BioHealth Innovation
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January 26, 2021


New “Virginia Bio-Connect” Statewide Consortium and Scale-Up Initiative Featured on BioTalk

Amy Adams with George Mason University. Nikki Hastings with CvilleBioHub, and John Newby with Virginia Bio join Rich Bendis to discuss the new “Virginia Bio-Connect” statewide consortium and scale-Up initiative.

Listen now via Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn #innovation #biotalk #university #healthcare #digitalhealth #healthtech #research #biotech

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EIR Feedback (BHI) (Only Two Slots Left!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here

For questions/more information, contact BHI.

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Nonprofit eyes Montgomery County for global pandemic prevention center

A nonprofit is considering Montgomery County as the site of a global pandemic center that would focus on prevention, research and response.

The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center would serve as the “world’s epicenter” for pandemic prevention and biodefense ecosystem coordination.

County Council Member Hans Riemer proposed a $500,000 special appropriation to help fund the strategy phase of the project, which began in December. The appropriation was introduced at the council’s meeting on Tuesday.

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Gaithersburg biotech NexImmune files for IPO - Washington Business Journal

The company, which is developing cancer treatments, plans to trade on the Nasdaq Global Market.

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Germantown’s Precigen Announces Pricing of $112.5 Million Public Offering of Common Stock – BioBuzz

GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Precigen, Inc. (Nasdaq: PGEN) today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 15,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $7.50 per share. Precigen has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,250,000 shares of its common stock. Gross proceeds from the offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, are expected to be approximately $112.5 million, excluding any exercise of the underwriters’ option. The offering is expected to close on January 26, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit

Recent challenges around preparing, transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines have received national and international attention. As part of our ongoing COVID-19 response, the U.S Pharmacopeia (USP) rapidly engaged stakeholders and convened experts to identify and help address operational efficiency gaps to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Money Moves: Bethesda healthtech biz Aledade closed a $100M Series D - DC

Bethesda, Maryland-based Aledade, manager of a tech platform to help healthcare providers join forces to reduce Medicare costs, closed a $100 million Series D funding round. This latest investment round was led by returning investor Meritech Capital.

The tech company plans to use the fresh funding to expand its value-based care model and secure more strategic partnerships with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to benefit seniors. Through MA contracts, the company serves more than 100,000 patients, per a news release.

Image: The Aledade team. (Photo via @AledadeACO on Twitter)

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Cerecor Announces Proceeds from Option to Purchase Additional Shares of Common Stock Bringing Public Offering Proceeds to $40.7 Million :: Cerecor, Inc. (CERC)

ROCKVILLE, Md. and CHESTERBROOK, Pa., Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cerecor Inc. (“Cerecor”; NASDAQ: CERC), a biopharmaceutical company focused on becoming a leader in development and commercialization of treatments for rare pediatric and orphan diseases, announced today the exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase an additional 1,648,812 shares of Cerecor’s common stock, $0.001 par value (the “Common Stock”) at a price to the public of $2.60 per share, increasing the total offered through the previously announced underwritten public offering to 13,971,819 of Common Stock and 1,676,923 of prefunded warrants. The gross proceeds to Cerecor from this exercise were approximately $4.3 million, resulting in approximately $40.7 million total gross proceeds from the offering. Cerecor intends to use the proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes and working capital, primarily to support the ongoing clinical development of key assets within its pipeline and for general and administrative expenses.

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Rockville contract research organization Emmes creates biopharma and public health business units, acquires Neox - Washington Business Journal

In the last four months, this Rockville life sciences services firm has gotten a new CEO, purchased a company and split the business in two to brace for more growth.

Image: Dr. Christine Dingivan took over as president and CEO of Rockville contract research organization Emmes at the end of September. COURTESY EMMES

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Alexandria Launch Labs

Alexandria LaunchLabs™ in Maryland, will provide fully equipped, affordable laboratory/office space with flexible lease terms, supporting infrastructure, access to amenities, and supporting services and programming through the project’s consortium of world-class partners, including Alexandria Venture Investments, BioHealth Innovation, Montgomery County, and the City of Gaithersburg. This unique, startup environment will accelerate the growth of local early-stage life science companies.

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QIAGEN confirms effectiveness of its SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests in the face of mutations of the coronavirus

Germantown, Maryland, and Hilden, Germany, January 20, 2021 – QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests remain accurate and effective in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections – and will continue to closely monitor their performance as global concerns mount regarding the detection of new viral variants by established testing methods.

QIAGEN has successfully assessed its SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests against genetic mutations of the virus uploaded to the GISAID and GenBank public databases since May 2020. A latest round of assessments conducted in January 2021 again confirmed that no recorded mutations affected the sensitivity of QIAGEN assays for detection of SARS-CoV-2. Surveillance of genetic variations will continue on a biweekly basis.

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Veralox Therapeutics Announces FDA Orphan Drug Designation for VLX-1005

FREDERICK, MdJanuary 26, 2021 – Veralox Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics that treat the underlying pathologies of diseases with significant unmet medical needs, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for VLX-1005 for the treatment of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT).

“We are pleased the FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation for VLX-1005 for prophylaxis of thrombosis in patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia,” said Jeffrey W. Strovel, PhD., Chief Executive Officer of Veralox Therapeutics. “This is a significant regulatory milestone for our company, and in the development of this investigational new drug product and recognition of the clear unmet medical need for patients who suffer from this devastating disease.” “

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The World's Top Ten Quantum Tech Universities and Research Institutions

University research labs are playing a central role in the development of quantum technologies, such as quantum computers and quantum communication devices. Universities often approach quantum science from a number of angles. Some are good at theoretical approaches to quantum science. Some are strong at applied quantum science. Some focus on the educational and outreach of quantum physics.

Image: Research labs, like this one at the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing, are the heart of the world’s growing quantum industry.

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Senseonics adds EmblemHealth to insurer list, initiates offering while facing FDA delays - Washington Business Journal

The moves come after an uncertain period for the Germantown biotech.

Image: Tim Goodnow is president and CEO of Germantown-based Senseonics. JOANNE S. LAWTON

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CCF FY2021 Solicitation

CIT is conducting a competitive solicitation for young Virginia companies that have strong potential to drive economic growth in Virginia, including revenue and job creation, in strategically important industry sectors. The CCF FY21 round will provide grants up to $100,000 to advance companies and their highly promising technologies that have seen traction, for instance through revenue and/or investment, and would be catalyzed by support to commercialize the technologies or access the market. Up to $7 million has been allocated for the single FY21 round. Projects are anticipated to be 6-12 months and CCF funding can supports companies' commercialization goals through product or service development, pilots, intellectual property protection, marketing, and more.

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Black Innovators in Skin Health QuickFire Challenge - Challenge | JLABS

For too long, the face of skincare has reflected only SOME of the faces we see within our communities. We know there are a lack of consumer products available tailored to the needs of the Black community.

As the world’s largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson recognizes and embraces our responsibility for enacting change. Within our consumer business, our products must reach, have a positive impact on, and most importantly, serve everyone. Looking to the future of healthcare, we must seek out and support innovators from diverse backgrounds in order to generate inclusive solutions.

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Science Takes Center Stage in the Biden Administration

The number of changes being implemented by the new administration in the White House are likely too many to count. And while many are significant, one strikes a chord with the scientific community in a very meaningful way. In the days leading up to his inauguration, President Biden made it clear that science is a priority. He has backed that up with several recent announcements.

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STEM Talent Challenge Awardees Announced

EDA is pleased to announce today that seven organizations from across the United States have been awarded a total of $2 million in grants through the inaugural STEM Talent Challenge, which aims to boost local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent.

Grant projects are building STEM workforce readiness while fueling innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging and transformative sectors, such as space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity. Click here for more about each project.

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