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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a  Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC).  The purpose of the Trans Agency Research Consortium for Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy (TACTIC) FOA is to support a single multi-component basic collaborative Research Program to conduct a hypothesis-driven study of trauma-induced coagulopathy. Through this initiative, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Department of Defense (DoD) are in partnership to form a consortium with the Research Program to address TIC by linking clinical investigators involved with ongoing DoD funded trauma-related clinical trials with the Research Program scientists who will have the unique opportunity to utilize patient samples in their basic research in TIC.

Maryland-based non-profit aims to cultivate regional biotechnology, medical device, and health care services companies

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, February 21, 2012 BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a new regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in the Central Maryland, announced today the appointment of its Board of Directors, including Scott Carmer, MedImmune Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations, as Chairman. 

Partnership aims to accelerate technology transfer from federal labs to grow businesses and jobs 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, March 12, 2012 BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a new regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today it has entered into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). As a partnership intermediary for NIH OTT, BHI will assist, counsel, advise, evaluate and cooperate with small businesses or educational institutions to make productive use of technologies from a federal laboratory.

Chappell will help start-ups based on innovative discoveries from NIH and FDA research programs 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, March 26, 2012 BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a new regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today its selection of Todd Chappell as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) for BHI at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). Mr. Chappell, a venture capital-backed entrepreneurial leader and inventor with more than ten years of experience in molecular biology research, drug development and life sciences business strategy, will help support the development of new start-up companies based upon OTT technology license agreements.

- Seasoned executive adds depth in diagnostics and international experience to organization’s board – 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 30, 2012 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 of Douglas Liu, Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Qiagen, to its Board of Directors.

Distinguished entrepreneurial and innovation-based economic development leader to lead efforts of newly created innovation intermediary focused on accelerating biohealth commercialization for Central Maryland  

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, June 13, 2012 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 that its Board of Directors has named former Interim CEO Richard Bendis as the organization's first President & Chief Executive Officer. 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, July 23, 2012 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 that it has located its corporate headquarters in the historic Wire Hardware Building at 22 Baltimore Road in Rockville. BHI also announced the creation of two new staff positions filled by recent hires Ethan Byler as Director of Innovation Programs and Amanda Wilson as Operations Manager.

- Event to Feature Company Presentations, Investor Panel Highlighting How to Turn Innovation into Commercialization - 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, October 4, 2012 – 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 its role as a co-sponsor of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) First Mid-Atlantic Innovation Conference. The Conference, which is designed to bring together small businesses, angel investors, venture capitalists, strategic partners, and business leaders from the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, will be held on Monday, October 15 from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Gilchrist Hall Auditorium, in Rockville, Maryland.

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One of the toughest hurdles for health IT start-ups is getting in front of customers. Doctors are reluctant to pay, and sales cycles at hospitals can take months. Entrepreneurs often inspired by a negative personal experience, and moved to fix the problem, find later that their product doesn’t fit the hospital’s “workflow,” or offers no incentive for doctors to adopt it.

The New York Digital Health Accelerator helps health IT entrepreneurs address those issues. Today, it announced its inaugural class of 8 start-ups, winnowed down from 250 applicants. They were selected not only by investors, but also by 22 New York-based hospitals and clinics, including Maimonides Medical Center, Continuum Health Partners, and Adirondack Health Institute. Those health care providers have also hand-picked the start-ups they want to work with to test their product.

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There’s a story going on in biotech venture capital, and it’s about a slow and painful death. Four years after the start of the Great Recession, and after a decade of too much promising and too little delivering, the majority of biotech VCs are struggling to stay afloat. Firms are shutting their doors, forcing partners out in brutal political battles, or quietly fading away as they fail to raise new funds.

This ongoing theme resurfaced in the past week, when I wrote about the demise of Kirkland, WA-based OVP Venture Partners, the $750 million venture fund that has been betting on high tech, biotech, and cleantech companies for 30 years. This firm, like many others, waited and waited for a home run to save its portfolio, but it never happened. For OVP, Mountain View, CA-based Complete Genomics (NASDAQ:GNOM) was the one that just never came through in the clutch.

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Maryland launched the InvestMaryland Challenge today. This is a national business competition that gives seed and early-stage companies a chance to pitch their business and win $300,000 in venture capital funding. Winners can get a $100,000 top prize in three categories: life sciences; IT (hardware and software); and general business. They'll also get access to resources like incubator space and legal services. Applications are due by December 13. Judging will occur in late February and the winners will be announced next March.

Only small(ish) companies are eligible -- ones  with fewer than 25 employees and annual revenues of less than $1 million. The IT and life sciences categories are open only to Maryland-based companies; companies outside Maryland may compete in the general category but if they win they'll have to relocate their business to Maryland

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Iverson Genetic Diagnostics has entered into a licensing agreement with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for a molecular diagnostics test, designed to help physicians to assess cardiovascular risk in men and women, and infertility risk in women.

Under the agreement, Iverson gained marketing rights for the product which determines the healthy cholesterol fraction, HDL, and its partner protein, scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI).

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This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invites applications to conduct functional analyses of identified genetic variations related to heart, lung, blood and sleep phenotypes, using amenable in vitro or animal model systems. Exploratory/Developmental Phased Innovation (R21/R33) grant applications should identify and justify the genetic variants that they propose to test for functionality, the phenotype(s) the variants are associated with, and the functional measures that will be used to validate them.  This FOA provides support for two years (R21 phase) for research planning activities and feasibility studies, followed by possible transition of up to three years of expanded research support (R33 phase). The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five years. This FOA requires measurable R21 milestones. 

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GlaxoSmithKline committed to provide researchers with unmatched access to patient-level data from its clinical trials--including studies that failed. The move is among several steps the London-based drug giant announced today to promote open innovation and collaboration with external groups. Yet commentators are skeptical about whether fellow drugmakers will be as bold in opening their data vaults to outsiders.

While GSK is taking an unprecedented step to make its clinical trial data transparent, not everyone is likely to gain unfettered access to its clinical trials info. Glaxo is forming a panel to judge the scientific merit of requests for the anonymous patient data, which is far more detailed than any of the clinical trial information and results posted on the company's website.

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With creative funding schemes picking up steam and nontraditional funders taking an interest in biotech, what can universities and start-ups expect in their right first-round financing structure? At the BIO Technology Transfer Symposium, a panel examined various funding sources as well as the factors that influence investment decisions and the ins and outs of early stage financing deals.

William Tucker, executive director, Innovation Alliances and Services, University of California Office of the President, moderated a discussion with:

Ron Lennox,  partner with CHL Medical Partners; and

Dr. Heather M. Snyder, senior associate director with the Alzheimer’s Association.

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MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, announced today it will present four abstracts at the Influenza Vaccines for the World (IVW) International Conference at the Palacio de Congresos de Valencia, Valencia, Spain, October 9-12, 2012. These abstracts advance the body of existing data and knowledge surrounding influenza vaccination, highlighting MedImmune's continued leadership in helping to improve patient health.

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Angel investors funded 27,280 entrepreneurial ventures in the first half of this year, up nearly 4 percent from the number of businesses funded during the same time a year ago.

That's according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. Angel investments in the first six months of 2012 totaled $9.2 billion, a 3 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The average deal size was $336,390.

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Supported by a five-year $7.4 million National Science Foundation grant, experts at The Johns Hopkins University are partnering with teachers and administrators in Baltimore City Public Schools on a program to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math in city elementary schools by making STEM a community affair.

The program, called STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools – SABES for short — not only will benefit more than 1,600 students in grades three through five in nine city elementary schools, but could also become a national model for science, technology, engineering and math education.

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GlaxoSmithKline and the non-profit biotech group Aeras are to assess an experimental tuberculosis vaccine in "proof of concept" tests in Africa and India, marking a step forward in the hunt for new ways to prevent the killer disease.

The partners plan to launch a mid-stage Phase IIb clinical study in Kenya, South Africa and India next year, following successful initial tests with the GSK product, Aeras said on Wednesday.

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MedImmune said Tuesday it has inked a deal with two nonprofit cancer institutes that will advance three of the Gaithersburg biotech's antibodies through the clinic.

Under the deal, the Cancer Research Institute and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, both based in New York, will conduct clinical trials of the early- and mid-stage therapeutics, each of which is designed to harness the body’s immune system to target tumors. The trials will involve combinations of different immunotherapies.

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University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is expanding its annual Cupid's Cup Business Competition to find the country's top student entrepreneurs. Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, partnered with the Dingman Center eight years ago to launch Cupid's Cup and is now taking the competition to a national stage for the first time. Applicants will compete for a transformative prize package including $70,000 in cash prizes, coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, in kind services from leading edge companies and the prestigious Cupid's Cup. In an added twist, Plank will grant the 2013 grand prize winner exclusive access to a member of his professional network.

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The National Capital Planning Commission has approved final details of the first phase of a $300 million intelligence campus being developed at the former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters in Bethesda though additional details and plans still need to be worked out there.

NCPC Executive Director Marcel Acosta signed off on final portions of the project’s first phase Sept. 28 including landscaping, site security and lighting for the multi-building project at 4600 Sangamore Road. The commission previously voted July 12 to approve the project on the condition that Acosta review the additional details.

Montgomery County ED

 Friday, November 2, 2012

The Gateway to Innovation, a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer presents:

Innovation 2 Commercialization:   Making Tech Transfer Count!    

The full-day conference will provide attendees with the opportunity to:

  • Learn from three panels focusing on Commercialization, Innovation, and Financing; 
  • Speak with exhibitors from federal and academic tech transfer offices, business resources, educational programs, and funding resources; 
  • Conduct on-site 'MeetUps'; and 
  • Join in some great networking!

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When many people think of the National Capital region and the businesses that call it home, a handful of industries come to mind. Certainly the largest of which is government contracting.

Between the Pentagon and individual civilian agency headquarters, the Washington, D.C. region is home to a majority of the decision makers and influencers in the federal government. It’s for this reason that contractors with a wide range of specialties, from professional services and staffing, to homeland security and technology, call the area within and around the Capital Beltway home. In addition to these contracting companies are the financial services and banking companies, legal firms and other organizations that service that industry.

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s biomedical research agency. The NIH’s extramural funding supports research at more than 3,000 institutions. A portion of this funding supports the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which play a critical role in supporting the agency’s mission to improve human health. The programs are uniquely positioned to convert basic research ideas into commercially viable products and services available to the general public. The NIH intramural program includes about 6,000 scientists working at the NIH. Their output of inventions has grown over the years, resulting in the largest biomedical patent and licensing portfolio among public sector institutions worldwide. The NIH has achieved great success in licensing inventions made by the scientists who work at the NIH and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with 25 FDA approved products and hundreds of others having reached the market. NIH scientists have collaborated with other institutions, both for-profit and non-profit, to leverage the scientific discoveries that ultimately benefit public health worldwide.

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Healthcare is a hot-button issue in America right now -– partly because it’s election season and partly because our healthcare system faces some legitimately major problems. On this episode of The Valley Girl Show, we sit down with Dr. Robert Pearl, the executive director and CEO of the Permanente Medical Group, to discuss the role that technology will play in the future of healthcare. And he is optimistic about new developments.

Pearl also talks about Kaiser Permanente’s iPhone apps, which are designed to help patients manage their care. One allows you full access to your personal medical record, and another lets you schedule and modify or cancel appointments. It also can push messages or alerts if, for example, you have allergies and the pollen count is high.

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Ask a committee of 16 academics, 3 bureaucrats, 2 Fortune 500 executives and 1 Venture Capitalist to provide the President of the United States with a report on improving drug development in the US and they call in a panel of experts consisting of 14 academics, 9 bureaucrats, 12 Fortune 500 execs, 2 venture capitalists and 2 lawyers resulting in: "Report to the President on Propelling Innovation in Drug Discovery , Development and Evaluation".

The recently released report is devoid of any whisper of the existence of entrepreneurs and start-ups. It suggests that more basic research funding, a more efficient drug approval process and longer terms of patent coverage will mysteriously result in more and better therapeutics reaching market.

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UCSF and its affiliates have been successful in the transformation of San Francisco as a leading center of innovation in health care and biosciences, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The combined economic impact of hospitals, biomedical research and health sciences education generates $16.7 billion and more than 100,000 jobs per year — almost one in five jobs in the City and County of San Francisco, according to the report by economist Philip King, PhD, an assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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After more than two weeks crisscrossing the state with stops in Ocean City, La Plata, Hagerstown and pretty much everywhere in between, the bright yellow Pitch Across Maryland bus rolled into Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia on Friday.

There was music, booze, advice for entrepreneurs and, of course, more business pitches in the make-shift studio in the back of the bus.

Organizers expected to collect 40 or so pitches total at the 25 stops across the state when the bus pulled out of Columbia on Sept. 11 to start the tour.

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

The contest, called 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 competition’s prize is $100,000 for the most impressive companies in three categories: information technology, life sciences and general.

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Gaithersburg-based Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday it has won Food and Drug Administration approval for Cystaran, which treats a symptom of the rare genetic eye disease Cystinosis.

Cystaran, an FDA-designated orphan drug with seven years guaranteed market exclusivity, was co-developed with the National Institutes of Health. The drug treats the accumulation of crystals of the amino acid cystine in the cornea resulting from Cystinosis, a disease that affects an estimated 2,000 people worldwide, according to the Cystinosis Research Network.

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Private companies will now be able to apply for their own research grants from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission said Thursday it would begin accepting applications for $10.4 million in research grants to be awarded in 2013. The commission this year added a new funding category — pre-clinical and clinical grants — designed to support for-profit companies. Private companies previously could qualify for grants through the research fund if they were working jointly with another research entity, such as a university.

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A woman has a new ear, thanks to a mind-blowing procedure performed at Johns Hopkins.

42-year old Sherri Walter had cancer on her ear and it had to be removed, as well as many of the structures inside her head.

Doctors decided to make her a whole new ear.

They took cartilage from her ribs and they shaped it into an ear. They then took that cartilage and put it under her forearm.

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When Clay Hickson talks about technology and innovation, he isn’t limiting himself to IT, biotechnology or robotics. The executive director of Towson University's TowsonGlobal Business Incubator is also talking about Transcending Cosmetics, a recent TowsonGlobal graduate that developed a line of long-lasting concealers for scars that comes in a range of skin colors. Another TowsonGlobal graduate, NeWo Technology, makes wearable sensors to monitor the body’s vital signs and send them to a coach or athletic trainer.

Hickson is helping the university position itself as the go-to place for regional technology startups as TowsonGlobal plans to more than double in size. Hickson was also elected president of the Maryland Business Incubator Association in August. 

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We wanted to share this blog from the co-chairs of Startup Maryland where they talk about their experiences on the first-ever “Pitch Across Maryland” tour meeting entrepreneurs and discovering all that the State of Maryland has to offer for small businesses and startups.

Entrepreneurs are renowned for coming up with what seems like crazy ideas and making them reality. The big yellow bus wrapped in the Maryland state flag that has been traversing the state is a perfect example.

The idea was hatched at the Startup America national summit in January – someone from another state talked about raising money for an entrepreneur bus tour  but that bus never left the depot. To the contrary, the Startup Maryland Pitch Across Maryland bus put rubber to the road September 11th and has been rolling across the state – 26 stops in all – ever since. This Friday marks theLast Stop on the tour with a celebration at Merriweather Post Pavilion, but it is also the First Step in shining the spotlight on the incredible entrepreneurs we’ve met along the way.