November 24, 2020




Dr. Carol Nacy, CEO of Sequella Incorporated, joins BioTalk to discuss her career, the evolution of their science, and vision for the future.

Listen now via Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

Dr. Nacy co-founded our Sequella in 1997 and has served as our CEO and Chairman of the Board since 1999. Prior to Sequella, Dr. Nacy served during 1997 and 1998 as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for Anergen, Inc., a California company acquired by Corixa Corporation in December 1998. From 1993 through 1997, Dr. Nacy was Executive Vice President and CSO at EntreMed, Inc. and participated in its successful initial public offering in June 1996. Previously, Dr. Nacy was Career Scientist (GS-15) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC. Dr. Nacy currently serves on the board of directors of companies and non-profit agencies.

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OS Therapies Acquires All Indications for OST-HER2 (Listeria monocytogenes) in Solid Tumors, Including Canines

CAMBRIDGE, Md., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- OS Therapies, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapies to treat and cure Osteosarcoma (OS) and other deadly cancers in children and adults, today announced the acquisition of all indications for OST-HER2 (Listeria monocytogenes), including Canine. The technology that was developed and extensively tested at University of Pennsylvania, has been provisionally approved by the USDA for Osteosarcoma in canines. Phase I and Phase III trials conducted in canines have had very positive results.

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Immunomic Therapeutics and CoImmune Therapeutics Enter into Partnership to Manufacture ITI-1020, a Novel Experimental Cell Therapy for Glioblastoma | Business Wire

ROCKVILLE, Md. & DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”), a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, and CoImmune, Inc. (“CoImmune”), a privately held clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing cell-based therapeutics to treat unmet medical needs in blood-borne and solid tumor indications, announced today that the companies have entered into a license agreement for ITI to use CoImmune’s proprietary dendritic cell process for certain ITI cell therapy vaccine programs. The partnership highlights the oncology pipeline of ITI and CoImmune’s expertise and technology in the development and manufacture of cell-based therapeutics.

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TIME Names Johns Hopkins’ COVID Dashboard A Top Invention Of 2020 – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — TIME Magazine has named the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard a top invention of 2020.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center was called “2020’s Go-To Data Source” by the magazine. The dashboard, which reported Wednesday the U.S. recorded 250,000 coronavirus deaths, has tracked the spread of coronavirus around the world.

The annual list, which was announced Thursday, recognized 100 groundbreaking inventions that “are making the world better, smarter and even a bit more fun.”

Image: TIME

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Merck to Acquire Maryland-based OncoImmune's Promising COVID-19 Drug in $425 Million Deal · BioBuzz

KENILWORTH, N.J., & ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and OncoImmune, a privately-held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of OncoImmune for an upfront payment of $425 million in cash. In addition, OncoImmune shareholders will be eligible to receive sales-based payments and payments contingent on the successful achievement of certain regulatory milestones. OncoImmune recently announced positive top-line findings from an interim efficacy analysis of a Phase 3 study evaluating its lead therapeutic candidate CD24Fc for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19.

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The risks and rewards of Operation Warp Speed’s approach to vaccines | PBS NewsHour

The race to develop vaccine candidates to prevent COVID-19 represents an unprecedented national and global effort. President Trump and some public health experts say encouraging early results from Pfizer and Moderna suggest the approach is working. But there are also questions about the risks of ramping up vaccine research and development at this scale and on this timeline. Miles O’Brien reports.


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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Achieves the World's First WELL Health-Safety Rating for Laboratory Space at Alexandria LaunchLabs in New York City

PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), an urban office REIT and the first, longest-tenured and pioneering owner, operator and developer uniquely focused on collaborative life science, technology and agtech campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, today announced that Alexandria LaunchLabs® at the Alexandria Center® for Life Science in New York City is the first laboratory space in the world to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. Building on its prior recognition as the world's first laboratory space to receive a WELL Certification for excellence in improving human health and well-being through building design, this latest evidence-based, third-party verified rating for the flagship location of Alexandria LaunchLabs—the premier startup platform accelerating the growth of early-stage life science companies—further affirms Alexandria's longstanding, robust and meticulous initiatives to help keep its tenants, employees, visitors, service providers and key industry stakeholders healthy and safe.

Image: Alexandria LaunchLabs® – New York City. Courtesy of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. 

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Maryland Today | UMD Ranked in Top 10 for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education for Sixth Straight Year

For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Maryland (UMD) earned a top 10 ranking in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of top schools for entrepreneurship. In the 2021 rankings released today and featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine, UMD placed No. 6 for undergraduate entrepreneurship education—climbing one spot from last year—and No. 3 among public universities. UMD additionally was listed at No. 23 for graduate entrepreneurship education, marking the ninth consecutive year that the university has been named a top 25 program.

Image: Since cracking the Top 10 in 2016, UMD has climbed steadily in The Princeton Review's undergraduate entrepreneurship rankings, now ranking No. 6 overall in the 2021 rankings. (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)

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Funding Opportunities | MSCRF

We offer six programs to accelerate discovery and commercialization of human stem cell-based technologies. Please verify eligibility, read the appropriate RFA below and apply here.

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Join the Force: An Info Session on JLABS @ Washington, DC and the BLUE KNIGHT™ Collaboration

BLUE KNIGHT™, a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), offers emerging life science companies an opportunity to join the JLABS incubator ecosystem with additional support from BARDA. BLUE KNIGHT™ companies, selected for their mutual alignment to Johnson & Johnson and BARDA areas of interest, may have an opportunity to receive additional support including fee assistance and mentorship. At JLABS @ Washington, DC and other select JLABS sites, BLUE KNIGHT™ companies will join the full breadth of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, including opportunities for funding, third-party services, educational events and access to R&D experts from medical technology, consumer healthcare product and Janssen pharmaceutical teams.

About Blue Knight

Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS is collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to form Blue Knight.

This collaboration aims to stimulate innovation and incubation of technologies that improve health security and response through companies focused on public health threats and emerging infectious diseases. Find out more about BARDA and its mission at

If you are looking to learn more about the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS model, JLABS @ Washington, DC, BLUE KNIGHT™, mutual areas of interest between Johnson & Johnson and BARDA, and what the application process entails, join us for our Informational Session! We are currently accepting applications.

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NORTHPOND VENTURES: Harvard's Wyss Institute Creates Research And Innovation Alliance With Northpond Labs | Business Wire

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has established its first research and innovation alliance by joining forces with Northpond Labs, the research and development-focused affiliate of a leading science and technology-driven venture capital firm, Northpond Ventures. Through the alliance, Northpond Labs will provide $12 million to create a Laboratory for Bioengineering Research and Innovation at the Wyss Institute and to support impactful research with strong translation potential.

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TEDCO, EcoMap are creating the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub for business-building resources - Baltimore

Maryland organizations are building an AI-powered web platform where entrepreneurs can find all of the resources available to them in the state.

It’ll be called the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub, EcoMap Technologies CEO Pava LaPere said this week.

TEDCO, the quasi-public agency that supports early-stage tech companies, recently selected the Baltimore-based EcoMap to build the platform after a formal RFP. Maryland Department of Commerce and University System of Maryland are also partnering on the effort.

Image: Carl Grant, Angie Collier and Juan Pablo Segura discuss networking strategies at TEDCO's 2019 Entrepreneur Expo. (Photo by Karuga Koinange)

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Assistant Secretary Robert Kadlec announces new BARDA Director=

I am pleased to announce today the selection of Gary Disbrow, PhD, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). BARDA, a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, invests in the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products – needed to combat 21st century health security threats.

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Protecting Our Future: Spurring Innovation to Support Pediatric Preparedness

With COVID-19, we’ve seen our preparedness response tested, and the question remains, how can we be better prepared to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, our babies and children, from future threats? Unfortunately, less innovation takes place in the pediatric space due barriers in the discovery and development environment, including, ethical dilemmas, and regulatory requirements.

How can innovators work to develop pediatric therapeutics, diagnostics, vaccines, and other technologies that may protect the smallest members of society during a pandemic? Join us as we sit with key thought leaders, innovators and game-changers in the pediatrics space to discuss what is being done to develop groundbreaking medical countermeasures that aim to prepare and protect pediatric populations from the health threats of today – and those imagined and unimagined of tomorrow.

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Army teams with Johns Hopkins to advance materials research | Article | The United States Army

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army signed a new cooperative agreement with Johns Hopkins University Sept. 30, 2020, to advance materials research using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory will collaborate with Johns Hopkins faculty and students on four focused projects:

  • Using artificial intelligence to accelerate the iterative materials design cycle by high-throughput microstructural characterization and rapid processing
  • Acoustic signature and reconstruction of defect avalanches in metals
  • Real-time monitoring of laser-material interactions
  • Toward self-repairing devices: Data-directed design of active, hierarchical colloidal assembly and reconfiguration


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UK Biotech Companies Thriving in Maryland and Philadelphia Hubs · BioBuzz

For decades, the United States and the United Kingdom have enjoyed a special relationship that crosses political, economic, and military lines. But, the two nations also share a similar comradery in the Life Sciences arena, and prominent biotech hubs like the BioHealth Capital Region and Philadelphia showcase that connection.

There are several similarities between the BioHealth Capital Region, Philadelphia, and the U.K. They all have vital programs in gene and cell therapy. And they are home to key government institutions. The Midlands in the U.K. is home to the National Health Service and multiple academic and commercial institutions. Maryland is home to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies. The U.S. region is also home to multiple significant academic and commercial institutions as well. Most recently, decades-old messenger RNA work originating out of Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania is a major contributor to Moderna’s COVID vaccine.

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Announcing the Maryland Future 20 | Maryland Business News

Following a statewide search to identify Maryland’s most innovative start-up companies with the potential to be the state’s next major business success story, Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland’s Future 20.

The Maryland Future 20 is part of Innovation Uncovered, an ongoing initiative by the Maryland Department of Commerce to highlight the state’s talented innovators, entrepreneurs, and growing small businesses. The search for the Future 20 garnered 125 nominations from the business community and general public. The list was selected based on a variety of factors, including innovation, future growth potential, the company’s Maryland story, and “wow” factor.

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What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine

When President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, one of the cutting-edge experimental therapies he received was a mixture of monoclonal antibodies. But now a vaccine may soon be available. So are other therapies necessary or valuable? And what exactly is a monoclonal antibody?

Over the past few months, the public has learned about many treatments being used to combat COVID-19. An antiviral like remdesivir inhibits the virus from replicating in human cells. Convalescent plasma from the blood of donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies that suppress the virus and inflammation. Steroids like dexamethasone may modify and reduce the dangerous inflammatory damage to the lungs, thereby slowing respiratory failure.

Image: Y-shaped proteins called antibodies are vital for attacking and destroying the virus. Dr_Microbe/Getty Images - ROYALTY FREE

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SR One Completes Spin-out from GSK and Closes First Fund at $500 Million | Business |

SR One, a trans-Atlantic biotech venture capital firm, announced today the close of its first independent fund, having recently completed its spinout from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK is the largest investor in the oversubscribed $500 million fund, joined by a global pool of institutional asset managers, endowments, foundations, pension funds and family offices. SR One will seek to continue to build elite biotechnology companies developing innovative medicines that address significant unmet needs.

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Private S. Korean investments in biohealth to reach 10 trillion won by 2023 - EconoTimes

South Korea’s leading biologics companies will invest hundreds of billions of won to building additional plants that would push the total amount of private investments for the biohealth industry to 10 trillion won by 2023.

Samsung Biologics will pour 1.7 trillion won into its new Plant 4 while Celltrion will invest 500 billion won to its Global Life Science Research Lab and Plant 3, all in Songdo, Incheon.

As its action plan for a more robust bio-industry ecosystem, the Government also pledged a 1.7 trillion won budget in 2021, up 30 percent from last year’s. The budget will prioritize pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and digital health care.

Image: Samsung Biologics will pour 1.7 trillion won into its new Plant 4 -

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Registration for Pantheon 2020 | Recognizing Progress in an Unprecedented Year

Pantheon 2020 on Thursday, December 3, will feature breakout sessions, including "Diversity & Disruption: How 2020 Will Make Life Sciences Stronger".

Join us as we discuss how everyone in life sciences can approach diversity and inclusion from end-to-end to create a sustainable path forward for all of us and a new blueprint for life sciences success.

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The state of AI in 2020 | McKinsey

The results of this year’s McKinsey Global Survey on artificial intelligence (AI) suggest that organizations are using AI as a tool for generating value. Increasingly, that value is coming in the form of revenues. A small contingent of respondents coming from a variety of industries attribute 20 percent or more of their organizations’ earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to AI. These companies plan to invest even more in AI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its acceleration of all things digital. This could create a wider divide between AI leaders and the majority of companies still struggling to capitalize on the technology; however, these leaders engage in a number of practices that could offer helpful hints for success. And while companies overall are making some progress in mitigating the risks of AI, most still have a long way to go.

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BLUE KNIGHT™ Symposium

In seeking to combat emerging infectious diseases and other 21st century health threats, the path to better prepared, protected, and healthy individuals, families, and communities could rely on unlocking the collective power of the global community. BLUE KNIGHT™ seeks to answer this call.

On December 8-10, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and BARDA will virtually convene the emerging Blue Knight community of thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs for a three-day symposium, including interactive sessions focused on key areas of interest in infectious disease, public health, and company acceleration. Sessions will explore high priority areas of interest for scientific and technological innovation aimed for improving our preparedness and response to emerging health security threats.


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