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November 9, 2021


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BioTalk Welcomes Ellington West, CEO & Co-founder of Sonavi Labs

Ellington West, CEO & Co-founder of Sonavi Labs, joins BioTalk to discuss their building the startup, their medical device, and raising funds in the BioHealth Capital Region.

Listen via Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

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Life Sciences Business Strategist - Open Position!

BioHealth Innovation (BHI) is an innovation intermediary that facilitates the commercialization of emerging technologies in the BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland, DC and Virginia).

BHI is seeking a Life Sciences Business Strategist to join its team in Rockville, Maryland. This position provides the opportunity to leverage scientific knowledge to evaluate the commercial potential of emerging technologies and provide recommendations on go-to-market strategies.

This is a customer facing role with a focus on supporting clients in the development of commercial analyses and federal grant proposals.

Click here for more details.

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BHI EIR Feedback Day November 17th. Register Now!

Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here

For questions/more information, contact BHI.

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Gaitherburg's Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Announces Strategic Agreement with ARLG to Support Phase 1b/2 Cystic Fibrosis Study

GAITHERSBURG, MD, November 2, 2021 – Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies to treat infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) to support a multi-center Phase 1b/2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessing the safety and microbiological activity of a single dose of bacteriophage therapy in cystic fibrosis subjects colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 

ARLG consists of more than 100 leading experts, working together to combat the ongoing antibacterial resistance crisis and improve patient care. Created in 2013, ARLG is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number UM1AI104681. It is facilitated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and works under the leadership of an executive committee, four component centers, and two Principal Investigators: Vance Fowler, MD, of Duke University, and Henry "Chip" Chambers, MD, of University of California, San Francisco. The NIAID is the Sponsor of this study.

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Record Funding Invested in Montgomery County, Maryland Companies in 2021 Q1-Q3 — MCEDC

Rockville, Md. — Thus far in 2021, a record pace for initial public offerings (IPO), private investment and venture capital deals has been set in Montgomery County. Over $18 billion of investment across 76 companies and 87 separate transactions have been made in the first three quarters of the year from January 1 through September 30. The companies receiving funding span major industries from life sciences and health tech to quantum and media.


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Strategies in uncertainty: How best to expand our licensed nurse aide workforce - Guest columns - McKnight's Long-Term Care News

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on January 31, 2020.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services followed by issuing waivers covering certain requirements that directly impact nurse aide training.  Legislators and regulators reacted by approving individual state waivers aligned with CMS’ guidance that aimed to ease the challenges of increasing the number of certified nurse aide caregivers. Some of the most significant challenges include the closure of or limited access to nurse aide testing facilities, a shortage of qualified nurse instructors and mandated quarantine protocols.   

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Deka Biosciences Announces Scientific Advisory Board Members — DEKA BioSciences

Germantown, MD (November 4, 2021) – Deka Biosciences is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to its Scientific Advisory Board: Aurélien Marabelle, MD, PhD (Gustave Roussy), Aung Naing, MD, FACP (MD Anderson Cancer Center), Abhishek Tripathi, MD (OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center), Khusru Asadullah, MD (The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Dermatological Practice in Potsdam), Hans-Dieter Volk, MD (The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), and Florin Selaru, MD (John’s Hopkins University). 

“It is my honor to welcome such a highly esteemed group of world leaders and experts in regulation of the immune system to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board” said Dr. John Mumm, CEO, Deka Biosciences. “Each member will be invaluable to Deka as we continue to develop our Diakines into the next generation targeted cytokine platform that drive cures in both cancer and in patients suffering from autoinflammatory disease.”

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Virginia Catalyst Awards $1.9 Million in Grants to Support Life Sciences in the Commonwealth | VirginiaBio

The Virginia Catalyst, also known as the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC),  announced that it has awarded $1.9 million in grants to three life and bioscience projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These grants, which will be met with significant matching funds from partner companies, were awarded through Grant Round 12 of Virginia Catalyst’s ongoing mission to stimulate economic development by promoting collaborative projects that address large, unmet needs for improving human health, and that can create high-paying jobs in the Commonwealth.

“We are excited to continue our mission of supporting collaborations and fostering economic growth in Virginia’s life sciences, enabling the Commonwealth to compete on a national and global scale,” said Mike Grisham, CEO, Virginia Catalyst. “The critical mass achieved by these collaborations provides Virginia with competitive advantages over other states and has resulted in significant outside capital being invested to finance the commercialization of Virginia’s innovations and create significant high-paying jobs for the Commonwealth.”

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'I see amazing momentum.' Efforts to find HIV cure are speeding up in Maryland | WJLA

The efforts to find a functional cure for HIV are speeding up for one Maryland company after the Data Safety and Monitoring Board found no serious, adverse events with the third patient, as was the case for the previous two, American Gene Technologies announced.

"One patient can be lucky. Two can be very lucky. Three is a trend, and so actually the Data Safety and Monitoring Board has decided that they will meet quarterly from now on. We don't need to check in with them between each patient, so that means we can greatly accelerate the clinical trial," said CEO and Founder of American Gene Technologies Jeff Galvin.

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CIT GAP Funds Invests in Cerillo to Illuminate Scientific Research Possibilities with Innovative Technologies

Richmond, VA, Oct. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds, the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) has invested in Charlottesville, Va.-based Cerillo. Cerillo designs innovative laboratory technologies that allow scientists to collect data more efficiently and researchers to amplify their impact on the world. Cerillo will use CIT’s funding to expand sales and marketing efforts and to continue expanding its business operations and product development teams, which will position the company for rapid growth.

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Early Charm Announces Doubling of Production and Development Space at Baltimore’s 1100 Wicomico

November 2, 2021, Baltimore, MD – In a move to accommodate its continued fast growth, Early Charm – a company that creates, owns and operates ventures that convert science to revenue – announced today it is more than doubling its production and lab space at Baltimore's 1100 Wicomico building.

This significant expansion will occur adjacent to Early Charm's 3,200 square feet of current production and development space, bringing total production and development space to just under 7,000 square feet.


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Maryland on track to surpass $2B in VC funding this year

By Giacomo Bologna

November 03, 2021, Maryland is on track to top $2 billion worth of venture capital deals in 2021, its highest ever total.

The state had 34 deals totaling almost $400 million in the third quarter of the year, according to the most recent PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report, which is released quarterly with support from Silicon Valley Bank and Affinity.

Through three quarters of 2021, Maryland has had 134 deals worth about $1.6 billion, the report said. This surpasses the entire amount of venture capital raised in 2020, when companies in Maryland raised about $1.26 billion.

PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor revised some figures it released earlier this year, but Greater Baltimore still appears headed for a record-breaking year. The area had 13 deals totaling $72 million in Q3, pushing its year-to-date total past $500 million. That's just shy of 2020's $524 million VC total for the entire year.

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Six Up-and-Coming COVID-19 Vaccines

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the response from public health agencies, regulators, researchers, and industry has been dominated by the development of vaccines. As of October 14, McGill University’s McGill COVID19 Vaccine Tracker listed 153 vaccines in clinical development, of which 23 had been approved or authorized for emergency use in at least one country.

In the United States, the FDA has approved one COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty) and authorized for emergency use two others (Moderna’s Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine). Beyond the United States, most approvals and authorizations have been granted to those vaccines and others developed by AstraZeneca/University of Oxford (122 countries), Sinopharm (65), Sinovac Biotech (40), Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute (16), and CanSino Biologics (9).

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These Countries Have The Most Startup Investment For Their Size – Crunchbase News

Among the world’s largest nations, the U.S. has by far the highest rate of startup investment relative to population. Over the past year, venture investors put nearly $270 billion to work—averaging out to around $800 for every person in the country. 

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But among all countries, the U.S. ranks fourth in per capita startup investment. The No. 1 and No. 2 slots go to Singapore and Israel, two smaller countries that punch well above their weight class for tech-driven entrepreneurship.


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