BioTalk SkyScraper Image Carolyn Yarina

On this episode, Carolyn Yarina, CEO & Co-Founder of Sisu Global Health, chats about her Career, Sisu’s Technology, and Thoughts on Entrepreneurism with BioTalk Host Rich Bendis

Carolyn Yarina, CEO and Co-Founder of Sisu Global: Carolyn is a two-time founder/CEO with a proven track record of execution. She has raised nearly $3M from investors like Camden Partners & Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Carolyn has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, TEDxMidAtlantic, and has received awards like Maryland’s Innovator of the Year, Baltimore Business Journal Tech 10, and Baltimore’s Top 10 BioHealth CEO.

dna string

Qiagen and Illumina just made a huge commitment to one another. The two companies announced a 15-year partnership to broaden the availability and use of NGS-based in-vitro diagnostic kits, including companion diagnostics, for patient management.

Initially, the partnership will focus on commercializing oncology IVD kits to support patient management.

The agreement grants Hilden, Germany-based Qiagen non-exclusive rights to develop and globally commercialize IVD kits to be used together with Illumina’s MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx Systems.


Peer Schatz, QIAGEN

QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) announced today that Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer, has notified the Company that, after 27 years at QIAGEN, he has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board. He will remain with QIAGEN as Special Advisor to the Supervisory Board and transition into this role in the coming weeks. The Supervisory Board will now start a search for a permanent CEO. In the meantime, Thierry Bernard, Senior Vice President, Head of Molecular Diagnostics Business Area, will now act as interim CEO and work in tandem with Roland Sackers, Chief Financial Officer.


bioforward logo

MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BioForward, the member-driven association that serves as the voice of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry, held its annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit on October 2nd at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The 2019 Biohealth Summit had over 500 attendees and featured two keynote sessions, and in a new format had two panel discussions, six fireside chats, an industry-specific career fair, a social media blitz, and virtual reality demonstrations from 3Data and ARCH Virtual.

GMU Logo

Manassas, Va. - George Mason University researchers have discovered the exact location where two proteins responsible for hiding cancer cells from the immune system bind. This discovery provides a novel approach to developing new cancer immunotherapy medicines that can be administered as a pill, compared to existing intravenous therapeutics. The findings were published in July 2019 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Image: These 3-D models of a receptor, co-receptor, and ligand demonstrate how the protein painting technology works. Bound proteins in their native form are coated with small molecule dyes. The regions which aren't painted when the proteins are bound, designated white, can be detected by mass spectrometry and inform rational drug development. - Evan Cantwell

Sally Allain Goes to Washington Meet the New Head of JLABS Washington DC Blog Post JLABS

What excites you most about taking on the new role of Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC?

The DC-Maryland-Virginia region is a hotbed of life science innovators, along with strong public and private research institutions. This network of connectivity offers such an opportunity for entrepreneurs working in the life sciences, medical device, and consumer technology space. Opening a JLABS in DC introduces our no-strings-attached JLABS model into the region with the aim to support the focus of these innovators on what they do best – their science and research. By providing the resources, mentoring, programming, and connections start-ups need to be successful, we hope to speed the development and commercialization of innovative treatments and solutions for patients and consumers.



ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Maryland small businesses with innovative research and development (R&D) ideas will have an opportunity to gain comprehensive proposal development support to win federal funding. OST Global Solutions' GovCon Incubator, a woman-owned small business, will train 20 additional Maryland small businesses on how to win government seed fund capital. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) grant awarded to Maryland's Technology Development Corporation(TEDCO) and OST Global Solutions, Inc. for the second consecutive year.


A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Sally Allain on her new position as Head of hashtag#JLABS @ Washington, DC. We, at @Children's National Health System, are super excited to work with Sally and the entire JLABS team to hashtag#Innovate4Kids

Richard Bendis Judy Costello Vasum Peiris, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACC, FASE Jeffrey M. Gallagher Michael Friedlander @Cassandra Isley John Newby @Kyparissia (Kyp) Sirinakis Tami Howie TEDCO Arti Santhanam @Marshall Summar Josh Wilson, MBA Cherri Carbonara @Kimberly Ovitt, APR Kurt Newman Elizabeth Flury @Chelsea Hewitt Jennifer Cosenza Melinda Richter @Carli Hickman Michelle McMurry-Heath


The Story of Maryland s Cell and Gene Therapy Cluster is Shared Loud and Clear at Inaugural Bio Innovation Conference BioBuzz

On Monday morning in Bethesda, Maryland hundreds of industry leaders emerged from a large ballroom at the inaugural Bio Innovation Conference, hosted by Maryland Life Sciences, a division of the Maryland Tech Council.

After hearing the opening remarks attendees could only have felt one of two ways – proud to be part of Maryland’s life sciences community or eager to become part of it.


emergent biosolutions logo

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) today announced that the company’s chikungunya virus (CHIKV) virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate, CHIKV VLP, was granted PRIority MEdicines, or PRIME, designation by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) during its September meeting. The PRIME scheme is designed to enhance support for the development of medicines that target an unmet medical need and that may offer a major therapeutic advantage over existing treatments, or benefit patients without preventative or treatment options. The CHIKV VLP vaccine candidate is being developed for the prevention of disease caused by chikungunya virus infection, an illness that spreads through mosquito bites and for which no vaccine or treatment is available.


emmes logo

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmes today announced the award of eight new task order contract awards associated with the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, known as the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM. The total value for the eight contracts is more than $9 million. The contract awards' duration ranges from one to five years.

The National Institutes of Health launched the HEAL Initiative in April 2018 to improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction and enhance pain management. The eight Emmes contract awards are among 375 grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.


Biotechnology Innovation Organization - Logo

WASHINGTON – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today announced that industry veteran Jim Greenwood will step down as President and CEO of the world’s largest biotechnology organization after the 2020 election and help transition a new leader to represent the industry globally and to defend innovation from domestic political attacks.


The next 10 years Where is biotech headed Endpoints News

The last 10 years have seen a rev o lu tion in drug de vel op ment. Time lines have short ened, par tic u lar ly in on col o gy. Reg u la tors have opened up. In vest ment has sky rock et ed. Chi na be came a play er. Biotechs have mul ti plied as gene and cell ther a py has ex plod ed — of fer ing ma jor new ad vances in the way dis eases are treat ed, and some times cured.

Image: llogene HQ Open House on September 17, 2019 in South San Francisco. (Jeff Rumans, Endpoints News)

Shannon Farris, PhD

A team of researchers has published evidence showing in mice that mitochondria-associated pathways in cell bodies and dendrites within the CA2 subregion of the brain’s hippocampus influence plasticity and mitochondrial respiration—a finding that highlights a potential molecular target for treating human neurodegenerative disorders ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease.

Image: Shannon Farris, PhD, a principal investigator at the Center for Neurobiology Research, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion 

Watch How startups become unicorns explained STAT

Thanks to a yearslong boom in the world of venture capital, keeping tabs on biotech means constantly reading that some so-called startup is suddenly worth more than $1 billion. But just who is putting the horns on all these unicorns?

Welcome back to “The Facts, STAT!”, a not-infrequent STAT video series in which our reporters briefly explain the need-to-know basics of issues in the world of health care and biotech.

Image: - From Video

science lab

Venture capitalists are pouring cash into U.S. biotechs at a rate set to replicate 2018’s record deal count, according to PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association’s third-quarter Venture Monitor report.

In the first three quarters alone, VCs struck 609 biopharma deals — the majority of which were Series A or B — and contributed $11.5 billion in investments.

Notably, the average deal size shrunk from a 2018 high of $25.6 million to $21.2 million. That figure reflects growth in early stage investments but significant declines in late stage.


Sarah de Crescenzo

The number of investments that venture capitalists will make this year in pharmaceutical and biotech companies is on pace to match last year’s record—and that money continues to shift into earlier-stage deals.

Venture firms invested in 609 drug development deals as of Sept. 30, 2019, compared with 808 deals for all last year, according to the latest data from firms that track VC investments.

Since 2016, more than half of the money invested in pharma and biotech each year has been in the riskier angel, seed, Series A, and Series B stages, according to the latest Venture Monitor, a quarterly report published by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association.


Ccd09a8b 893f 4846 83f4 399bae204de5 pdf

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc (ARE) is committed to the Maryland I-270 Corridor market, and is a local partner and advocate for the biotech community. Alexandria provides room to grow through all stages of your company


Our vision at Johnson & Johnson is for every person to use their unique experiences and backgrounds together – to spark solutions that create a better, healthier world.

By seeking out and encouraging diverse ideas and promoting collaborative thinking among inclusive teams, we believe the world can bring innovative healthcare solutions to patients and consumers that will improve health for humanity.



Thank you BioHealth Innovation, Inc. and AstraZeneca for another successful hashtag#BioHealth Capital Region BioBowl last night. The Children's National Hospital team had a blast. And, we loved the slogan on our T-Shirts "Advancing Science. Accelerating Innovation."

Richard Bendis Judy Costello @Albine Martin, Ph.D. Luis Gutierrez Jeff Walpole Sara Alyamani Whitney Black, MHA Justin Opfermann Lisa Romano BioBuzz Gayatri Varma Jarrod Borkat TEDCO Arti Santhanam Anthony Ho

hashtag#innovate4kids hashtag#bhcr hashtag#jlabs hashtag#pediatrics hashtag#healthcareinnovation hashtag#innovators




Very cool seeing so many people from the different BioHealth Capital Region. 30+ lanes of companies. BioHealth Innovation, Inc. BioBuzz



It’s getting competitive over here at the amazing hashtag#biobowl19 we are cohosting with AstraZeneca for the BioHealth Capital Region



New Enterprise Associates Partner, Sara Nayeem, M.D., Joins Host Rich Bendis to Discuss Her Career, Venture Capital, and BioPharma

Sara Nayeem, M.D., is a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Sara joined NEA's healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Centrexion, Complexa, Cydan, Imara, and Tiburio. She previously served on the boards of Vtesse (acquired by Sucampo), Mersana (MRSN) and Therachon and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO, acquired by Lilly), Tesaro (TSRO, acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Clementia (CMTA, acquired by Ipsen), Nightstar (NITE, acquired by Biogen), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), Omthera (OMTH, acquired by AstraZeneca), Epizyme (EPZM), Millendo (MLND) and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in other NEA investments such as Prosensa (RNA, acquired by BioMarin), Metacrine, and 3-V Biosciences. She also serves on the board of BioHealth Innovation Management. Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an Associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.

Listen now on iTunes (, Google Podcasts (, and TuneIn ( 

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Completes 7M Financing Round with Several Strategic Investors BioBuzz

GAITHERSBURG, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company founded to provide an effective therapeutic response to the global rise of multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria, today announced that it has closed an oversubscribed, non-brokered financing, raising approximately $7 million in proceeds. Investors include Alexandria Venture Investments as well as a large integrated healthcare delivery network currently exploring the option to implement PhageBank™ therapy within its network of more than 17 hospitals and a NYSE-listed specialty life sciences company. Proceeds will be deployed to support multi-center phase 2 clinical studies for its PhageBank® therapy for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.



Happening now at the #BioInnovationConference, Henry Ahn of National Science Foundation (NSF), Joseph Naft of #MIPS, Judy Costello of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. , Paul Silber of Blu Ventures #Investors, & Jeff Galvin of American Gene Technologies International Inc. discuss “Alternative Funding Options for Launching Your Company.”

AGT will do our best to share resources mentioned during this talk after the conference for startups and early-stage companies.



Gregg L. Semenza, whose discoveries on how cells respond to low oxygen levels have the potential to result in treatments for a variety of illnesses, today was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

The academy recognized Semenza, the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for his groundbreaking discovery of hypoxia-inducible factor 1, or HIF-1, the protein that switches genes on and off in cells in response to low oxygen levels.


Editas Medicine and MaxCyte Announce Clinical and Commercial License Agreement for Engineered Cell Medicines Nasdaq EDIT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: EDIT), a leading genome editing company, and MaxCyte, Inc., the global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, today announced a new clinical and commercial license agreement. Editas Medicine will use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation® technology and ExPERT™ instruments for the advancement of engineered cell medicines, including EDIT-301, an experimental CRISPR medicine designed to durably treat sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.



The prize was awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for their work in discovering how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to three scientists — William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza — for their work on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.

Image: Gina Kolata and Megan Specia -


Research and startups are each important ingredients as the University of Maryland, Baltimore works to build a biotech community. In the case of recent news from KaloCyte, a mix involving both came with one move. As announced last week, the team that is commercializing a synthetic blood product relocated from St. Louis to downtown Baltimore, with the company taking up residence at UMB and joining the University of Maryland BioPark as an affiliate.

Image: The University of Maryland BioPark. (Courtesy photo)


The second annual BHCR Investment Conference, which is an invitation-only event, will be held at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg on October 15 and 16, 2019.   

BioHealth Innovation (BHI), J.P. Morgan, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Deloitte, AstraZeneca and The Maryland Department of Commerce have worked closely to ensure the 2019 investment conference builds on the success of last year’s event.



The National Institutes of Health has awarded $20 million to fund five additional hubs designed to speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools to improve patient care and enhance health. The newly selected Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) expand a national network of proof-of-concept centers that links 34 academic institutions developing best practices to translate biomedical innovations into public benefit. 



The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded Emergent BioSolutions a $6.3 million research grant for further development of the company’s treatment for opioid addiction.

Specifically, the funding is for the continued development of AP007, Emergent’s sustained-release nalmefene formulation for the treatment of addiction in opioid use disorder (OUD). AP007 is designed to continually release an effective dose of nalmefene for up to three months and to be administered through intramuscular injection.



Attracting talent is one of the most commonly cited challenges voiced by company executives in the Biohealth Capital Region (BHCR). Rapid growth, particularly in the cell and gene therapy industry and advanced biomanufacturing, is applying strong pressure on companies that are up against a finite market with a skills gap, talent shortages and other regional recruiting challenges.