two industry-leading executives will deliver keynote addresses at the nationally recognized conference taking place on September 27-28 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference in Bethesda, Md.

Patrick J. Mahaffy, president and CEO of Boulder, Colorado-based Clovis Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company, will deliver opening remarks Thursday, September 27. Peter Greenleaf, president of MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, will speak at the Conference's closing luncheon Friday, September 28.

mid-atlantic-bio-logo

Policy and partnerships.  Innovation and investment.  Access and awareness.  Mid-Atlantic Bio:  at the epicenter of bioscience R&D, capital and policy.

Mid-Atlantic Bio is the premier regional biotech conference for senior-level executives, policymakers, academia, financiers, media and service providers.  First launched in 2005, the conference is a joint initiative of the founding host organizations: the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and the Technology Council of Maryland. The Conference is also pleased to welcome  the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as a Strategic Partner for 2012.

cyber-maryland-2012

Join cybersecurity leaders, luminaries and rising stars at CyberMaryland 2012.

Be at the epicenter of information security and innovation during Cyber Security Awareness month when more than 1,000 people convene in Baltimore for the region’s premiere professional cybersecurity gathering.

Register today as a conference attendee, challenge participant, showcase exhibitor or awards banquet guest. CyberMaryland 2012 includes:

  • CyberMaryland Conference with 28+ Sessions in Three Tracks
  • Cyber Generation Showcase & Expo
  • Maryland Cyber Challenge & Competition (MDC3) for High School, College & Pro Teams
  • National Cyber Security Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Ceremony & Awards Banquet

umd-school-of-medicine

The Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine received a $4 million grant from The Wellcome Trust, considered among the most prestigious grant-giving charitable foundations.

The Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Indian partner Bharat Biotech will use the grant for pre-clinical and clinical research for a vaccine that fights an infectious disease stemming from non-typhoidal Salmonella. The disease is common in sub-Saharan Africa and can lead to meningitis and sepsis.

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The average American on the street has a Facebook account, an opinion about Facebook, heard about the Facebook initial public offering, and knows it collapsed. That same person doesn’t see how their life connects with biotech, probably can’t name a single biotech company, and certainly hasn’t heard of any members of the biotech IPO class of 2012.

But here’s something that might surprise both biotech insiders and the average guy or gal on the street. The biotech IPO class of 2012 has made money for investors, while tech’s most glamorous up-and-comers have been stumbling.

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Dr. Sara Michelle Nayeem and Dr. George Wall Bell IV were married Saturday evening at River Farm in Alexandria, Va. The Rev. Michael Godzwa, an Assemblies of God minister, officiated. Enlarge This Image

Susie Soleimani Photography Dr. Nayeem, 34, works at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm in Chevy Chase, Md., where she helps the firm invest in biopharmaceutical companies. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received an M.B.A. from Yale, from which she also received a medical degree cum laude.

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Roger Novak, left, and Jack Biddle are embarking on their first fund in six years.

Bethesda-based Novak Biddle Venture Partners is setting out to raise its sixth fund, said co-founder Jack Biddle, its first such effort since the early-stage venture firm raised $227 million six years ago.

That fund will be accompanied by some big changes at the top. Two general partners, Phil Bronner and Tom Scholl, will take on reduced roles as venture partners in the next fund, according to Biddle. Bronner and Scholl, both tech brains with entrepreneurial backgrounds, were promoted to their current positions when the firm closed its fifth fund in 2006.