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June 6, 2023


BioHealth Capital Region Secures Top 3 Spot in CBRE's 2023 Life Sciences Talent Report Amidst Booming Industry Growth

The CBRE Life Sciences Research Talent 2023 Report underscores the BioHealth Capital Region's consistent position in the top three hotspots for life sciences talent in the United States. The report reveals a booming life sciences industry, with a record number of individuals graduating with degrees in biological and biomedical sciences. Over the past two decades, the number of life science professionals in the U.S. increased by 79%, in contrast to the 8% growth rate across all other occupations. This trend has led to the fastest pace of industry growth on record, particularly rebounding after a downturn in 2020.

Among the specific roles and jobs within the sector, medical scientists have seen the greatest increase. However, the report also notes a fierce competition for talent, with the industry facing a "furious search for talent" to meet escalating demands for its products and services. Despite this overall growth and competitiveness across the country, the BioHealth Capital Region stands out for its ability to attract and retain top talent, as evidenced by its position in the top three.

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Precigen Receives FDA Clearance of IND to Initiate Phase 2 Study

Precigen Receives FDA Clearance of IND to Initiate Phase 2 Study of PRGN-2009 Off-the-Shelf AdenoVerse Immunotherapy in Combination with Pembrolizumab to Treat Patients with Recurrent or Metastatic Cervical Cancer
Published: May 31, 2023

– HPV is responsible for more than 90 percent of cervical cancer cases globally with approximately 300,000 women living with cervical cancer in the US –

– Current response rates to second line treatments in recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer are very low and associated with a high rate of toxicity –

– PRGN-2009 is designed to generate de novo T-cell immune response against HPV 16/18-positive solid tumors cells and is differentiated from other platforms due to the ability of gorilla adenovectors to enable repeat administrations –

– PRGN-2009 Phase 1 data to be presented at the 2023 ASCO annual meeting on June 3 (Abstract # 2628); PRGN-2009 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor demonstrated a favorable safety profile and resulted in a 30% ORR in patients with heavily pre-treated HPV-associated cancers, including those who have previously failed checkpoint inhibitors –

– Phase 2 study of PRGN-2009 is in combination with pembrolizumab in the second line setting in patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer previously treated with pembrolizumab for recurrent or metastatic disease –

– CMC path in place to support delivery of product for Phase 2 study as well as future framework to support potential pivotal trials –

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CBIC of Virginia Names AMPEL BioSolutions as Innovator-of-Year

Charlottesville, VA - June 2, 2023 - The Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) has awarded AMPEL BioSolutions, a leading data science company, with the prestigious "Innovator-of-Year" title. The recognition was given to AMPEL BioSolutions for the outstanding AMPEL Genomic Platform, which utilizes RNA analytics and Machine Learning for dynamic disease management, including flare prediction and personalized decision support for drug options.

AMPEL BioSolutions is currently in commercialization mode and making significant progress in executing its platform technology. This year, AMPEL is set to make LuGENE, a blood test, available nationwide in the United States through ReLATE. The CBIC award ceremony was a moment of celebration for the AMPEL team, who thanked Angel Williams Derricott, for her unwavering Advocacy for Lupus & celebrating with the AMPEL team at CBIC unwavering advocate for Lupus, joined.

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TEDCO’s The Leading Edge Special Feature at the University of Maryland, College Park, Highlighting MII Awardee

Three entrepreneurial leaders discuss the support available through the MII program

COLUMBIA, Md. (June 5, 2023) – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, released a new episode of its innovation series, TEDCO’s The Leading Edge. Throughout this series, TEDCO thought leaders host a fireside chat with entrepreneurs discussing their experiences, providing advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, and more.

In this episode, TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), UM Ventures and Innovate Maryland come together at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) for a live fireside chat. The discussion included Arti Santhanam, PhD, MII executive director; Ken Porter, UM Ventures, College Park director and MII Board member; and Srinivasa Raghavan, PhD, MII awardee, UMCP professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and entrepreneur.

Throughout the discussion, the three leaders dove into the MII program and the various support avenues it provides, as well as the success Raghavan has seen throughout his time with MII.

“It's really important [during] those early stages to have sources of support, not just funding…” said Raghavan. “That is [what’s] amazing about MII… you reach out to people who can support you… MII is a wonderful program… it is there for you, and it could really open doors and take you in a new direction.”

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Novavax Announces Agreement with Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to Include Matrix-M™ Adjuvant as Potential Component in Vaccine Research

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a global company advancing protein-based vaccines with its novel Matrix-M™ adjuvant, has signed a three-year agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to provide its adjuvant for use in preclinical vaccine research.

"We are excited to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to include our unique technology in their public health-focused vaccine research efforts," said John C. Jacobs, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. "Our Matrix-M™ adjuvant is proven to enhance and broaden the immune system response when included in vaccines and is already a key component of COVID and malaria vaccines on the market today. We look forward to partnering more broadly with a variety of organizations so that our technology can benefit vaccine development across many disease areas."

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is committed to developing biomedical interventions that address global health concerns for those in the greatest need," said Emilio Emini, PhD, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. "We look forward to working with Novavax's Matrix-M™ adjuvant in some of our early-stage vaccine programs."

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BISNOW/MCEDC: With Multimillion-Dollar Acquisitions And Developments, Life Sciences To Boom In Montgomery County, Maryland

The life sciences industry is seeing tremendous growth in Maryland, particularly in the D.C. suburb of Montgomery County. With nearly $6B invested in life sciences ventures in 2021 alone and more than 40,000 life sciences workers in the state, Montgomery County is the anchor of the fourth-largest biotech hub in the U.S.

The county’s life sciences market continues to expand its footprint with more biotech and pharmaceutical companies setting up shop in Rockville and other areas, drawn in by its skilled workforce. Also fueling the growth is the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp., which helps companies expand, relocate or start in the county. 

“We have the skilled labor force, the support of local universities, the Maryland Tech Council and a diverse population to help expand life sciences not only in Montgomery County but the state of Maryland,” MCEDC Senior Vice President of Business Development Brad Stewart said.

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Biomedical innovation | Deloitte Insights - Unlocking the potential of biomedical innovation: The crucial role the government and partnerships play in accelerating progress

It was an extraordinary achievement. In less than one year, the biomedical ecosystem helped bring to life an mRNA vaccine with the power to stave off severe disease and death during the worst pandemic since 1918. Of course, this wasn’t really a miracle. It was just one example of what government and partners can do when challenged to develop disruptive innovations.

Government has been a disruptive force for innovation across many sectors, from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) laying the foundation for the internet in the 1960s, to the role of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) and US Department of Energy in the Human Genome Project, which mapped the full genome for the first time in 2003 with an international consortium of thousands of researchers, to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative that has saved more than 25 million lives from HIV/AIDS across the globe.

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