The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) today announced a collaborative school of public health that will give graduate students at both institutions expanded opportunities in public health education, research, service, and training.

The announcement was made at a news conference (see below) hosted by University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor William Kirwan, PhD, at the USM offices in Adelphi. UMD and UMB have begun the national accreditation process as one initiative of their University of Maryland: MPowering the State collaboration approved by the USM Board of Regents on March 1, 2012.


Biotech companies in Virginia, Maryland and Washington are better served by meeting challenges as a region, industry experts say.

One reason, according to Peter Greenleaf, president of MedImmune, is that as with many other industries, biotech is facing increasing pressure from Asian companies and investors.

In 2011, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed Greenleaf chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority. MedImmune is affiliated with AstraZeneca, based in Gaithersburg, Md., and is one of the region’s largest biotech companies.


For Art Jacoby, the new CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland, the right leadership can be a “game changer.”

Jacoby hopes to be such a catalyst as he assumes this role at the Rockville trade group, which has more than 400 members. The council — which supports Maryland’s 10,000-plus technology businesses, including more than 500 life science businesses — is working to address six areas: education, advocacy, access to capital, access to new markets, community support and membership benefit.

Jacoby takes over from Renée Winsky, who resigned in December after two years. He spent almost eight months as interim CEO before taking the job on a more permanent basis in August.


Society needs to “take seriously the rewards for innovators” through the patent system to improve the biotech investing climate, New Enterprise Associates Inc. General Partner James Barrett said Thursday.

Speaking before a crowd at the Mid-Atlantic BIO conference, held in Bethesda this week by the MdBio division of the Tech Council of Maryland, VaBio and the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, Barrett voiced a defense of stronger intellectual property protections for bio entrepreneurs.


The drug company GlaxoSmithKline employs 12,687 people in its research and development division to search for and test new drugs. Despite that huge staff, around half of the company's $6.3 billion R&D budget goes to people who don't work for Glaxo at all.

The money instead flows to companies like Epizyme, a small biotechnology firm that, since last year, has received $24 million from Glaxo to support research on a novel type of cancer drug. That's money the biotech firm needs to survive, and if its efforts yield a drug, that would be a success for Glaxo, too.


After the announcement late last month from Science Applications International Corp. that it will split into two publicly traded companies, CEO John Jumper said Thursday that the spinoff “technical services” company will be located in the Washington area, while the second company is likely remain at its corporate headquarters, an 18-acre Tysons Corner campus.

"It's reasonable to think that some of them will stay there," Jumper said after speaking at a breakfast event held by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. "It's reasonable to assume that the other company will be somewhere in the Washington area. ... It's very safe to say it'll be very close to where we are right now.


A collaborative research team, including nine experts from NCATS, was honored last month for its work on an investigational treatment for Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), a rare genetic disease of cholesterol storage that eventually leads to neurodegeneration. Comprising investigators from four NIH institutes and one pharmaceutical company, the team won the Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for its work with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) as a potential treatment for NPC ― a disease for which there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapies.

It is the first award of its kind to NCATS, recognizing laboratory employees and their partners who have outstanding accomplishments in transferring federally developed technology to the marketplace. The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) of the mid-Atlantic region presented the award to the investigators at a ceremony on Aug. 30, 2012, in Cambridge, Md.


The University of Maryland is one of the best in the nation for entrepreneurship education, according to a ranking published today by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The university’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business is recognized for its leading entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, ranking No. 14 and No. 24 respectively. The Dingman Center is a major driver of entrepreneurship education on campus and in the region, championing programs for students, faculty and area entrepreneurs. It was the only program in the Washington-Baltimore region recognized on either list.

The Dingman Center, located at the Smith School, helps lead the university’s entrepreneurship efforts and is recognized nationally for its innovative teaching methods that combine classroom activities, practical experience and cultural immersion programs. The center’s programs include:


The TB Vaccine Accelerator, a program to strengthen the pipeline of tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidates and enable a more rational and accelerated vaccine development process, is launching a grant opportunity that is part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health—a large set of grant programs aimed at overcoming persistent bottlenecks that prevent the creation of effective health solutions for the developing world.

This grant opportunity, the first public request for applications (RFA) launched by the TB Vaccine Accelerator, focuses on two interrelated program goals:


University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park are moving forward with plans for a collaborative school of public health, administrators said Tuesday.

The two schools have begun the national accreditation process for a single public health school. The move would combine their individual public health schools in an effort to pool resources and expand opportunities for students.


Bethesda-based BrainScope is the first recipient of capital financing from InvestMaryland.

The deal was announced by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley Tuesday.

BrianScope will receive the first $250,000 investment from the venture capital program to further spearhead neurotechnology to quickly assess traumatic brain injury at the initial point of care.


Maryland’s young biotechs hoping to spark interest in investment and partnerships will be among the 750-plus industry, state and venture capital executives expected to attend the annual Mid-Atlantic Biotech Conference in North Bethesda on Thursday and Friday.

After three years of trying to snag a pitch presentation slot at the conference, CC Biotech in Rockville will be among the companies vying for investor attention this week.

At least 13 Maryland biotechs will be presenting this year in both startup and early-stage levels.


The University of Maryland, College Park ranks among the top 25 schools in the U.S. for its entrepreneurship programs.

Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine compiled the rankings by reviewing more than 2,000 schools’ levels of commitment to entrepreneurship; the percentage of their faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; and the number and reach of their mentorship programs. Funding for scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects, and their support for school-sponsored business plan competitions were also considered.


Are you an entrepreneur in need of a jump start?

The InvestMaryland Challenge is a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the State of Maryland. The Challenge will award $300,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries. Companies also have the opportunity to receive direct investments from venture capital firms and angel investors.


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.