BioHealth Innovation
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July 9, 2019


Dr. Amrie Grammer of AMPEL BioSolutions joins host Rich Bendis on BioTalk

AMPEL BioSolutions Co-Founder and COO/CSO, Dr. Amrie Grammer guests on BioTalk to discuss building the Company in Charlottesville, VA, her work and recognition at NIH, and being a leader from the southern part of the BioHealth Capital Region.

Dr. Amrie Grammer is the Majority Owner and Co-Founder of AMPEL BioSolutions, located in downtown Charlottesville Virginia. Amrie is a Translational Immunologist specializing in human Autoimmune Diseases. She trained at UVA (BS Chemistry, MS Pharmacology) before receiving her PhD in Immunology at UTSW Medical Center at Dallas. Amrie was recruited to the NIH to establish the B Cell Biology Group in the Autoimmunity Branch of NIAMS during the human genome sequencing project. She received multiple NIH awards for her work comparing signaling pathways and genes expressed in patients vs healthy individuals, including the prestigious Director’s Award.

Amrie founded AMPEL in 2013 to bring precision medicine to individual patients, especially those suffering from lupus to whom she has dedicated her career. Over the last six years, she has used her knowledge to design and implement a pipeline to predict disease activity and the “right drug for the right patient at the right time”. In addition, top drugs she identified for repositioning into lupus have had positive clinical trials. Amrie is a member of Sigma Xi and Sigma Delta Epsilon. She serves as a Chair of the UVA Alumni Board of the professional Chemistry Fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma. In December 2016, Amrie was elected to the Board of Directors of the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VA Bio). She is also a board member of the University of Virginia Fralin Art Museum (2011-present).

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – AMPEL BioSolutions today announces a breakthrough in precision and personalized medicine that could revolutionize the way doctors treat chronic diseases, like Lupus. Revealed in the peer-reviewed journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, the paper details our breakthrough machine learning approach to predict disease activity from gene data obtained from patient blood samples. The lab test, only a concept for the last few years, is now ready for development for practical use. AMPEL’s initial focus was Lupus, but the test can be used for many autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

AMPEL’s innovative machine learning approach, which is now ready to be developed as a decision support biomarker blood test could greatly impact health care, by allowing physicians to identify the cause of patient disease symptoms and select appropriate treatment more precisely. The application of our machine learning approach could assist pharmaceutical companies in drug development and clinical trials.

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Where Are They Now: Recent Pitch Competition Winners in The BioHealth Capital Region · BioBuzz

At the close of the 2019 BioHealth Capital Region Forum in April, Floreo Inc. was announced as the winner of the BioHealth Innovation’s 4th annual Crab Trap Competition and the $10,000 grand prize provided by WSGR. Floreo, Inc., which is “…using the power of virtual reality to deliver immersive, fun, and affordable lessons for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)…”, was selected by the judges from a group of five finalists.

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TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative Funds $4.22 Million For Start-Ups | TEDCO

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced its recent investments through the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). With the latest round of funding, MII’s funding count for FY19 includes 26 technology assessment grants and seven start-up investments for a total of $4.22 million. True to its technology agnostic funding history, this year the startups ranged from Cleantech to AI and Biotech.

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Johns Hopkins Research Focused on Early Stage Bladder Cancer Wins $3.2 Million Federal Grant | Newswise: News for Journalists

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Brady Urological Institute, and the Center for Computational Genomics at Johns Hopkins have received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study new treatment options for early-stage bladder cancer.

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Are You Using These 5 Tips for Raising Venture Capital · BioBuzz

Access to capital has been an ongoing challenge for biohealth companies in the BioHealth Capital Region (BCHR) and throughout the Mid Atlantic, though recent investment data suggests that capital market access is improving. “PwC/CB Insights ranks the region fourth with $944.07 million in 44 deals and Jones Lang Lasalle tallies $1.1 billion, good enough for third,” stated Rich Bendis, CEO of BioHealth Innovation (BHI), in his keynote speech at the recent The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Technology Transfer Showcase.

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HIV Cure Program of American Gene Technologies Adds University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology as New Study Site to Support the Development of a Cell and Gene Therapy for HIV | American Gene Technology

American Gene Technologies (AGT), a leading gene and cell therapy company based in Rockville, MD, selected the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) as a new clinical site for its non-IND study, AGT-CS168, to collect clinical specimens from HIV positive individuals. AGT will use these materials to validate the patient-specific AGT103-T therapeutic manufacturing process. AGT expects AGT103-T will eliminate HIV from the body when infused back into the patient and will decrease or eliminate the need for lifelong antiretroviral treatment.

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Bio-Trac receives Maryland Governor's Citation - Bio-Trac®

On behalf of Bio-Trac, Co-Founder and Director Mark Nardone received a Governor’s Citation for Bio-Trac’s 33 years of service to the scientific community, having provided hands-on training to over 17,000 scientists. At last night’s well attended Stem Cell BioPanel event at the Montgomery College Bioscience Education Center, Mr. Nardone was caught by surprise, not knowing this award was to take place. In a heartfelt address, he mentioned to the audience of scientists that it was exactly the 1 year anniversary of Dr. Roland M Nardone’s passing and how he would have been pleased by the honor but even more so to see a room full of research scientists attending an event to gain knowledge, insight and network among their peers.

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MCHB Grand Challenges

Do you have an innovative idea to help solve a health issue affecting moms and kids today? Here’s your chance to make it happen! The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), part of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), invites you to participate in our four prize-awarded Challenges with a total prize purse of $1.5 million. These competitions seek low-cost, scalable, innovative solutions that improve the health of mothers and children across the U.S.

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Top 10 M&A Deals of January–June 2019 - GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Just one week into 2019, the new year got off to the proverbial roaring start for biopharma mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with the announcement of two multi-billion-dollar deals valued at a total $82 billion—one of them among the top 10 of all time.

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GSK opens S$130m facilities in Jurong, Companies & Markets - THE BUSINESS TIMES

PHARMACEUTICAL giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) unveiled a new, fully automated continuous manufacturing facility and an expanded production building at its Jurong site on Friday, worth a total of S$130 million.

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Dr. Marco Chacón, Founder and Chairman, Paragon Bioservices, and University of Maryland Baltimore Assistant Vice President Industry Alliances, Joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk

Dr. Marco Chacón sits down for a new episode of BioTalk to talk about his Founding of Paragon to its recent sale to Catalent, his current role with the University of Maryland Baltimore, and being a Leader in the BioHealh Capital Region

Marco A. Chacon, Ph.D., is the Assistant Vice President of Industry Alliances at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive and entrepreneur, Dr. Chacon works with the leadership team at UMB leading special projects to grow the BioPark tenant base and to strengthen the University’s research collaborations with industry.

Dr. Chacon is the Founder and Chairman of Paragon Bioservices, Inc., a Contract Development and GMP Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) located at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore. With  ~500 employees and 230k square feet of space, Paragon specializes in the development and GMP manufacturing of viral vectors and vaccines.

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