BioHealth Innovation
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October 12, 2020


MCEDC President and CEO Benjamin Wu joins BioTalk to discuss all things Montgomery County, Economic Development, and the BioHealth Industry

Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)  President and CEO  Benjamin Wu Chats with Rich Bendis on BioTalk.

Listen now Apple, Google, Spotify, and YouTube Audio

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of MCEDC, Ben Wu leads the public-private economic development of Maryland’s largest jurisdiction which comprises 25% of the state’s economy with a GDP greater than 13 states. A Montgomery County native, Ben is an accomplished executive with over three decades of professional experience leading operations at the highest levels of our nation and state.

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6th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum (Oct 19th, 2020) (REGISTER NOW!)

Join fellow biotech leaders and is presented by the Association of University Research Parks, AstraZeneca, BioHealth Innovation, Children’s National Health System, Emergent BioSolutions, George Mason University, J.P. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Department of Commerce, Virginia Bio, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set the bar high for biotech innovation. So please join us for our 6th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.

We are excited to bring you an exceptional line up of more than 55 BioHealth Capital Region industry leaders to this virtual event!


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Life Sciences Go Viral in Maryland

When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visited Novavax recently, President and CEO Stanley C. Erck shared some welcome news for the governor publicly: Novavax had more than doubled its workforce so far this year, adding 116 people to the 100 that it employed at the start of 2020.

“The plan is to double that again, to add another 200 in the coming six months just in the U.S.,” Erck said, part of an expansion plan by Novavax to grow its workforce to 1,000 people worldwide. Novavax recently expanded into a third building at its Gaithersburg, MD, headquarters, and is also in talks for an additional 200,000 square feet of lab space locally.

Image: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (2d from left) chats with Gale Smith, PhD, Novavax Discovery and Preclinical Research and Chief Scientist, during a tour of the company’s Gaithersburg, MD, facilities. (Office of Governor Larry Hogan)

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First Patient Dosed in NexImmune Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of NEXI-002 in Multiple Myeloma

GAITHERSBURG, MD -- October 6, 2020 – NexImmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a portfolio of unique non-genetically-engineered T cell immunotherapies, announced today that it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 1/2 clinical trial for NEXI-002. NEXI-002 is a patient-derived cellular product that contains populations of naturally-occurring CD8+ T cells directed against several multiple myeloma (MM)-specific antigen targets. It is the second clinical product NexImmune has generated with its AIM nanoparticle technology.

“While the primary objective in this trial with NEXI-002 is to demonstrate safety and tolerability, we also hope to see initial signs of immunological and clinical activity,” said Han Myint, MD, Chief Medical Officer at NexImmune. “The AIM technology gives us the unique ability to direct populations of natural T cells against a powerful combination of cell surface and endogenous anti-tumor targets specific to multiple myeloma. We believe this approach has potential to address primary tumor escape mechanisms, and provide deep and durable clinical responses.”

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FDA Grants GlycoMimetics Rare Pediatric Disease Designation for Rivipansel for Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease - BioHealth Capital Region

ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 5, 2020– GlycoMimetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLYC) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Company a Rare Pediatric Disease designation for rivipansel for the treatment of sickle cell disease in patients 18 years old and younger. This designation recognizes the significant needs in pediatric patients.

“The FDA’s designation recognizes the morbidity and mortality burdens of sickle cell disease as well as its significant impact during childhood with life-long implications. With this designation, the agency acknowledges the urgent need for improved treatment of children living with sickle cell disease,” stated Helen Thackray, Chief Medical Officer of GlycoMimetics.

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Pipeline – Immunomic Therapeutics

Our allergy assets remain an underpinning of Immunomic Therapeutics’ success, and have enabled our pivot to focus on oncology.

In addition to our canine atopic dermatitis vaccine concept, our vaccines using ITI’s lysosomal targeting technology have already been tested in several clinical studies in both allergy and oncology.

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Baltimore venture capital firm Catalio Capital Management closes $100M fund - Baltimore Business Journal

Catalio's portfolio includes many notable local biotech companies, including Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. and Thrive Earlier Detection Corp.

Image: George Petrocheilos (right) and R. Jacob Vogelstein are the managing partners of venture investment fund Catalio Capital Management LP. MARK DENNIS -

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Qiagen to Complement COVID-19 Testing Portfolio with Novel Kit That Simplifies and Accelerates PCR Analysis for Research - COVID-19 -

QIAGEN N.V. (Venlo, Netherlands) plans to launch a novel straightforward approach to viral RNA epidemiology that will significantly simplify and accelerate PCR analysis and remove key testing bottlenecks for SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses.

QIAGEN’s innovative QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit combines a liquid-based sample preparation step completed in only two minutes with real-time PCR detection in a streamlined workflow that can be automated with standard lab equipment for any throughput, any assay and any reaction need from single to multiplex testing. The kit, which uses the most common transport media such as Universal Transport Media (UTMTM) as the starting material, includes both sample extraction components and optimized PCR reagents for only one procedure.

Image: QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit (Photo courtesy of QIAGEN N.V.)

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How This Med Tech Startup Pivoted to Fight the Pandemic

Across the world in 2019, UNICEF reports that over 2.4 million infants died in their first month of life, the vast majority in the developing world. 

The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is particularly dire: an infant born in that region is 10 times more likely to die during its first month of life than a child born in a high-income country. Most of these deaths are preventable. 

It was statistics like these that inspired biomedical engineers Sona Shah and Teresa Cauvel to found Neopenda in 2015.

Neopenda, a Cisco social entrepreneurship prize winner, is a social enterprise that develops innovative technologies for health systems in underserved populations. 


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Children’s National Hospital earns 2020 CHIME Digital Health Most Wired recognition | Children's National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital has received 2020 Digital Health Most Wired recognition by The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) as a certified level eight. The CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively health care organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.

“Children’s National is honored to receive the Most Wired recognition for our inpatient and ambulatory venues,” said Matt MacVey, vice president and chief information officer at Children’s National. “We have made substantial investments in technology in support of our mission to provide a high-quality experience and optimal health outcomes for children regionally, nationally and internationally.”

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The unsung mapmakers | Hub

In the early days of managing the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard, experts at the university and those at Esri, the company providing the mapping software for the real-time pandemic tracker, had a friendly rivalry.

"They would tell us, 'Oh, your COVID map is big, but not as big as our Pokémon Go map,' which was their most in demand," says Reina Murray, an application administrator at JHU's Sheridan Libraries.

By March, the volume of web traffic to the Hopkins map effectively shut down that conversation—the Hopkins dashboard now holds the record as Esri's highest-used service of all time, drawing hundreds of millions of feature requests every day. At a peak in March, the dashboard saw 4.56 billion feature requests.


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This Maryland program will pair cyber researchers and entrepreneurial grad students to form startups - Baltimore

Maryland universities are home to lots of cyber researchers and technologists working on new ways to secure our increasingly technology-reliant society. Those higher education institutions are also home to graduate students looking for an entrepreneurial leap.

A new program is looking to connect the two, and form new startups in the process.

The Maryland New Venture Fellowship for Cybersecurity, created by University of Maryland, Baltimore County incubator bwtech@UMBC and the University System of Maryland, is launching this fall to support 10 early-stage teams. The program was recently awarded $594,000 in federal funds from the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. With matching funds from Baltimore County, the total funding reaches about $1.3 million.

Image: Welcome to bwtech@UMBC. - Courtesy Photo

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Propelling TRADE AND INNOVATION BETWEEN QUÉBEC AND MARYLAND in life sciences and public health (October 15, 2020 – 2:30 p.m.)

You are invited to continue strengthening the Québec-Maryland collaboration!

Objectives of this webinar

  • Highlight the signing of the cooperation agreement between Québec and Maryland in the field of life sciences and public health and launch the work of the advisory committee.
  • Share the government's vision for life sciences and public health, particularly in the context of a health emergency.
  • Create links, strengthen cooperation and mutually inspire each other with the most innovative expertise and initiatives aimed at establishing joint alliances in a sector of excellence.

Introductory remarks

Québec Delegate General in New York, Catherine Loubier


The importance of the life sciences sector for Québec and the State of Maryland

Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, and Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, Nadine Girault

Secretary of Commerce for the State of Maryland, Kelly Schulz

Québec-Maryland collaboration agreement in life sciences and public health

Montréal's life sciences ecosystem

CEO of Montréal In Vivo, Frank Béraud

Québec City's life sciences ecosystem

CEO of Québec International, Carl Viel

Maryland's life sciences and public health ecosystem

Director of BioHealth and Life Sciences, Maryland Department of Commerce, Ulyana Desiderio

Q&A with the panelists

Register here

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Covid-19 drives historic demand for life sciences real estate

All the fundamentals are aligning for the life sciences industry, as Covid-19 accelerates already growing demand for real estate in the sector.

Rents are rising for lab space, vacancies are plunging and research and development, and employment and new development are expanding further, thanks to strong venture capital investment.

In the top life sciences markets there’s currently about 13.9 million square feet of space under construction, but active tenant demand is outpacing that, running at about 14.7 million square feet, according to a new report from CBRE. Lab-space vacancy is historically low at less than 8% percent in most top life sciences markets, pushing rents higher.

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Amytrx Enrolling Clinical Trial of AMTX-100 in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis
08 October 2020 Germantown, MD, USA (October 08, 2020) – Amarex Clinical Research, LLC, an NSF International company client, Amytrx Therapeutics ("Amytrx"), recently initiated clinical testing of their anti-inflammatory therapeutic product AMTX-100 for dermatological diseases and conditions with the enrollment of patients in a first-in-man Phase 1/2b study for treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. Amarex wrote and submitted the IND application for Amytrx and is now managing the clinical trial. Preclinical safety studies in the IND cover several other inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis, rosacea, acne, herpes type 1 and 2, and shingles.

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IMN’s Virtual Investors’ Conference on BioHealth, taking place November 18, will provide a platform to understand the intersection of securitization across the biotech and healthcare sector, helping educate investors, borrowers and industry participants on the hottest new asset class in equity capital markets. This one-day virtual conference will focus on both on European and U.S. opportunities and challenges, as regulatory challenges will be forefront on both sides of the globe. 

BioHealth issuance in 2020 has now surpassed $60 billion globally, spurring this asset class to become the second most popular equity capital markets sector, with momentum driven by huge secondary moves and companies benefitting from a greater focus on healthcare investing that Covid-19 has generated.  

Join this must-attend gathering to engage with hedge funds, institutional investors, and more, to discover exciting new investment opportunities as this sector expands to comply with policy, market demand and changing consumer needs.


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