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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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Angel investing stands to benefit from economies of scale. Solo startup investing isn’t quite as terrifying a process as solo entrepreneurship, but it still involves the same sort of iron guts and optimism in the face of probable failure. It's your cash on the line, after all. Finding good deals, performing due diligence, haggling with founders over valuation — all can be daunting jobs for a single angel. Getting it wrong means lot of grief and an eventual tax write off.

The wisdom of crowds, especially seasoned, sophisticated crowds, has much to offer in this regard. And that is the basic idea behind angel networks, which boost not only the amount of capital available to an entrepreneur, but also – if done correctly — the intelligence on the other side of the table.

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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.

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.

jeff-foxworthy

These days, everyone thinks he’s a mentor.

With accelerators, incubators and innovation events sprouting everywhere, there’s plenty of opportunity for seasoned entrepreneurs to pass on their knowledge to a new generation of startups. But according to the people who work with them, not every good entrepreneur makes a good mentor.

I (informally) polled leaders at a couple Boston incubators, as well as some of the entrepreneurs they work with, to see which qualities are valued most in a mentor. What they told me is that you might be a good startup mentor if you have these five qualities:

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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Just look at The Crescent condominium on Wayne Avenue, which has seen a rotating cast of retail tenants since it opened in 2006. Or the newly-completed United Therapeutics headquarters, which has several empty retail spaces at the intersection of Cameron and Spring Streets.

Around the corner, developers of an apartment building called The Cameron placed tables and chairs in front of their ground-floor retail space in anticipation of a restaurant, but they got an outpatient surgery center instead.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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CardioNet Inc. entered into a definitive agreement Monday to acquire Cardiocore Lab Inc. for $23.5 million.

Rockville-based Cardiocore is a centralized cardiac testing laboratory services company with locations in San Francisco and London.

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Deirdre Connelly '83 will take the helm as president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences following the company's acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

HGS, headquartered in Rockville, Md., exists to place new therapies into the hands of those battling serious diseases.

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Care.com, the site that matches users with childcare, pet care and related services, announced today that it has raised a whopping $50 million in Series E funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners. The round was joined by Matrix Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Trinity Ventures.

Founded in 2006, the Waltham-based company has upwards of seven million users in 15 countries.

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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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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.

Scott Dagenais

 

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today the appointment to its Board of Directors of two Baltimore-based business leaders: M&T Bank Corporation Senior Vice President/Regional President Baltimore Scott E. Dagenais and Ernst & Young's Baltimore Office Managing Partner Jay S. Ridder.

"As the first Central Maryland intermediary created to connect Baltimore's strengths in university and hospital biohealth research with the bioscience industry and federal lab assets in Montgomery County, it is important for the BHI Board to have leadership and representation from both parts of our region," said Scott Carmer, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. Chairman of the Board and MedImmune Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. "I am pleased to welcome Scott and Jay to the BHI Board.  They will both bring valued expertise from the Baltimore community and also provide depth in commercial banking and accounting experience."

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TTS Ltd., the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Johns Hopkins University Technology Transfer are pleased to announce that the 2012 edition of the TTS North America takes place at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Often immitated but never equaled, since 2007, and in North America since 2010, the TTS Global Initiative has been the original and leading international meeting for biotech sector Industry-Academia licensing, partnering  & technology transfer.  Designed to help all Tech Transfer Offices build the same expertise and relationships that enables the top TTOs to do the deals and sign the licensing agreements that have brought so much benefit to their universities, insitutes, departments and researchers. The TTS North America is the pillar of this key international inititiative and community of the leading technology transfer, licensing, IP and early stage biotech innovation and venture professionals world wide.

Maryland

Most of the $25.5 million in venture capital pumped into Maryland businesses in the second quarter went to just two companies and was primarily focused on later-stage firms, according to a new report.

The $25.5 million total, which was split among eight companies, was the smallest quarterly total in almost 16 years, according to the new MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

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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.

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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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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.

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.

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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.