BioHealth Innovation
If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here

February 23, 2021


John Mumm, CEO of Deka BioSciences, joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk

Deka BioSciences CEO, John Mumm, CEO of Deka BioSciences, virtually guests on BioTalk to discuss his history in the BioHealth Capital Region, Precision Medicine, and Funding Strategies.

Listen now via Apple, Google, Spotify, and Tunein

Read More


Don’t miss a unique opportunity to discuss your biohealth technology innovation directly with Program Officers from NSF, various institutes at NIH (including NIA, NCI, NIDA, and NHLBI), the University of Maryland MIPS program.  Learn the latest about the current areas of focus for these funding resources, Tips and Tricks for submitting successful applications, and Additional Resources to support your early stage company.   Confirmed speakers and partnering meeting participants include:

  • Stephanie Davis, PhD - Small Business Program Coordinator, NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • Stephanie Fertig, HHS Small Business Program Lead, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Armineh Ghazarian - Program Analyst, NIH National Institute of Aging
  • Colleen Gibney, SBIR Deputy Project Manager, USAMRDC
  • Henry Hahn - Program Director, National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Todd Haim, PhD – Chief, Office of Small Business Research, NIH National Institute of Aging
  • Elena Koustova, PhD, MBA - Director, Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI), NIDA SBIR/STTR Coordinator, NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Office of Director
  • JR Meyers, SBIR Project Manager, USAMRDC
  • Victor Prikhodko – Senior Business Dev. Manager, SBIR/STTR NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Saroj Regmi, PhD - Health Science Administrator Office of Small Business Research, NIH National Institute of Aging
  • Andrea Renner - SBIR Deputy Project Manager, USAMRDC
  • Ben Schrag, PhD - Program Director, National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Onur Unal, Manager, Life Sciences Projects, Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS), Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), University of Maryland


Additional participants from the NIH National Cancer Institute and other resources TBA.

Click here to.. Reserve your spot (no fee) today!    

Read More

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. - 2/24 Entrepreneur in Residence Feedback Sessions

Are you a 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 here:  These take place by videoconference via Zoom.  Pre-registration and forwarding of a power point deck one week before the session is required. For questions, more information, or to be added to the wait list, please contact BHI.

Please review the available slots below and click on the button to register. Thank you!


Read More

Gaithersburg’s NexImmune completes $126.5M IPO - Washington Business Journal

The Montgomery County biotech joins a handful of other local companies to recently debut on the public markets.

Read More

AstraZeneca’s Joe Sanchez Shares Vision for Growing the BioHealth Capital Region · BioBuzz

When AstraZeneca (AZ) announced in 2019 that it was officially retiring the MedImmune brand, questions naturally arose about whether the U.K. pharma giant would continue the legacy MedImmune support for the BioHealth Capital Region’s (BHCR) life science ecosystem.

Since its founding in 1998, MedImmune had been an anchor life science company in the region, and starting around 2014, it was a key force behind the creation of BHCR brand, as well as the region’s collective push to be a top-three biotech cluster by 2023.


Read More

Novavax Preps to Distribute 1.1 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Worldwide | BioSpace

Something of the dark horse in the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine out to the public, Novavax announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to provide 1.1 billion doses of NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, for the COVAX Facility. The vaccine will be manufactured and distributed around the world by Novavax and Serum Institute of India (SII). SII has an existing deal with Gavi.


Read More

Qiagen Launches 'Digital Partner' Program to Expand Bioinformatics Reach | GenomeWeb

NEW YORK – Qiagen on Thursday said that it has launched a "Digital Insights Partnership" program designed to expand the market for its bioinformatics products through various third-party collaborations and deals.

Read More

Cartesian Therapeutics Initiates Phase 2 Clinical Trial of First RNA-Engineered Cell Therapy for Frontline Cancer - Cartesian

Gaithersburg, MD, Feb. 22, 2021 – Cartesian Therapeutics, a fully integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering mRNA-engineered cell therapy in and beyond oncology, today announced that it has initiated a Phase 2a clinical trial of its mRNA chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, Descartes-11, in patients with newly diagnosed, high-risk multiple myeloma. Based upon the company’s research and analysis, this program is understood to be the first RNA-engineered cell therapy to enter clinical development for a frontline cancer. Descartes-11 is the third product candidate to be evaluated in clinical trials resulting from Cartesian’s RNA Armory℠ engineering platform.

Read More

JAMA Highlights Success of BrainScope's EEG-based Concussion Index As Reliable Indicator of Concussion

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- JAMA Network Open has published "Validation of a Machine Learning Brain Electrical Activity-Based Index to Aid in Diagnosing Concussion Among Athletes," a ground-breaking study on the accuracy of the BrainScope FDA-cleared biomarker, the Concussion Index, to indicate the likelihood and severity of concussive brain injury and to aid in evaluating an athlete's readiness to return to play.

Read More

This Office REIT Is Helping Beat Back the Global Pandemic | Millionacres

Most office buildings around the country have remained empty over the past year as companies quickly pivoted to working remotely to help slow the pandemic's spread. However, many office campuses owned by office real estate investment trust (REIT) Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE: ARE) have been buzzing with activity during the outbreak. That's because many of its tenants have been working around the clock waging war against the virus, and they needed the company's specialized lab space to develop solutions aimed at defeating the pandemic.

Read More

2/28 Deadline to Apply for $ (oncology innovation)...

for The Rockville-based National Foundation for Cancer Research is accepting applications through Sunday evening, February 28, from academic laboratory and early stage start-up-based promising oncology technology projects for its 2021 Salisbury Award Competition for Entrepreneurial Translational Research. In addition to increased exposure, insight from a world-class judging panel and access to NFCR’s network, cash prizes totaling $10,000 will be provided to three category winners, the first one of which who will also be introduced to the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund for consideration of investment.  Learn more and apply here:

Read More

Avhana Health Is Acquired by Amalgam Rx | Los Angeles Business Journal

Local incubator member and digital health company Avhana Health Inc. has been acquired by Wilmington, Del.-based digital medicine products company Amalgam Rx Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Under terms of the purchase, which was announced Jan. 13, Avhana Health will maintain its operations in Los Angeles as a stand-alone subsidiary of Amalgam. Avhana’s chief executive, Noah Weiner, will stay on as general manager of the unit.

Image: Avhana’s Noah Weiner is focused on EHR integration.

Read More

Eyedea Medical Joins Baltimore’s LaunchPort™ Medtech Venture Center

The LaunchPort™ announced today that Eyedea Medical ( joined the Venture Center and will make the Port Covington, Baltimore location their HQ and engineering site.

Eyedea Medical is an early-stage, ophthalmic medical device company that was spun out of the Wilmer Eye Institute and the Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design at Johns Hopkins University. Eyedea Medical was formed by a group of ophthalmologists and biomedical engineers in 2019 to alleviate the burden of corneal blindness globally through development and commercialization of a series of devices with potential to improve outcomes and access to vision-restoring corneal procedures.

Read More

Novavax Completes Enrollment of PREVENT-19, COVID-19 Vaccine Pivotal Phase 3 Trial in the United States and Mexico | Novavax Inc. - IR Site

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced the complete enrollment of PREVENT-19, its pivotal Phase 3 study in the United States and Mexico to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. Novavax has previously reported positive interim efficacy results of NVX-CoV2373, its recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate, in an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial taking place in the United Kingdom.

Read More

Seven Successful BioHealth Companies Led by African-American Entrepreneurs and Industry Leaders · BioBuzz

As we noted in our previous story, “Diversity in Biotech, Industry’s Next Big Challenge,” there is a deep, rich, underappreciated history of African-American innovation in the life sciences and STEM fields.

There is still much work to be done to improve equity across the industry, however. From transdermal diabetes patches and life-saving hemorrhage control systems to advanced biomanufacturing and revolutionary diagnostic testing, this history’s lineage can be traced across the Mid-Atlantic biotech clusters well as throughout the country.


Read More

Pitch Perfect II: In Action! Tickets, Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

As a follow up to our last event Pitch Perfect: Communicating with Investors Before AND After Funding, we’re excited to bring you Pitch Perfect II: In Action.

We’ll be showcasing four startups from the SoPE and GW community. Each will give a 10 minute pitch followed by a 5 minute Q&A to our panel of experienced venture capital and angel investors.

Read More

Maryland Business Innovation Challenge Release: Healthworx Tickets, Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

Join the conversation with Emily Durfee, Program Manager at Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst. Healthworx' Challenge focuses on improving health equity at the community level .Learn about Healthworx’ mission and vision, as Emily shares insights, answer questions and explains the intention of this terrific opportunity to connect with a very important leader in Maryland's healthcare and innovation community.

Read More

Avoro Ventures Adds Sara Nayeem, MD, as a Partner | Business Wire

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Avoro Ventures announced today that Sara Nayeem, MD, has joined the firm as a Partner, focused on its venture capital investment efforts.

Dr. Nayeem joins Avoro Ventures after 12 years with New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), where she was a Partner in the firm’s biopharma investment practice serving on numerous company boards, in addition to providing support to fundraising, recruiting, and diversity and mentoring initiatives. She will source and manage private market investments within the biotechnology sector spanning early stage to late stage and cross-over, joining Behzad Aghazadeh, PhD, Managing Partner of Avoro Ventures and Avoro Capital Advisors, and Dr. Garheng Kong, Avoro Ventures Advisory Partner.

Read More

5 Questions with Paul Nolde, Fund Manager/Managing Director, Riverflow Growth Fund · 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 Paul Nolde, Fund Manager/Managing Director, Riverflow Growth Fund.


Read More

Internship pipeline helps close the equity gap during pandemic | Hub

Lubna Azmi sees herself as a laidback person, but even she isn't immune to the pressures and anxieties that come with planning for the future.

"I've seen how fast people's professional lives can fall apart, especially during the pandemic," says Azmi, who is a second-year international studies and sociology major at Johns Hopkins. "During quarantine, I was asking myself, have I been too selfish thinking about doing what I want to do? Should I be thinking about how to better support my family, including the family I create in the future?"

Image: Alia Poonawala (left), executive director of Hire Hopkins, and Alayna Hayes, senior director of life design for diversity, equity, and inclusion -

Read More

Prostate Cancer-Detecting Dogs' Olfactory Capacity Trains Neural Network for Combination Diagnostic Approach

Research by an international team of investigators has demonstrated the ability of trained dogs to detect aggressive prostate cancer from urine samples, and suggests that an artificial neural network could learn from this olfactory capability. The scientists say findings from the study, which is reported in PLOS One, could feasibly be used to help direct the development of novel, machine-based tools for detecting prostate cancer, which integrate canine olfaction with the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine, microbial profiling, and artificial neural network (ANN)-assisted examination. Study lead Claire Guest, from Medical Detection Dogs, in the U.K., and colleagues in the U.K. and U.S., claimed, “We’ve shown it is possible to replicate the dog’s performance as sensors and brains, it is now time to put this technology in every smartphone.”


Read More

Salisbury Award for Entrepreneurial Translational Research - NFCR

The National Foundation for Cancer Research is proud to present the Salisbury Award in honor of the Salisbury family’s vision and legacy of funding “high risk, high impact, and high reward” cancer research. Over 80 years of service, the three Salisburys galvanized NFCR into a significant force in cancer research worldwide.

The Salisbury Award encourages and promotes innovative scientists and early stage startups to translate their discoveries into therapies that can improve the lives of cancer patients. The initiative is designed to catalyze and advance promising research innovations onto the path of commercialization. Download the flyer and help spread the word!

Read More

Maryland Today | Pandemic Fighter’s Priorities

One of the nation’s leading scientists in the desperate campaign to develop coronavirus vaccines—and in the Hollywood-esque triumph of succeeding within a year—grew up just across the street from the University of Maryland. Underlying all that work is her hope of returning to campus.

“I’m fighting the pandemic partly so I can get back to my Terps season tickets,” said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil ’83, lamenting a men’s basketball season played in a mostly empty Xfinity Center.

Image: Dr. Kathleen Neuzil '83, director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, designs and oversees U.S. vaccine trials. An avid athlete and Maryland sports fan, she played softball as a UMD undergrad (below) and recently tailgated on campus with her husband and three children (bottom). (Portrait courtesy of University of Maryland, Baltimore; softball and family photos courtesy of Dr. Kathleen Neuzil ’83)

Read More

Novavax Expands COVID-19 Collaboration and License Agreement with SK Bioscience | BioPharm International

On Feb. 15, 2021, biotechnology company Novavax and SK Bioscience, a vaccine business subsidiary of SK Group, announced an expanded collaboration and license agreement for SK Bioscience to add significant production capacity for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, currently in Phase III clinical trials.

This new agreement follows an already existing manufacturing arrangement under which SK Bioscience obtained a license to manufacture and commercialize NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, for sale to the Korean government. Novavax recently reported positive interim efficacy results for the vaccine candidate in an ongoing Phase III clinical trial in the United Kingdom and is also currently conducting a Phase III trial in the United States and Mexico.

Read More

Home | About BHI | BHI News | Programs | Partners | Contact

Copyright © BioHealth Innovation 2020
All Rights Reserved.