Barbara Mikulski

Nearly 90,000 Maryland jobs come from the state's 400 biotechnology companies, so when a senior Democrat on the Senate committee looking into industry regulations asks for a meeting, local businesses are the first to the table.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., met with representatives from several Frederick County biotech companies Tuesday at MedImmune, a Frederick-based pharmaceutical firm. The discussion, the third stop on Mikulski's Maryland biotech listening tour, focused on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and the Medical Device User Fee Act.

HIG

H.I.G. BioVentures, a Miami-based venture firm with ties to Maryland’s biotech cluster, has raised a fresh $268 million to invest in drug, medical device and diagnostics companies.

Managing Director Bruce Robertson, who lives in Maryland and is a familiar face in the I-270 life sciences community, said he’s “very optimistic” the firm will be able to deploy some of that capital in the D.C. region – something that hasn't happened with H.I.G’s last $150 million bio fund.

FLC

The President has issued an innovation challenge, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) can help you answer it! Join the FLC at its 2012 national meeting, Bridging Federal Technologies and Industry, in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 30-May 3, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

The meeting offers technology transfer (T2) training, as well as informational sessions such as:

  • Partnering with federal laboratories
  • Leveraging social media • Available entrepreneur programs
  • Case studies
  • And much more!

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When Suburban Hospital’s ICU went from paper to electronic medical records, the hospital’s IT department created the FrankenCOW. This COW – or, Computer On Wheels – was essentially a glorified laptop with a battery on a cart that could be wheeled around. After a few months of use, Chris Timbers, Suburban Hospital VP & Chief Information Officer, said he found himself with a revolt on his hands. The nurses and doctors wanted to return to the paper records. They felt the records allowed them to easily see a large quantity of information all at once while the computer required toggling between multiple screens. Timbers fought off the return to paper, but didn’t find a solution until after the staff’s second attempt to return to paper. It was then that one of the ICU doctors asked Timbers (pictured left) about getting a FrankenCOW with a larger monitor. And when Timber’s staff couldn’t find one, they built one.

“And we haven’t heard a peep since,” he said. “But boy was that was one ugly COW,” he added, to the laughter of the more than 100 attendees of the latest Health IT Breakfast Forum.

Lilly

In addition to providing lifesaving medication, The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership has transferred technology so medicines can be produced locally, where they are needed, building local economic benefits and healthcare system capacity.

Because the Lilly drugs used to treat MDR-TB can be difficult to manufacture and require specialized equipment and facilities, Lilly identified capable manufacturers in high-burden countries—China, India, Russia, and South Africa—and offered them, free of charge, access to know-how and technical support so they could manufacture the needed drugs on their own. In addition, Lilly worked with companies in the United States and Greece to provide additional capacity and assure supply of these products to global markets. Lilly also provided funding where necessary to support the conversion or upgrading of local manufacturing facilities to meet international quality standards.

Breakout Labs

While most of us are still reeling in shock after last week’s one billion Instagram buy, Peter Thiel — through both Founders Fund and the Thiel Foundation — is leading the charge into a future where humans don’t age or suffer from cancer, among other things. Call it crazy or whatever you’d like, but there’s no doubt that people who are trying to drastically change the world for the better often do.

If a hologram can give a concert, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine a future where humans don’t die. As part of its commitment to improving the quality of human life in general, Thiel’s latest project, Breakout Labs, is awarding $5 million to companies who push the envelope with regards to “revolutionary” scientific innovation.

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Large doses of Vitamin C may moderately reduce blood pressure, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.

But the scientists don't recommend people start taking large amounts of the vitamin.

Researchers led by Dr. Edgar "Pete" R. Miller, an associate professor in the division of general interal medicine at Hopkins, reviewed and analyzed data from 29 previous  clinical trials and found that taking 500 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, or five times the recommended amount, could lower blood pressure by 3.84 millimeters.

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With President Barack Obama signing the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Bill into law today, the crowdfunding provision could mark a new era for startups and make it easier to raise money with more investment from new investors who fuel early and later-stage healthcare companies.

But some investors believe that with less-rigorous regulatory checks and balances on company finances, the risk of investors getting burned by fraud will lead to new dynamics in the investment landscape, like novice investors partnering with individuals and groups with more experience. Three individuals from the investment landscape share their thoughts.

Mikulski

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, continued her Maryland biotechnology listening tour at a roundtable discussion with Frederick County pharmaceutical companies at MedImmune. Senator Mikulski has continued to meet with members of the Maryland medical industry as the Senate HELP Committee examines reauthorizing user fee legislation, which supports the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries that account for nearly 90,000 Maryland jobs and works to keep families safe and healthy.

"In Maryland, biotech means jobs, jobs, job," said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate HELP Committee and a member of the Drug Shortage Working Group. "I have heard from Maryland pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, nurses and patients about the need for safe and effective treatments that are both readily available and affordable. I'm proud to support research and innovation jobs in Maryland's biotech industry keeping our state competitive in the global economy. By working to develop safe and effective treatments, we can ensure that our nation's health care providers have the tools they need to keep families healthy."

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In the world of drug development, honing an effective molecule is just the first step. As everyone in the drug delivery business knows, issues like solubility, permeability and targeting can be vexing challenges to getting treatment where it needs to go. But what if you could deliver drugs the same way the body dispatches white blood cells to fight infection, or the same way a virus proliferates throughout the body?

That's what researchers at U.S. universities are working on, aiming to develop synthetic cells that could target ailments and release drugs to treat them. As Popular Mechanics reports, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are using plastics to build artificial white blood cells called leuko-polymersomes, which would be guided by synthetic molecules designed to mimic the natural receptors white blood cells use to find enflamed tissues and stick to them.

rbendis

Welcome to BioHealth Innovation News, a new Central Maryland e-newsletter focused on bringing to you the latest news and developments in the vibrant biohealth industry. This newsletter is produced and distributed by BioHealth Innovation Inc. (BHI), a new private public partnership whose mission is "to connect market relevant biohealth assets to appropriate funding, management and markets that will result in commercially viable products and companies."

As the interim CEO of BHI, I have the privilege of working with a committed team and an esteemed board of directors. I would like to give special thanks to one of our key partners, the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Economic Development, for providing its extensive database as part of our initial distribution list. We are also working with other stakeholders to grow our database of interested parties in biohealth news.

This newsletter will cover regional, national and global news and trends related to biohealth. We welcome your contributions of breaking news and original content. Please send any news, suggestions or inquiries to Lily Qi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are excited about the growth opportunities in the Central Maryland region and hope that we can be an effective intermediary in this biohealth ecosystem.

Best regards,

Richard A. Bendis
Interim CEO BioHealth Innovation Inc.
e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.biohealthinnovation.org

 

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BHIOTT

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.

“We are thrilled to partner with NIH to accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of early-stage research,” said Richard Bendis, BHI Interim CEO. “This Agreement will allow health care industry experts to proactively identify market-relevant technologies being conducted at one of the finest research institutes in the world to better capture the commercial value of those technologies. Ultimately, the goal is to advance human health care while growing jobs in Central Maryland.”

chappell-todd

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.

leggett

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.  

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).

bendis

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.

Rockland Immunochemicals

Rockland Immunochemicals Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on antibodies and antibody-based tools for basic research, diagnostic assay development and preclinical studies is pleased to announce a new licensing venture with LIMR Development, Inc. (LDI), the business development subsidiary of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR).

Rockland Immunochemicals will market LDI's entire portfolio of LIMR monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, which bind biomarkers crucial for cell signaling, immune system regulation, inflammatory responses, cellular metabolism, and cancer progression. Detailed product information can be found at http://rockland-inc.com/limr-collaboration.aspx . George Prendergast, PhD, President and CEO of LIMR, stated, "We are proud of the achievement of LDI to generate an agreement with Rockland to commercialize the high-quality research antibodies developed at LIMR."

Techcouncilmd

The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM), Maryland's largest technology and life science association, announced the finalists for its 24th annual TCM Tech Awards. Winners will be announced during the awards gala on April 26 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

"The TCM Tech Awards celebration is one of the preeminent events in Maryland, where more than 900 leaders in the state's high tech and life sciences communities convene for networking, entertainment, and to honor the best-of-the-best in our industries," said Art Jacoby, TCM's CEO. "Maryland's Life Science and Technology companies are leading the way to a healthier world and a higher standard of living for all. We celebrate the collective success of our region and the special contributions of our finalists and award winners."

Open Innovation

By providing a platform for idea-sharing, Open Innovation Drug Discovery lowers the barrier for collaborations between investigators working inside and outside an organization. Free exchange of ideas between investigators across traditionally impregnable organizational walls contributes to the advancement of Science.

Through prior experience with the Phenotypic Drug Discovery program (PD2), Lilly has established a network with academic and biotech investigators outside our walls to provide them access to proprietary, disease-relevant phenotypic assays. Today, we expand this partnership with top global research talent by adding sophisticated in vitro target-based assays (TargetD2) through our Open Innovation Drug Discovery program.

sopenetlogo

The National Capitol Area Chapter of SoPE in concert with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, MedChi, and Medical Society of Northern Virginia presents:

"Beyond the Stethoscope--How MD-MBAs Influence the Current Challenges in Healthcare"

Telling Our Stories: How physicians have taken the science of business and integrated it with their medical training to accelerate their faculty positions, redefine their careers, change their perspectives and leave a bigger footprint.

Biotech executives are applauding Montgomery County officials for following through on another key recommendation of the county’s Biosciences Task Force.

The county council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee on Monday recommended that the council provide $500,000 in annual supplemental funding as a local piggyback on the state’s own biotech investment tax credit. While not a formal tax credit, which would require an amendment to state law, the county appropriation would effectively make it a grant program, said Steven A. Silverman, the county’s economic development director.

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Emerging Technology Center JHU Eastern, 1101 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD

Join Governor Martin O'Malley for a reception and press conference celebrating Innovate Maryland.

Inspiring collaboration, commercialization and job creation in public and private universities.

Please register to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.

MedImmune

Pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca PLC and Amgen Inc. just announced a deal to co-develop and co-commercialize five product candidates, all monoclonal antibodies. No surprise here: LLC    – AZ’s Gaithersburg-based biologics arm that specializes in antibody-based products — will be taking on a good deal of the work.

The Maryland biotech took the lead on negotiating the transaction with Amgen and will lead the development of three of the five compounds, President Peter Greenleaf said in an interview Monday afternoon.

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Fuad El-Hibri has started a financial consulting business. He’s started telecommunications businesses.

But his most challenging venture has been the Rockville biotech he helped launch 14 years ago.

Still, El-Hibri — CEO and board chairman of Emergent BioSolutions — says the challenges are worth it, because the rewards are so great from protecting and saving lives.

 

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For scientists pursuing careers in biotech, clusters of life science-related companies and research institutions in the eastern United States may be a promising place to look for jobs. These so-called bioclusters have a 30-year history in the region and, in recent years, have seen an uptick in active support from academic institutions and state and local governments. We focus on three leaders in the region, the bioclusters in Massachusetts, Maryland/Washington, DC, and North Carolina. By Shawna Williams

Bioclusters have their roots in a pair of 1980 government decisions, explains Peter Abair, head of economic development and global affairs at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, an industry group. One of these, the Bayh-Dole Act, for the first time allowed discoveries made with federal dollars to be licensed for commercial purposes. The other was a Supreme Court decision that DNA could be patented.

Johns Hopkins University was tops for research and development spending in 2010.

Surprise, surprise — Johns Hopkins University    spent more money on medical, science and engineering research than any other university in fiscal 2010.

Hopkins topped the research and development spending list, compiled by the National Science Foundation    , for the 32nd consecutive year. The 2010 data is the most recent available.

Hopkins also tops the foundation’s list for federally funded research and development.

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Following a considerable contraction in investment dollars in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. angel investor market continued to recover in 2011, a trend that began in 2010 in investment dollars and in the number of investments, according to the 2011 Angel Market Analysis released by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire.

Total investments in 2011 were $22.5 billion, an increase of 12.1 percent over 2010 when investments totaled $20.1 billion. A total of 66,230 entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding in 2011, an increase of 7.3 percent over 2010 investments, and the number of active investors in 2011 reached 318,480 individuals, a substantial growth of 20 percent from 2010.

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.

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.

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.