BioHealth Innovation
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December 22, 2020


Dr. James Crowe, Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, Guests on BioTalk

BioTalk Media Award-Winning Podcast BioTalk Welcomes Dr. James Crowe, Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Ann Scott Carell Chair and Founder of ID Biologics.

Listen now on Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

His laboratory has a broad portfolio of work in the area of viral immunology and antibody sciences, with the goal to discover mechanisms of immunity important to developing new therapeutics and vaccines.

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BHI’s Judy Costello Recognized with BioBuzz Community Builder Award

BHI’s Managing Director, Economic Development, Judy Costello was recognized by voters in the 1st Annual BioBuzz awards this past week as the top Community Builder in the BioHealth Capital Region.  This award honors someone in the region who has gone above and beyond their responsibilities to make an impact on the ecosystem by being a thoughtful community builder who fosters intentional collaborations and meaningful contributions of their time, energy, and expertise to support the biohealth community. This person is a servant leader who sees beyond their job description or the balance sheet and strives to create a rising tide for all across the BioHealth Capital Region so that we can collectively make a greater impact on public health and patients around the world.

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BioTalk with Rich Bendis Wins BioBuzz Media Award

The BioTalk with Rich Bedis Podcast created by the BHI President & CEO and Andy Eckert was awarded the 1st Annual BioBuzz Media Award. This award honors a media campaign that most aligns with our mission; ‘to create exceptional experiences that better connect people and employers and foster a stronger regional ecosystem.’ At its core, it recognizes the media campaigns or platforms that have successfully engaged, informed, and connected people and reflect favorably on the BHCR. Eligible nominations may include social media, podcasts, video series, blog series, event or webinar series, and other advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns.

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Biotech Firm to Expand in Washington’s Maryland Suburbs

Qiagen North American Holdings has announced plans to renovate and expand its U.S. headquarters and R&D and manufacturing facility in Montgomery County, Md.

More specifically, Qiagen plans to renovate its 146,000-square-foot facility at 19300 Germantown Road in Germantown, Md., to accommodate expanded production of testing products for COVID-19 and other diseases, as well as lease additional space in the area.

Image: Image by DarkoStojanovic via

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5 Questions with Brian Darmody, CEO, Association of University Research Parks · BioBuzz

“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This edition features 5 Questions with Brian Darmody, CEO, Association of University Research Parks (AURP).

Brian Darmody is CEO of AURP, a global nonprofit representing research parks and innovation districts sponsored by universities, federal labs, communities, hospitals, and other institutions in the US and 12 other countries.

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MacroGenics wins FDA approval to sell its first product, Margenza - Washington Business Journal

The 20-year-old company's first product tackles certain breast cancers.

Image: Dr. Scott Koenig is president and CEO of Rockville biotech MacroGenics. JOANNE S. LAWTON

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MacroGenics Enters Research Collaboration with Janssen to Develop Novel DART® Molecule


MacroGenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGNX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, announced today a research collaboration and global license agreement to develop a preclinical bispecific molecule with Janssen Biotech, Inc. The research collaboration will incorporate MacroGenics' proprietary DART® platform to enable simultaneous targeting of two undisclosed targets in a therapeutic area outside oncology.

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Noble Life Sciences announces its collaboration with George Mason University to access the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases BSL-3 facility

Sykesville, MD, and Fairfax, VA, December 21, 2020 - Noble Life Sciences (NLS), a preclinical contract research organization located in Sykesville, MD, has signed a Collaboration Agreement with George Mason University (Mason) to access the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) BSL-3 facility located within their Biomedical Research Laboratory at Mason’s Science and Technology Campus in Manassas. The Agreement enables NLS to perform federal and non-federally funded BSL-3 animal model projects to support the development of new antiviral and antibacterial agents against infectious and resistant pathogens.

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The Hemafuse Solution To Donor Blood Challenge In Ghana - DailyGuide Network

The hemafuse set contains a big syringe, which acts as the collection barrel, a nozzle connected to a filter on the syringe pulls the blood in while sieving the clots.

With a push, the blood is redirected through another tube, connected to the same syringe and operated by a stopcock, to the blood bag for transfusion back to the patient.

Image: Dr Gerald Osei-Owusu with the hemafuse medical device -

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BRAINBox Solutions Announces Enrollment Begins in Pivotal, HeadSMART II Clinical Study of BRAINBox TBI Concussion Diagnostic and Prognostic Test

RICHMOND, VA. (December 16, 2020) ‐ BRAINBox Solutions today announced it is beginning enrollment in its pivotal clinical trial, HeadSMART II (Head injury Serum markers and Multi-modalities for Assessing Response to Trauma), of the company’s concussion diagnostic and prognostic test, BRAINBox TBI. The multi-national, multi-site trial, which will enroll up to 2,000 patients, aims to generate data to support an application for regulatory clearance by the U.S. FDA.

The BRAINBox TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) test will be the first objective test designed to assist in the diagnosis of concussion and provide an assessment of the risk of chronic injury. The FDA has granted the test Breakthrough Device designation.

“We do not have a validated objective method to determine an early TBI diagnosis. While a head CT identifies anatomic abnormality, it does not predict post-concussive symptoms or disability at the time when interventions change outcomes. We need an early objective test,” said W. Franklin Peacock MD FACEP, the Principal Investigator of the study. Dr. Peacock is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

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COVID-19 vaccine deployment tracked in Johns Hopkins dashboard - Business Insider

As health agencies across the US rush to distribute the first round of COVID-19 vaccines, a new online tool aims to track their progress.

A dashboard hosted by Johns Hopkins University shows how many doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US, according to publicly available data published by state health agencies and aggregated by the Centers for Civic Impact.


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GSK puts up to $815M on the table for Surface Oncology's antibody | FierceBiotech

GlaxoSmithKline is stumping up $85 million upfront and up to an extra $730 million in biobucks for Surface Oncology’s early-stage antibody asset.

The drug the U.K. pharma is betting on, known as SRF813, is a fully human, IgG1 antibody targeting PVRIG (also known as CD112R), an inhibitory protein expressed on natural killer cells and T cells.

In preclinical tests, Surface Oncology says, SRF813 has shown the “potential to elicit a strong anti-tumor response and promote immunological memory.” It’s still only in IND-enabling studies, but the company has an IND planned for next year.

Image: (GlaxoSmithKline)

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Weller Development's Port Covington project gets boost as $137.5 million in bonds hit market - Baltimore Business Journal

Work on the $5.5 billion project has been at a standstill since April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image: Work on the $5.5 billion redevelopment at Port Covington was shut down in April amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Developer Marc Weller previously said it would not resume until the TIF bonds were sold. MELODY SIMMONS

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State officials launch Maryland Business Innovation Challenge | News |

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Commerce is partnering with the Maryland Business Innovation Association to launch the Maryland Business Innovation Challenge, a program aimed at bringing together the state’s corporate community with local innovators to solve real-time business challenges.


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AstraZeneca to acquire Alexion for $39 billion in blockbuster deal

AstraZeneca on Saturday said it was acquiring Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion, marking a significant expansion into the treatment of rare diseases of the immune system.

The deal — a mix of cash and stock — values Alexion at $175 per share, a 45% premium to Friday’s closing stock price.


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NIST/Industry Developed Temperature Tracking Device for Packages May Have Climate Metrology Applications | NIST

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers are working to reduce the uncertainty associated with climate-change measurements using a mobile temperature-sensing technology made for tracking delicate or perishable, high-value packages in transit. Developed by international shipper FedEx and tested with help from NIST, the device connects to cell phone networks to provide users with near real-time information on the package's precise location, temperature, humidity, pressure, acceleration, elevation and exposure to light.

Image: Credit: Strouse/NIST Developed by international shipper FedEx and tested with help from NIST, the Senseaware device connects to cell phone networks to provide users with near real-time information on a packages precise location, temperature, humidity, pressure, acceleration, elevation and exposure to light. NIST researchers plan to deploy the technology as part of a pilot project to monitor and improve climate measurements.

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FDA approves new genetically modified pig for allergy-free medical and food products - KTVZ

The US Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has approved a genetically modified pig whose body doesn’t make a component that can trigger allergies in people.

The pigs should produce meat that is safe to eat, and organs and tissues safe for transplants and for the other biomedical uses for people allergic to the compound — a sugar found on the surface of animal cells known as alpha-gal, the FDA said.


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Springboard Enterprises Appoints Natalie Buford-Young as its First CEO | LinkedIn

Celebrating 20 years of supporting women-led companies and industry transformation, Springboard Enterprises announces Natalie Buford-Young as its first CEO. Buford-Young will work alongside Springboard President and co-founder Amy Millman, broadening the breadth and depth of the organization.

To date, Springboard’s portfolio numbers 819 women-led companies, which have created $27.2 Billion in value.

In her role, Buford-Young will be responsible for leading Springboard’s mission to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. An accomplished and innovative corporate executive, entrepreneur, and community builder, Buford-Young joins from Deloitte, where she served as Managing Director of Market Development for Deloitte’s venture capital, private equity and emerging private company practices.

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MacKenzie Scott Donates Tens of Millions to Maryland HBCUs – NBC4 Washington

Philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott is donating tens of millions of dollars to historically black universities in Maryland.

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that the schools are Morgan State, Bowie State and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Image: As shipments of Moderna’s vaccine begin, health officials warn the public not to get complacent. News4’s Darcy Spencer has the warning from a local doctor about Christmas travel and gatherings. -

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Term Sheet Recommendations for Launching University Life Science Startups (VC / TTO Roundtable, Spring 2020) | Technology Ventures

In the Spring of 2020, members from seven university tech transfer offices met with partners from six venture capital firms to discuss challenges both parties routinely face when working on life science deals together. Below is the resulting set of best practices, meant to benefit universities and VCs more broadly. Individuals interested in sharing feedback on the below guidelines should contact and include their name, organization, and work email. Please note that not all of these recommendations may be appropriate for startups outside of the life sciences. Comments and feedback will be posted at the bottom of this page.

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