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Dingman Center Angels

The Dingman Center Angels connects regional start-up companies seeking seed and early-stage funding with angel investors.

Facts About Dingman Center Angels

  • Over 150 companies submit applications to Dingman Center Angels each year
  • $4M invested in start-ups since our inception in 2005
  • 50 qualified angel investors and venture capitalists comprise our network
  • Partnerships with incubators, economic development orgs and service providers in the region
  • Companies receive coaching to prepare for their pitch

Barbara Mikulski

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today spoke out in support of Maryland's health research and innovation economy at a fiscal year 2013 oversight and budgetary hearing of the Senate  Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The hearing included testimony from NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, MD.

"I am for being frugal but we must not jeopardize or hamper America's gold standard as the worldwide leader in medical research and innovation," Senator Mikulski said. "NIH invests in the best and brightest scientific minds at universities, in the public and private sector, and with our federal employees."

Umd 30 days

On March 30, the University of Maryland launches its expanding lineup of competitions and activities devoted to innovation, ingenuity and ideas: 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship. Nearly a quarter-million dollars in prizes will be awarded at six events involving UMD faculty, students and alums.

The events honor the best in entrepreneurship at all stages of innovation - from invention to business plans to start-ups. Celebrants will include Gov. Martin O'Malley and one of Maryland's most successful entrepreneurs, Kevin Plank '96, founder and CEO of Under Armour.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. (Loyola University)

Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland  and Wasabi Ventures, a venture capital company in San Mateo, California, have begun a new-business accelerator near the university’s campus. As part of the collaboration, Wasabi’s co-founder Thomas “T.K.” Kuegler, a 1994 Loyola graduate, will serve as the university’s entrepreneur-in-residence.

Loyola says the accelerator will provide opportunities for its students and help the surrounding community. “It creates new opportunities for our students to think creatively about new products, new markets, and the types of business, marketing, and expansion plans that will help young companies grow, and to apply these ideas to real-world organizations and the entrepreneurs behind them,” says Rev. Brian Linnane, Loyola’s president. “For those with an entrepreneurial spirit of their own, it can give them a chance to get their own businesses off the ground.”

Md bio enterprise

The MdBio Foundation, Inc., a private charitable organization that is an affiliate of the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM), today announced that it has received an unrestricted donation of $75,000 from MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Md.-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca.

MdBio Foundation will use the donation to support operation of the MdBioLab, its popular mobile bioscience laboratory that travels to schools across Maryland, and development of MdBioSphere™, an innovative interactive digital game that is being designed to enhance high school biology education and awareness.

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Peter Greenleaf

Peter Greenleaf visited the Department of Business and Economic Development recently to oversee the historic tax credit auction that raised $84 million for the state’s InvestMaryland program. Greenleaf took some time out from his duties as chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority for a quick Q&A about his day job — running MedImmune, one of Maryland’s most successful life sciences companies.

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Chairman Quayle and Ranking Member Edwards, thank you for the opportunity to testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation on the important topic of “Fostering the U.S. Competitive Edge: Examining the Effect of Federal Policies on Competition, Innovation, and Job Growth.”

My name is Richard Bendis and I am the President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation Inc., (BHI). BHI is a private-public partnership that is predominantly funded by the private sector to foster biohealth innovation-based economic development, which is a unique cluster-based model for regional economic development. This initiative could be used as a model program regardless of industry or cluster strength.

BHI is the first regionally focused innovation intermediary created to connect the university and hospital biohealthresearch strengths of Baltimore with the bioscience industry and federal laboratory strengths of Montgomery County. It has entered into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement with the National Institutes of Health's Office of Technology Transfer and has created the first private-sector funded Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program to identify commercializable science in the 27 institutes of NIH. This program will create new project-based companies and high-paying life science jobs. BHI believes this EIR program is applicable to many federal agencies that have technology transfer offices and support SBIR programs.

BHI has designed a potential national pilot, the Health-Regional Innovation Cluster (H-RIC) model, which will incorporate the best innovation-based economic development practices in the United States and integrate them into one region in Central Maryland. BHI is currently seeking federal financial support from several relevant federal agency partners to accelerate the creation and implemention of this innovative biohealth H-RIC model.

Maryland

An initiative aimed at helping Maryland research universities better commercialize technology developments received initial approval by both houses of the General Assembly.

The Maryland Innovation Initiative could provide early funding for tech transfer efforts and encourages collaboration between the University System of Maryland    , Johns Hopkins University    and Morgan State University    . The House of Delegates approved the measure (HB 442) and the Senate approved its companion bill (SB 239).

Johns Hopkins University

Three student groups from Johns Hopkins University are among the 42 teams hailing from some of the world's top universities who will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 12th annual Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) April 12-14.

The teams for this year's competition were chosen from more than 400 entrants based on their executive summaries to compete in six categories: life sciences; information technology; energy and clean technology; green technology, renewable and recycling; social; and other. The teams will have 15 minutes to present business plans in the competition for the grand prize valued at more than $460,000 and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ OMX this fall. Judges will rank the presentations based on which company they would most likely invest in.

Medical Lights

Crowdsourcing and the world of medicine are already proving strong bedfellows with pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, who are using open innovation to fund academic research for new treatments and medicines.  However, such ventures are only beneficial as the resources and funding are being made readily available to them, leaving many other research and development projects without the means to get started.

Crowdfunding has already provided a lifeline to charitable, creative and entrepreneurial projects and looks set to offer the same support to medical research, development and provision.

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That’s not quite a trick question. If you have been preparing a National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR/STTR grant submission, you are obviously aware that the deadline is 5 p.m. your local time on Thursday, April 5. However, since January 2011 there have been some important changes in the electronic submission process, so please read the rest of this email closely.

BBC has always advised that you submit your proposals well in advance of the deadline, and we highly encourage you to submit your SBIR/STTR to Grants.gov by April 1. This has always been a good strategy, but now it is essential. The Error Correction Window, which was implemented in December 2005 to facilitate the transition from paper to electronic submission of grant applications, has now been removed. The window had allowed applicants an opportunity after the deadline to correct missing or incorrect aspects of their applications, identified by NIH system-generated errors and warnings displayed to the applicant after submission.

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Chappell will help start-ups based on innovative discoveries 

from NIH and FDA research programs

Todd ChappellROCKVILLE, 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.

Sequencing the human genome will lead to many diagnostic breakthroughs.

Science and entrepreneurship are both acts of experimentation. Both involve taking risks to reach a positive end, changing course when needed, and attempting the never-been-done. While many start-ups now are focused on creating the next Facebook or some genius e-commerce play, there are also scientists tinkering in labs.

Biotechnology is sometimes forgotten about, but the field leads to real products — new drugs and medical devices that aid human health. Want to cure cancer? These people will be the ones to do it.

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The recent news that tiny FerroKin BioSciences earned a big buyout deal with Shire ($SHPGY) has helped spotlight the growing popularity of the virtual biotech model. And that has big implications for everyone in the outsourcing industry.

Like other virtuals--such as Stromedix, recently acquired by Biogen Idec ($BIIB)--FerroKin had only a handful of employees working full-time for the company. CROs, CMOs and other outsourcers created a network of support vendors that carried out much of the heavy lifting in drug research. And with some proof of concept data in hand, FerroKin made a tantalizing morsel for an acquirer looking to build up its pipeline without having to acquire a sizable research infrastructure it didn't need.

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As if we didn’t already know this, yes? Still, a new survey finds that 68 percent of pharma execs agree that Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall. To be specific, 44 percent agree that the pharma industry model is broken and 24 percent strongly agree with this statement. Another 22 percent are neutral and 6 percent disagree. We wonder where this 28 percent is working right now…

And over the next two years, 76 percent believe the healthcare system pricing and budget pressures will be the biggest challenge; followed by 70 percent who believe they will have to demonstrate cost effectiveness; 69 percent who cite more restrictive market access; 60 percent who fear generic competition; 53 percent who worry about less access to docs and 50 percent who are concerned about the ability of patients to pay for their meds.

Leggett BHI

A county and state tax credit program leveraged nearly $6 million in investments last year in 10 biotechnology companies in Gaithersburg, Potomac and Rockville, officials said Monday.

Elected officials, including Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Sen. Jennie M. Forehand and Del. Brian J. Feldman joined biotech company executives and representatives of the county’s Department of Economic Development to tout the program at Sequella, Inc. in Rockville.

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GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson are teaming up with Index Ventures to launch a $200 million fund devoted exclusively to backing early-stage biotechs. And while its primary focus will be in Europe, the venture group intends to invest in biotechs throughout the U.S. as well.

Index takes what it calls an "asset centric" approach to investing, looking for developers with just one or two products--a classic feature of most start-ups. And some heavy hitters from GSK ($GSK) and J&J ($JNJ) will sit on the scientific advisory board of the new fund, giving a few early-stage companies a chance to mix with some top execs from companies they'll be hoping to partner with at some point. From GSK, R&D chief Moncef Slaoui (photo) and Paul-Peter Tak, head of GSK's immunoinflammation therapy area unit, will join Janssen's Paul Stoffels and Bill Hait, global head of R&D. They'll confer with Index Ventures' Francesco De Rubertis, Kevin Johnson, Michele Ollier, Roman Fleck, and Remy Luthringer.

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In an age of information overload where getting in front of the right investors and potential strategic partners is harder than ever, where do you go to find the support you need to build the next iRobot, Zipcar, Constant Contact, or Achillion?

We know how to help investment-ready women-led companies raise capital to scale BIG. Springboard's forum programs are designed to support, promote and showcase investment-ready, high-growth companies led by women.  And after 11 years of presenting over 480 businesses that have raised over $5.5B in capital, we've figured out the secret to overcoming the hurdles startups face when trying to scale. It's about building relationships, not just about raising capital.  Click here to learn more about our how our forum programs work.

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Patrick Fung, a partner at New Enterprise Associates Inc., talks about the venture capital firm's New Experiment Fund, a seed-stage fund for financing student startups and investing in the U.S. East Coast. He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West."

Johns Hopkins University

JHU Research Accelerator is a platform that facilitates an easy and secure collaboration and sharing of resources across the JHU scientific community as well as other insitutions within the Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation (SPIRiT) Consortium of the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award program. Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University and the the University of Chicago are institutions currently members of the SPIRiT Consortium.

Johns Hopkins University

Last week we told you about some ambitious app development going on at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Well this week, Hopkins did themselves one better: They're diving in to not only create apps, but also to evaluate the 10,000-plus universe of health apps for efficacy and safety, according to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun.

Hopkins also will judge whether the apps are more or less effective than traditional care, such as in-person visits.

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Biotechnology firms are coming around to a harsh reality: The gravy days are over.

These small, innovative drug companies were once an investment darling, able to secure millions of dollars from venture capitalists and even more later through public offerings. But in recent years, venture financing for biotech has been in decline, due to the tough economic environment and poor returns from stock offerings.

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Ten biotechnology companies in Montgomery County last year received almost $6 million from investors who were spurred by the state and county’s biotech investment tax credit programs, officials said Monday.

The county’s program, which received its initial funding this fiscal year after being approved by the County Council in 2010, is the first such local one for biotechs in the nation, said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) during a news conference at the Rockville headquarters of biotech Sequella. Officials approved $500,000 in fiscal 2012 and another $500,000 for fiscal ’13, which starts July 1.

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Program Spurs Nearly $6 Million in Investments

Among Ten Local Biotech Companies

March 19, 2012

10:00 am

Sequella, Inc.

9610 Medical Center Drive, Suite 200

Rockville, Maryland 20850

Montgomery County Executive Isiah LeggettMontgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will announce the first 10 biotech companies to receive significant investments through the County’s biotech investment tax credit program. The program allows investors receiving tax credits from the State of Maryland to also receive a supplemental payment from the County based on their investments in local biotech companies. The County’s program is modeled after Maryland’s Biotech Investment Tax Credit Program and works in conjunction with it.

Leggett will join other local and state elected officials, local biotech company executives and representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.  

Group to draft rules of the road for

University of Maryland Ventures, a new joint effort between the University of Maryland’s two biggest campuses, will soon create groups to help standardize the schools’ product licensing and technology transfer initiatives. The program calls for the two schools — the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park — to create teams of individuals to help both schools increase the commercialization of their research programs. The teams will focus on developing and refining ideas for boosting intellectual property, patent submission, tech transfer and community outreach efforts for university researchers.

Startup maryland

When Startup Maryland kicks off March 30, it will be confronted with a challenge unique to this region’s three Startup America subgroups: How to bring life sciences and information technology — the state’s two major tech industries — under one banner. The pro-entrepreneurship effort introduced by President Obama in January is the last of the region’s trio to launch. Startup Virginia got under way Jan. 31 in Arlington, Va., with Startup D.C. following later that day. Nationwide, there are 17 Startup America regions.

Gov. Martin O'Malley

Maryland first state in the nation to use online auction to raise funds for venture capital program

InvestMaryland will deploy first round of funds to seed early stage companies this summer

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 15, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley and Peter Greenleaf, chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, today announced that $84 million has been raised for Maryland’s Innovation Economy through InvestMaryland – an historic initiative created by the Governor and passed by the General Assembly last year to invest in the State’s promising start-up and early stage companies. The $84 million raised far exceeds a goal of $70 million and was generated through an online auction of premium tax credits to insurance companies with operations in Maryland. While other states have sold tax credits to fund similar venture capital initiatives, Maryland is the first state to use an online auction to raise the capital for such a program. The inaugural round of investments will be made in innovative companies this summer through several private venture capital firms and the State’s successful Maryland Venture Fund (MVF).

FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) DA has published draft guidance describing plans on how to handle serious drug safety issues with marketed drugs, which is now open for comment.

The guidance is intended to lay out a framework for the agency's response to post-marketing safety issues including serious adverse events, product quality issues and medication errors, with a ranking system to help prioritise each issue according to its level of risk.

The FDA has been criticised in a string medical journal articles in the last 18 months for not monitoring its own adverse event reporting (AER) database effectively enough and failing to communicate safety issues in a timely and effective way to healthcare professionals and the public.

Kauffman Life Science Ventures Summit

Starting a company is always challenging, but for founders of life science startups, the regulations and funding hurdles make it dauntingly complex, overwhelming, and seemingly insurmountable.

This first-time conference will answer the critical questions that founders must address to start and grow viable life science companies. Industry experts and successful entrepreneurs will provide practical guidance on how to commercialize innovations in each of four sectors: medical device, therapeutics, diagnostics, and digital health. If you have a new startup in this space or are ready to start one, this two-day event may be for you.

OriGene

OriGene Technologies, Inc. announces the acquisition of Beijing Zhongshan Golden Bridge Biotechnology Co., Ltd (ZsBio). The strategic acquisition establishes OriGene's leading position in the Chinese pathology testing market.

Headquartered in Beijing, China since 1993, ZsBio provides pathology testing products to the growing Chinese oncology diagnostic market. ZsBio has an industry leading position in the Chinese pathology testing market because of its innovative product portfolio, expertise, strong client relationships, and has established itself as a thought leader in the Chinese pathology diagnostic field. The Chinese pathology testing market has been experiencing double-digit growth annually and is one of the fast-growing segments of the Chinese diagnostic industry.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed up to $220 million for the next five years to Rockville-based Aeras, a nonprofit dedicated to developing new vaccines for tuberculosis.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation    has committed up to $220 million for the next five years to Rockville-based Aeras, a nonprofit dedicated to developing new vaccines for tuberculosis.

The grant extends the Gates Foundation’s longtime backing of Aeras, whose pipeline includes several mid- and early-stage TB vaccine candidates being developed through pharmaceutical and academic partnerships. The $220 million represents about half of what Aeras needs to meet its vaccine development targets through 2016, the nonprofit said in a news release Wednesday.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has launched a Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) under the leadership of Joga Gobburu, PhD, FCD, MBA, to help improve medical product development efficiency.

“By establishing the Center for Translational Medicine, the School of Pharmacy is demonstrating its commitment to improving the drug development and regulation process,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, professor and dean of the School of Pharmacy. “As a leader in the field of pharmacometrics, Dr. Gobburu’s expertise as director of the center will enhance our educational and research programs and will lead to substantial partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry and other collaborators.”