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Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is asking the business community to provide feedback on County services by completing an online Business Survey.

Mr. Leggett has kicked off the Excellence in Business Services initiative, continuing his efforts to make it easier for businesses to start, grow and thrive in Montgomery County. This business survey is designed to help the county identify areas of improvement in its interactions with business.

Business vitality is critical to a healthy economy that supports the quality of life we all enjoy and Montgomery County is committed to ensuring that businesses have a positive experience when interacting with the County.

Businesses also are welcome to contact the project lead directly with thoughts and feedback: Judy Stephenson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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If immunotherapy has the cancer community riveted on the treatment side, liquid biopsies are equally exciting on the diagnostics end. And IBM is bringing its research heft to bear on the world of liquid biopsy with an intent to build a lab-on-a-chip technology that can separate particles at the nanoscale.

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The Tech Council of Maryland is pleased to announce that Martin “Marty” Rosendale has been appointed as senior executive advisor.  In this role, he will assist the association and board of directors in fulfilling its strategic plan objectives.

Marty is a member of the Tech Council and is CEO of Selnova LLC, an advisory firm founded to help entrepreneurs navigate critical and challenging company transitions.  He is also a founding member of the managing committee that established and oversees TCM’s Venture Mentoring Service, where he and other TCM members act as mentors and provide their expertise to promising Maryland tech and life sciences companies that are preparing for an initial venture or institutional financing event.

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Help MdBio Foundation kick off the school year with an ice cream cone and tour of MdBioLab.  Tour the lab, meet the team or just eat your ice cream.  Doors open 12 - 3PM.

 August 31, 2016  |  12PM - 3PM  |  JHU MoCo Parking Lot

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EU and US strengthen their collaboration on eHealth IT

In December 2010, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the European Commission's DG CONNECT signed a Memorandum of UnderstandingWeb Site Disclaimers (MoU) for transatlantic Cooperation on eHealth/Health IT.

In the spring of 2013, DG CONNECT and HHS published a first Roadmap of MoU actionsWeb Site Disclaimers, focusing on two priority areas (work-streams):

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Submit your nominations for the Verl Zanders Emerging Business of the Year! Nominate your choice for an emerging company that is leading innovation in Metro-Maryland.

  • See the award criteria and past winners here.
  • Nominees do not have to be MCCC members.
  • Self-nominations are welcome.

Nomination Deadline: Friday, August 26, 2016

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The Women In Bio (WIB) Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter and Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Bethesda Chapter invite you to a networking happy hour at La Tasca, Rockville, MD. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet and connect with industry professionals, entrepreneurs, and researchers, while enjoying sangrias and tapas at the lounge. This event is open to both members and non-members.

All guests will enjoy complimentary appetizers and two drink tickets

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Maryland officials announced Tuesday that William Kirwan will chair the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.   The panel will follow up on the work of the Thornton Commission, which resulted in 2002 legislation that set K-12 education aid formulas. Those have increased public school funding in Maryland by more than 100 percent over the past decade.

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PathoVax was founded in late 2014 and is currently managed by myself (Weijie Poh, PhD) and Joshua Wang, PhD. We are both Singaporeans who were awarded fellowships to attend the Pathobiology graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, which is where the RGVax platform was developed. 

We also received training in Singapore under esteemed A*STAR investigators Dr Axel Ulrich (Weijie Poh) and Dr Lisa Ng (Joshua Wang). My research background included infectious diseases and cancer, and I have previously managed a biotech startup (Vector BioLabs) in Philadelphia where I oversaw business development, marketing and product expansion.

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Digital Counties Survey award considered a top measures of government technology performance

For the fifth year in a row, Baltimore County is ranked among the top ten counties in the nation according to the Center for Digital Government’s 14th annual 2016 Digital Counties Survey in conjunction with the National Association of Counties (NACo).

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS) today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has exercised a contract option valued at $11.6 million over 12 months under contract 200-2012-52242 for the supply of Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIGIV) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. VIGIV is a therapeutic licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of complications due to smallpox vaccination. The contract option will require Emergent to conduct manufacturing runs and additional activities in support of maintaining FDA licensure of VIGIV.

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Betamore personally invites BioHealth Innovation companies to apply to pitch and/or demo at Beta City 2016

Details

BetaCity (9/29/2016) celebrates Baltimore’s place as a global destination for entrepreneurship

Seeking the Best + Brightest to Pitch + Demo

  • Pitch Competition: 3 PM - $75K+ to be awarded
  • Demo Companies showcase products/services to VIP’s, investors, and the broader community
  • Focus: Cybersecurity, Health IT, Other Technology

Other Notes

  • In addition to the Pitch Competition + Company Demos, the event will feature a VIP Reception, Awards Ceremony, Live Music + Merrymaking

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Disruptors are a special type of innovator who go outside the box and attempt to change preconceived notions and practices. If you take a look at the meaning of the word, “to disrupt” means to “rupture” or break apart, and essentially disruptors do this - discarding the old ways to bring in new ones. We might even take it a step further and look at as the commonly used root of "dis" which means to "do the opposite of" - and see the idea that disruptors are "fixers" essentially putting the pieces of something broken back together. Here’s a look at three disruptors in Boston Biotech who are revolutionizing traditional pharma to radically change the ways cures are being brought about for disease.

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Women of the Virginia bioscience community from across the state will lead this first-ever full day event offering examples of working together to build a stronger bioscience industry, stronger companies and institutions, stronger teams and networks, and stronger individuals.  

When: Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:00AM-5:00PM

Where: Inova Center for Personalized Health 3225 Gallows Rd Fairfax, Virginia  22037 United States

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As members of a life sciences advisory and investment banking group, my partners and I have often noted that life sciences companies fall victim to the same mistakes and misconceptions, repeated again and again. These failures mostly hinge upon company management misunderstanding the fundamentals of market dynamics and failing to appreciate the importance of the exit—the sole event where company investors receive a return on their investment, either through an initial public offering (IPO) or a company sale. Unfortunately, the biotech industry's track record on exits is disappointing. According to the National Venture Capital Association (Washington, DC), between 2005 and 2014, only one in five US biotech and medical device companies achieved liquidity after six years. And from my perspective over the past 20 years, that low success rate does not appear to be improving.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb’s acquisition of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals and its prodrug used to treat heart failure earned top honors in the Mergers and Acquisitions category from Thomson Reuters’ Allicense event on June 8.

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and a visiting researcher from the National Institutes of Health helped put the Johns Hopkins University scientists who compose the startup in touch, which led to the creation of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals.

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In the past few years the wearables sector has been a hive of activity, but it feels like this year things have accelerated, particularly in the realm of health and wellness. A report by Forrester Research projected that 29 percent of Americans will use wearable devices, compared with 18 percent in 2015. It predicts that wearables sales will rise from $4.2 billion in 2015 to $9.8 billion in 2021.

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QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced plans to return approximately $250 million to shareholders through a synthetic share repurchase proposal that combines a direct capital repayment with a reverse stock split.

These actions, which will lead to an adjustment in QIAGEN’s share capital, have been used previously by other large, multinational Dutch companies as an efficient way to provide returns to shareholders. The proposal, if adopted, is expected to be similar to QIAGEN repurchasing approximately $250 million of its own shares, but will enable the return of capital to all shareholders in a much faster and more efficient way than through a traditional open-market repurchase program.

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Tioma Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-stage biopharmaceutical company developing anti-CD47 antibodies for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers, today announced it has raised $86 million in Series A venture financing. Proceeds from this financing will be used to further develop Tioma's antibody portfolio, including its lead drug candidate -- an anti-CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor -- through advanced proof-of-concept in human clinical trials.

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Companion diagnostics is gaining currency as novel drugs are being paired up with tests that determine which patients will have a higher chance of  responding to that drug.

But 15 years after the human genome project has been completed, the progress of precision medicine appears to be woefully slow, at least according to Nicholas Dracopoli, vice president and head of Oncology Biomarkers at Janssen Research & Development, part of Johnson & Johnson. Others believe precision medicine and companion diagnostics have a chicken and egg problem.

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Defense IT firm Leidos today announced it has successfully closed on the acquisition of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business, formalizing a deal announced in January.

With Lockheed Martin’s $5 billion IT business, Leidos becomes the government’s largest IT provider—nearly doubling its annual revenue to $10 billion—and further cements its place as a force in the growing federal health IT market.

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The Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB) is developing recommendations to support the continued growth of the BioHealth industry in Maryland. The LSAB Working Group focused on Workforce and Access to Talent is seeking your input for their recommendations.

If you are involved with hiring/training employees, please take five minutes to complete this online survey by next Monday, August 22nd to have your feedback considered by the LSAB Workforce Working Group. (Please forward this survey to your HR manager/others if appropriate.)

Your input is valued. All responses will be kept confidential unless you ask for a member of the LSAB to contact you. If you have any questions or feedback for the other groups (Access to Capital, Technology Transfer, Foundational Support, Convergence of Bio and IT), please email the Maryland Department of Commerce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for sharing your time and feedback.  

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Symbiomix today announced it is accelerating plans for the commercial launch of Solosec™ (secnidazole) oral granules following the presentation of clinical results from the second pivotal trial for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) with the hiring of Taunia Markvicka, PharmD, MBA, as Chief Commercial Officer. Symbiomix had a significant presence at the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG) Annual Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland this past weekend with both the oral data presentation and sponsorship of a panel discussion on emerging diagnosis and treatment recommendations for BV. In addition, the company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued conditional acceptance of the proprietary name Solosec™. Solosec™ was previously known as SYM-1219.

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In case you haven’t heard, BioBuzz just announced the launch of the BioHive – an Online Community and Collaboration Platform that is now open to general public. The BioHive will help enable all the components in our regional biotech ecosystem to work more efficiently to accelerate innovation, collaboration, workforce and growth opportunities.

Categorized into industry specific networks, the BioHive was built to bring together this region digitally and cultivate relationships that otherwise would not have been created due to company, role, geography, etc.

Please help us by pointing your coworkers and peers to the BioHive tab at http://www.biobuzz.net/ or directly at https://biohive.breezio.com to learn more and register for free today for their own BioHive account.

Working to build a stronger Biotech community has been BioBuzz’s mission for more than six years, so they are very excited to bring to you this great resource – so come join me on the BioHive!

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Former University System of Maryland chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan will lead a new commission to make recommendations about funding formulas and innovative strategies used in public education in Maryland.

The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education will revisit the equity of the state's K-12 education funding formula, examining the alignment between K-12 education requirements and higher education expectations, Kirwan said. It will also review successful innovations in education nationally and globally. Gov. Larry Hogan and leaders of the General Assembly announced Kirwan's appointment to chair the commission Aug. 9.

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A new book by Andrea LaFountain, CEO of Mind Field Solutions, looks at the science of patient behavior to answer the questions that big data cannot. LaFountain stopped by the Knowledge@Wharton Show on Sirius XM channel 111 to talk about the book, How Patients Think: A Science-Based Strategy for Patient Engagement and Population Health.

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: In this age of technology and big data, why is there still that disconnect between healthcare providers and patients?

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Get Real Health’s InstantPHR® Powers Patient Engagement Tool for Saskatchewan Residents: eHealth Saskatchewan pilot provides 1,000+ residents centralized access to their health records.

Rockville, Maryland-based Get Real Health furthered its mission of empowering patients across the globe by developing a pilot program for eHealth Saskatchewan targeted at improving access to health data for residents of the province, giving patients a real-time view of their overall health.

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Thursday September 22, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus is also a site for the popular Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Geared toward retirees, these non-credit classes cover topics including opera, literature, history, politics and more.

The campus is home to approximately 35 research companies and entrepreneurs. Scientists on campus are studying cervical cancer, Alzheimer's disease, cell therapy, proteins and other health issues. Other companies focus on technology, medical devices and consulting services. The Rockville Science Center's administrative offices are located here. Start-up companies, second-stage businesses and more established companies are welcome.

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You came to Hopkins in 2009 and now your contract has been extended through 2024. That’s a long time!

The board invited me to extend my term at Johns Hopkins, and I jumped at the opportunity. My wife and I love Hopkins and Baltimore, and couldn’t be happier knowing that we will be able to spend the next eight years being part of this amazing place, including, of course, strengthening Johns Hopkins’ relationship with Baltimore.

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Venture capital (VC) financing fuels our future by investing in small, early-stage companies and projects that may be destined to become the next Apple or Google. A new report from Martin Prosperity Institute shows venture capital is highly concentrated by industry. The top five industries (in order) are as follows: software, biotechnology, media and entertainment, medical devices and equipment and information technology services.  According to the report, which uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters, these top five VC industries receive $25 billion in investment—more than three-quarters of the overall pie. If expanded to include the top 10 industries, we can account for more than 90 percent of all VC investment. The report focuses on the intersection of industry and geography for all VC investments.