BioHealth Innovation
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May 1, 2018

Galen Robotics Wins BioHealth Capital Region 3rd Annual Crab Trap Competition

Galen Robotics, a Johns Hopkins University spinout, was chosen from five finalists as the company with the most commercial potential by judges at the 3rd Annual Crab Trap Competition. This year’s judges included industry leaders Amgen’s Bethany Mancilla, AstraZeneca’s Shaun Grady, Blu Venture’s Dr. Paul Silber, J.P. Morgan’s John T. Rubin, New Enterprise Associates’ Sara Nayeem, Roche’s Robert Silverman, and Sands Capital Ventures’ Stephen Zachary. They were impressed with a presentation by Lead Hardware Engineer, Yunus Sevimli, on Galen Robotics’ low-cost, compact, and intuitive to use novel microsurgical robotic platform designed to assist surgeons with minimally-invasive applications in otolaryngology, neurosurgery and similar critical fields. Galen Robotics is the third Johns Hopkins University spinout to win this competition following  LifeSprout (2017) and Sonavex (2016).

Strong presentations also were made by the other finalists--AlgometRx, Cellth Systems, Renalert, and Reveragen Biopharma—whose technologies originated at Children’s National Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University.

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Biohealth Capital Region aiming for top 3 status - Smart Incentives

The Biohealth Capital Region–DC, Maryland and Virginia – plans to be a top 3 biohealth hub in the US by 2023. What will it take to get there?

The Biohealth Capital Region is already a top 5 location as ranked by NIH and venture capital funding, patents, lab space, and jobs. The 1,100 participants at this week’s 2018 Biohealth Capital Region Forum agreed on the area’s strengths: a highly educated and diverse workforce, leading universities and research institutions, strong healthcare organizations, hundreds of companies, and broad-based policy commitment to the biohealth industry.

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Job Opportunity: University of Maryland, College Park Seeks Director, Office of Technology Commercialization -

The University of Maryland, College Park is seeking a Director for its Office of Technology Commercialization.  The Director leads and manages the OTC, overseeing personnel, budgets, and all aspects of intellectual property cultivation, assessment, protection, and commercialization. The Director establishes and implements strategies to maximize the social and economic impact of University research and discoveries through OTC’s commercialization efforts and its support of related entrepreneurial endeavors. The Director is responsible for developing and meeting annual OTC licensing goals and acts as primary point of contact and steward to resolve problems and issues affecting intellectual property and licensing at all levels within the University.

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The genomics-focused Illumina Accelerator backs five new companies - TechCrunch

Illumina Accelerator, the genomics-focused startup accelerator backed by the publicly traded genetic sequencing pioneer Illumina Corp., has picked five startups for its seventh accelerator class, the company announced.

Wth technology addressing skin microbial therapeutics, fertility science, chronic disease alleviation, post traumatic stress disorder treatments, and services for the biopharmaceutical and clinical research industries; the startups selected by Illumina will have access to the company’s genomics and sequencing expertise, business coaching, lab and office space and an infusion of capital.

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BioHealth Capital Region Industry Compensation Survey™

Is your employee compensation package competitive? 

Help us help you.  Complete the 2018 BHCR Industry Compensation Survey by June 1, 2018 to receive an anonymized summary of salaries and benefits specific to positions in biohealth and to this region.  A pdf version of the survey is available here or you can use the online version of the survey to complete your information.  All company specific information will be kept confidential.  This survey is a joint project among BioHealth InnovationWorkSource Montgomery, and UMBC-Shady Grove’s Industrial Organizational Pyschology Program.  If you or your Human Resources colleagues have any questions about the survey, please contact

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NIH-Funded Research Finds emocha Medication Adherence Technology Leads to Cost Savings | emocha Mobile Health

emocha Mobile Health’s video Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) platform helped patients with tuberculosis achieve 94 percent medication adherence with the potential to save public health programs $1,391 per patient on average, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published today in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. Staff and patients cited increased flexibility, convenience, and patient privacy compared to traditional treatment methods.

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This startup is bringing a human face to surgical masks - Baltimore

A few years ago, Allysa Dittmar was about to go into surgery, but her interpreter didn’t show up.

Dittmar, who is deaf, was able to lip-read and recognize facial expressions during some of the mandated check that’s required before a procedure, but those were obscured when surgeons, nurses and anaesthesiologists, put on their masks. Things grew more frustrating, and the staff eventually gave up trying.

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Christy Wyskiel Named to BBJ’s Power 10

The Baltimore Business Journal recognized Christy Wyskiel for her ongoing efforts to perfect the “magic formula” that will further catalyze the commercialization of life-changing research and technologies emerging from labs and dorms across Johns Hopkins.

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United Therapeutics To Acquire SteadyMed Ltd.

United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR) and SteadyMed Ltd. (NASDAQ: STDY) announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which United Therapeutics will acquire SteadyMed for $4.46 per share in cash at closing and an additional $2.63 per share in cash upon the achievement of a milestone related to the commercialization of Trevyent®. The transaction, including the $75 million in contingent consideration, is valued at $216 million.

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Ben Jealous brought Google and Alphabet execs to Maryland - Baltimore

Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous organized a meeting on Thursday that gave executives from Google and parent company Alphabet a chance to hear about technology in Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

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These Greater Washington women scored big venture capital deals — that's far too rare - Washington Business Journal

Women and minorities are sparsely represented in our recent fundings. So what do we do about that?

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Angel deals see big increase in female firms and greater geographic diversity, according to HALO Report | SSTI

In 2017, 25.7 percent of all angel capital group deals went to a founding team with at least one female founder, up from 17.0 percent in 2016, according to the Angel Resource Institute’s (ARI) HALO Report: 2017. The report also found a sizeable increase in the number of deals made for companies that included at least one minority female founder – 5.5 percent in 2017 (1.0 percent in 2016).

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How to bet and win on biosciences … outside established hubs - PE Hub

San Diego. New Haven. Boston.

Besides cities that make for a nice waterside vacation, these destinations seem to have figured out the complex, yet irresistible, world of bioscience investment.

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To create jobs, think long term -

As a business owner, I’m often asked to speak to groups about my entrepreneurial journey. One component of my talk involves the importance of long-term thinking. Too often, businesses and politicians fall into the trap of short-term thinking. They focus on making a profit this quarter or succeeding in their re-election campaign without considering the impact of their decisions five, 10 or 20 years down the road.

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Bill Gates Just Announced a $12 Million Grand Challenge for a Universal Flu Vaccine

The real world isn’t like Hollywood. Despite what we might see in TV shows like 24 or movies like Contagion, we don’t have teams of experts ready to spring into action at the first signs of a global outbreak.

But we should, philanthropist Bill Gates emphasized during his Shattuck Lecture for the Massachusetts Medical Society today. And Gates is ready to put up $12 million to help us get there.

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Augmented-reality system lets doctors see medical images projected on patients’ skin | Kurzweil

New technology is bringing the power of augmented reality into clinical practice. The system, called ProjectDR, shows clinicians 3D medical images such as CT scans and MRI data, projected directly on a patient’s skin.

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New immunotherapy treatment for lung cancer dramatically improves survival, researchers report | Kurzweil

An immunotherapy treatment — one that boosts the immune system — has improved survival in people newly diagnosed with the most common form of lung cancer (advanced non–small-cell lung cancer), according to an open-access study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Real-World Evidence (RWE) holds out the promise of reducing time and costs of product approvals, identifying new uses for existing products, increasing our ability to treat rare diseases, and improving clinical practices for using drugs and medical devices. The 21st Century Cures Act, enacted in 2016, requires FDA to evaluate the use of RWE in approving new drug indications. FDA in 2017 issued a final guidance document regarding RWE in regulatory decisions involving medical devices. The private sector is also focusing on RWE: more than half the pharmaceutical companies in a recent survey say they are significantly expanding their involvement in RWE. Nonetheless, misunderstandings and uncertainties remain, both about what constitutes RWE and its potential role in regulatory and other aspects of precision medicine.

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