BioHealth Innovation
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March 18, 2019





Submit your application for a chance to be named the Startup with the Most Commercial Potential at the BioHealth Capital Region Forum, win $10,000 and more!




Finalists will have a chance to win the grand prize by presenting in front of a panel of prominent industry funding experts and executives.

Distinguished Judges:

Moderator - Rich Bendis, President and CEO, BioHealth Innovation

2019 Judges

  • John Rubin, Executive Director, JP Morgan Private Bank
  • Charles J. Andres, Intellectual Property Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
  • Raghav Bhargava, Associate, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • Ethel Rubin, Entrepreneur in Residence, NIH
  • Shaun Grady, Vice-President Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca
  • Norm Marcus, MD, Venture Partner, Sanderling Ventures 


Grand Prize provided by WSGR $10,000

Visibility in front of hundreds of attendees and prominent industry and venture capital judges


Product, Technical Feasibility, Marketing/Strategy, Leadership Team, Financial/Projection

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2019 BioHealth Capital Region Forum - Registration Open

April 8 + 9, 2019

One MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

This invitation-only event is free for executive level biotech leaders and is presented by BioHealth Innovation, VirginiaBio, Maryland Tech Council, University System of Maryland, Children’s National Health Network, HemoShear, GSK, BeneVir, Quality Biological, Johns Hopkins University and AstraZeneca. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set the bar high for biotech innovation. So please join us for our Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.

Register at

For more information about our speakers and event schedule, please visit

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Strong interest in Non-Dilutive Funding Programs

More than 120 people registered for last week’s SBIR Workshop at IBBR organized by BioHealth Innovation in partnership with Launch Workplaces and support from TEDCO and NIH FCU.  

The event featured program overviews, “how to” sessions regarding specific aspects of proposal development and 1:1 partnering meetings with the program managers.  

Speakers included:  Todd Haim,  Ph.D., Chief, Office of Small Business Research NIA;  Mike Pieck, Ph.D., Small Business Coordinator, NHLBI; Maureen (Cusick) Thomas, Outreach Coordinator, NIA;Victor Prikhodko, Business Advisor, NIDA; Amir Rahbar, PhD, MBA, Program Director, NCI;  Vladimir M. Popov, PhD, Business Dev. Manager, NCI-FNL;Amir Rahbar, PhD, MBA, Program Director, NCI; Henry Ahn, Program Director SBIR/STTR, NSF; and Colleen Gibney, SBIR Deputy Project Mgr, USAMRMC.  

44% of the attendees had applied for SBIR funding before with half of these innovators receiving a Phase 1.  Only 16% had received a Phase II award.  The majority of attendees were from Montgomery and Frederick Counties and the City of Baltimore.  However, registrants also traveled from Virginia, DC, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

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BioHealth Innovation Entrepreneur-in-Residence Feedback - March 20th

Are you a start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan?  Sign up by noon 3/19 to schedule your feedback session with BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who have industry experience in therapeutics, Dx, medtech and more March 20th.  (Future session scheduled for 5/22.)  Pre-registration is required; sign up here ("EIR resource" at BHI).  For questions/more information, contact BHI.

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MaxCyte Announces Multi-Drug Clinical & Commercial Agreement with Kite, a Gilead Company

MaxCyte, the global cell-based medicines and life sciences company, announced today that it has expanded its relationship with Kite, a Gilead Company, by entering into a multi-drug clinical and commercial agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Kite will use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation® Technology to enable non-viral cell engineering for development of multiple CAR-T drug candidates for up to 10 targets.

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NexImmune raising $10M for AML drug trials - Washington Business Journal

The company has already raised about $40 million to date.

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State Department awards Emergent BioSolutions contract for chemical warfare countermeasures - Homeland Preparedness News

Emergent BioSolutions announced today that the company has signed a deal with the U.S. Department of State to establish a supply chain for certain medical countermeasures that address chemical warfare agents.

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NCC-PDI Announces $250K Pediatric Pitch Competition for Orthopedic Medical Device Innovators

The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) is now accepting applications for its "Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!" competition. The competition is focused on pediatric devices developed for use in the orthopedic and spine sector, an area of critical need which lacks innovation. Winning companies receive awards up to $50,000 and are invited to participate in the newly created NCC-PDI "Pediatric Device Innovator Accelerator Program" led by MedTech Innovator.

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Gilead’s Kite pens 10-target CAR-T tech deal with MaxCyte - FierceBiotech

Gilead’s Kite Pharma has expanded its CAR-T agreement with MaxCyte. The revised deal gives Kite the chance to apply MaxCyte’s transfection technology to up to 10 targets.

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Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Appoints Lara S. Sullivan to its Board of Directors :: Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RNN)

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE American: RNN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies to improve patient outcomes in cancers that are difficult to treat, today announced the appointment of Lara S. Sullivan, M.D. to its board of directors.

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Personal Genome Diagnostics Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors, Bringing Proven, Industry-Leading Experience in Precision Medicine and Healthcare Policy

Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a leader in cancer genomics, announced today that it has added two new members to its Board of Directors, Dr. Kavita Patel and Garry Allen Nicholson. Dr. Patel and Mr. Nicholson bring significant healthcare expertise that is aligned with and can further empower PGDx’s corporate growth strategy of driving global access to precision medicine in oncology.

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Local Entrepreneur Brings Swedish Company AcouSort to BioHealth Capital Region  · BioBuzz

For every AstraZeneca, there are hundreds of small biotech startups and scores of life science innovators that are critical to growing the BioHealth Capital Region. For every new biotech flush with investment cash, scores of smart, entrepreneur-scientists with great ideas and technology struggle to find regional funding partners.

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BioFactura CEO Dr. Darryl Sampey Shares his Entrepreneurial Journey at Frederick's StartupGrind Event - BioBuzz

Dr. Darryl Sampey has been through the grind as CEO of Frederick’s BioFactura, a thriving biotech company that’s a key part of the BioHealth Capital Region’s second largest biotech hub. On a rainy, cold February night at FITCI, Sampey shared BioFactura’s compelling story during a “fireside chat” hosted by StartUp Grind’s Frederick chapter.

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BioBuzz with JHU MoCo - March 13th

When: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Where: Bar Louie 150 Gibbs St Rockville, MD 20850

Join BioBuzz and Founding Sponsor JHU MoCo for our next exciting event of 2019 at Bar Louie in Rockville on March 13th. 

The Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences created the Center for Biotechnology Education to engage diverse audiences in the world of biotechnology and to prepare the leaders of today, tomorrow and the next generation for the challenges of the 21st century.

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New ebook: How Protenus fast-tracked hiring with a more focused strategy - Baltimore

In late 2017, Baltimore-based healthcare startup Protenus was reverberating from a year of growth.

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Her biotech firm solves medical mysteries. (And no, it’s not Theranos.)

I was dubious when Crystal Icenhour approached me to write about her medical testing company.

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New study finds $9 billion in technology sales following NCI-funded research | TechLink

The National Cancer Institute’s investment in small business research grants has supported strong economic growth, including $9 billion in sales of new technologies.

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Want to raise $75M in funding? NEA investor explains how Baltimore's PGDx did it - Baltimore Business Journal

Justin Klein, as a former investor with NEA, helped lead PGDx’s $21.4 million Series A in 2015 and its $75 million Series B last year.

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Roche Deal for Spark Therapeutics Shows Biotech M&A Spark Hasn't Died - RealMoney

The biotech sector has been a strong performer in 2019 after becoming quite oversold during the plunge in the high-beta parts of the market in the fourth quarter of 2018. Helping the sector recover and get off to a raucous start to the New Year were large buyouts of Celgene Corp(CELG) and Loxo Oncology Inc(LOXO) to start 2019, both with significan...

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NEA is raising its biggest fund ever – – again - TechCrunch

New Enterprise Associates, the 41-year-old venture firm with offices in Menlo Park; San Francisco; Boston; New York; Chevy Chase, Md.; and Washington, D.C., is raising its biggest fund ever, shows a new SEC filing that shows target of $3.6 billion.

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Alexandria RE Equities Launches ‘GradLabs’ Product in San Diego | GlobeSt

Office REIT Alexandria Real Estate Equities reports it has launched a new product geared to providing post-seed-stage life science companies with turnkey, fully furnished office/laboratory suites.

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A $100 Genome Within Reach, Illumina CEO Asks If World Is Ready

Francis deSouza Photographer: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire via AP For years, the cost to decode a full human genome has been falling much like computer processing costs -- from hundreds of thousands of dollars per person to about $1,000 today. With a $100 genome getting closer, the CEO of the top maker of DNA sequencers thinks the world may not be ready.

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RFI Deadline Approaching: Understanding the Health of Women and the Role of Sex/Gender in Mechanisms of Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Diseases and Disorders

The biomedical research community has made major progress in achieving a balance of men and women in human studies, however compelling questions about the underlying mechanisms that increase women’s risk or resilience for certain heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) diseases continue to challenge the scientific and medical community.

In support of its Strategic Vision, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is advancing a scientific research agenda for women’s health. As part of that agenda, the Institute has issued a Request for Information “Understanding the Health of Women and the Role of Sex/Gender in Mechanisms of Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Diseases and Disorders.” The RFI offers the research community, health care professionals, patient advocates, and others an opportunity to provide input on topics ranging from scientific gap areas in mechanisms of HLBS diseases, to training and resource needs, among other topics.

The NHLBI greatly values your perspective as it works with the wider scientific community to uncover the mechanisms of disease that will set a stronger foundation for clinical research focused on more effective prevention and treatment strategies for HLBS diseases and disorders in women. Please submit your responses via email to by March 15, 2019. Don’t forget to include the Notice number (NOT-HL-18-660) in the subject line.

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2018 was a record year for venture capital, but not for women founders - Washington Business Journal

The share of funding going to women-founded startups went down despite a massive influx of dollars to the region.

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Pfizer: Countries free-riding on US innovation - BBC News

Albert Bourla told a US Senate hearing that other nations are "free-riding on American innovation".

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Sanofi, Bayer and Roche execs underscore the value of digital therapeutics - MedCity News

Biopharma companies have long been looking for a way to go beyond the molecule/pill.The nascent but growing digital therapeutics industry set to grow to $10 billion by 2023 may be guiding that way forward, according to a panel discussion on the second day of the DTx (Digital Therapeutics) West conference in San Mateo, California.

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Van Hollen: Despite Trump, NIH Significantly ‘Better Off’ In Terms of Funding

Funding for the Bethesda-based National Institutes of Health is up by 14 percent during the two years that President Donald Trump has been in the White House — but it’s despite and not because of the president, according to Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen.

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New Blood Test for 8 Common Cancers - Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a unique, noninvasive blood test that detects proteins and gene mutations from eight common cancers. The test, called CancerSEEK, screens for cancers that account for more than 60 percent of U.S. cancer deaths.

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This Viral Therapy Could Help Us Survive the Superbug Era

In November 2015, infectious disease epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, evolutionary psychologist Tom Patterson, were spending the week of Thanksgiving exploring pyramids and pharaoh’s tombs in Egypt when Patterson came down with what seemed like a nasty bout of food poisoning aboard their cruise ship. But as his condition rapidly deteriorated and he had to be emergency medevac’d, first to Germany and then to the medical center at UC San Diego, where both scientists were on staff, blood and imaging tests revealed why Patterson’s body was failing. A soccer-ball-sized cyst in his abdomen was infected—teeming with one of the most dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world.

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