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Awards Recognize Achievements by Current Clients and Graduates of Maryland Incubators

Twenty-one of the State’s leading incubator companies have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards. The team from BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is proud to recognize that four of these companies are currenting operating out of either the BHI managed Rockville Innovation Center or the Germantown Innovation Center. Leverege, LLC., and Seraxis, Inc. are located at the Germantown Innovation Center.   ReveraGen BioPharma, Inc., and Speak Agent, Inc. reside at the Rockville Innovation Center.

“These four companies are a strong representation of the cross-section of growing technology enterprises in Montgomery County from Biotechnology to IoT and EdTech.” said Ethan Byler, BHI Managing Director.  Congratulations to all the finalists from both the Germantown Innovation Center and the Rockville Innovation Center. The recognition is a testament of their success.”

  • Leverege, LLC. is a systems integrator and end-to-end solutions provider that offers a simulation-centric IoT platform that reduces time to market, lowers costs, and results in better IoT services for customers.
  • ReveraGen BioPharma, Inc. is a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Seraxis Inc. is a privately-owned Biotechnology company working to provide a cure for the devastating disease of diabetes.
  • Speak Agent, Inc. is an education company delivering game-based learning resources that can be customized to fit the exact academic vocabulary needs of learners.

From left to right: Ethan Byler (BHI), Mark Fitzgerald (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati), Kevin Colbert (LifeSprout/Johns Hopkins), Rich Bendis (Moderator/BHI)

 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 24, 2017 –Out of five startup companies selected to present in front of a panel of industry leaders at the 2017 BioHealth Capital Region Forum, LifeSprout was chosen to have the most commercial potential at the 2nd Annual Crab Trap Competition.This year the event was moderated by BHI President & CEO, Rich Bendis. Judges included industry leaders from Verily Life Systems, Roche, Inova Strategic Investments, New Enterprise Associates, AstraZeneca, and Blu Venture Investors. LifeSprout impressed judges with a presentation by Kevin Colbert, Director of Operations, on their next-generation of synthetic soft tissue substitutes for aesthetic and reconstructive medicine. Their first-in-class bioresorbable, nanofiber-hydrogel composites are formulated to match the stiffness of native soft tissues without compromising their porosity.  LifeSprout is a Johns Hopkins University startup.

“This was an exceptionally strong group of participants, and LifeSprout along with the other finalists should be proud of their accomplishments.” said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. “I would like to thank all the participants in addition to our judges and sponsors who helped make this competition possible.”

Founded by BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and MedImmune in 2016, the Crab Trap Competition focuses on companies in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, healthcare services, e-health, mobile health, electronic medical records, health informatics, and biohealth cyber security. The grand prize this year is $10,000, incubation space in either Prince William County, VA or Montgomery Country, MD, and business mentoring.

About the BioHealth Capital Region

The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) consisting of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC is the prominent BioHealth cluster in the Mid-Atlantic. The BHCR encompasses more than 800 life sciences companies, over 70 federal labs and world-class academic and research institutions. According to Genetic Engineering News (May 2016), the BHCR is ranked 4th in Top Biopharma Clusters in the country. The BHCR brand represents collaboration among leading stakeholders with a collective goal to make the BHCR a top 3 biohealth cluster by 2023. http://www.biohealthcapital.com/

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Media contacts:
Richard Bendis
Phone: 301-637-6439, e-mail:
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BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland, has been awarded a renewal of its contract to extend and expand its entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) program with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). BHI will place EIRs within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the NIH Office of the Director and other NIH Institutes and Centers.

The EIR program was established with NIH in 2012 with BHI's support. The program is set-up to achieve the mission of NIH by applying knowledge gained through discoveries to solutions for patients with unmet clinical needs. EIRs who participate in this program have prior experience maneuvering through multi-disciplinary technical challenges and the business and regulatory environment to deploy new healthcare solutions.

Due to the program's initial success, the EIR program was expanded in 2015 to include NIH's associated offices and institutes. The new term extends for an 18-month period from February 2017 through August 2018, with an option to renew for an additional 18 months.

"Expanding and extending our partnership with the federal government's leading medical research agency is an honor that builds on our work together filling key EIR roles over the last few years," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "We've placed some of the most innovative and business-centered minds in biohealth and biotech and will continue to do so as we fill EIR roles that will drive cutting-edge approaches to commercializing medical devices and therapies."

BHI can retain the services of up to six EIRs as a part of this program with NIH. The EIRs will be assigned to the appropriate facilities, and their task will be to foster collaboration between NIH leadership and the biohealth industry, while providing the agency with industry insights into innovation and commercialization perspectives in research and development. They will also help to guide NIH scientists, academics and small business innovators on best practices.

More information can be found at http://www.biohealthinnovation.org/programs/entrepreneur-in-residence-program.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland's life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland's bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

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In an effort to accelerate growth in the cybersecurity and health technology industries in Montgomery County, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) has partnered with The MITRE Corporation of McLean, Virginia—a not-for-profit corporation that operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), including the National Cybersecurity FFRDC.

BHI will serve as the primary manager for the Rockville Innovation Center (RIC), which is home of BHI's health tech startup accelerator, Relevant Health. MITRE will provide the resident RIC start-up companies technical mentorship and insight into the most pressing cybersecurity challenges facing business and government today. This collaboration is an extension of a strategic initiative recently launched by MITRE to act as an innovation bridge between the private and public sectors.

The RIC will support start-ups and attract early-stage technology companies within these key technology sectors to graduate companies into commercial spaces in Montgomery County in a few short years.

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BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today that the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), who is the agent for Montgomery County, has selected BHI to manage the Germantown Innovation Center (GIC) located within the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology at Montgomery College (PIC MC). The Germantown Innovation Center was previously managed by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, which transitioned into the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) on July 1, 2016.

Additionally, BHI and PIC MC have signed an agreement to work collaboratively on business incubation and company recruitment at the PIC MC—a 20-acre integrated academic, business and research campus.

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William Hearl of Immunomic and Lily Qi from the Montgomery County Office of the County Executive Join BHI’s Board

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, Aug. 2, 2016 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced that its Board of Directors has voted and approved the appointments of new board members William Hearl, Founder and CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) and Founder of Capital Genomix, Inc. (CGI), and Lily Qi, M.B.A., Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Workforce Development, Office of the County Executive for Montgomery County, Maryland.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new members to the board,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. “Dr. Hearl’s pioneering spirit and business acumen make him a major player in the vast world of immunotherapies and biotechnology, and Ms. Qi’s active involvement with establishing BHI as well as her ability to bridge the gap across government, corporate and community audiences are assets that make her a great partner.”

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Report Unveils Region's Position Among Other BioHealth/Tech Hotbeds Across the Country as Local Leaders Drive Towards Placement as Top Biotech Hub by 2023

The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) and BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) officially released the BioHealth Innovation Index for Central Maryland at the Second Annual Regional BioTech Forum, which took place April 18 and 19 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Index is a comprehensive analysis of the biohealth industry highlighting the region's strengths, along with those areas that present opportunity for economic growth.

The Index will serve as a guide for the continued development of Maryland's booming biohealth region, by pinpointing key opportunities for future growth to accelerate the region to the top three biotech hubs in the U.S. by 2023.

According to BHI CEO Rich Bendis, who also serves on the Governor of Maryland's Life Sciences Advisory Board, "This index both confirms the region's standing, while also shedding light on what it will take to raise our spot among the top three biotech/biohealth hotbeds in the country. Our region is attracting new and innovative companies at unprecedented speeds. This Index reflects such innovation occurring in Greater Baltimore and Central Maryland, and provides a platform on which to develop a strategic analysis relevant to other U.S. markets such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego and San Francisco."

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EDA’s 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program Recognizes BHI for Trademark Method in Commercializing Biotech and Health Tech

WASHINGTON, DC and ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, February 18, 2016 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a leader in commercializing market-relevant science and technology, has been awarded a grant of $495,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) through the 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the award earlier this month.
Judges in the RIS program evaluated more than 170 applications across two competitions: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support Grants competition. In total, $10 million was awarded to 25 of the applicant programs. Begun in 2010 as part of the Startup Ameriaca Initiative, the competition is now in its fifth year. This year’s i6 program applicants were evaluated for their ability to scale innovative science and technology through assembling sophisticated supportive structures in regional communities that a company or organization works. BHI’s entry was for the expansion of its Venture Commercialization Model (V-COMM).
“The expansion of V-COMM into the biohealth and biotechnology markets in Maryland is pivotal to the growth of our economy both nationally and regionally,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. “We want to thank the EDA and the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship—particularly Julie Lenzer—for recognizing our innovative achievements to drive biohealth/tech development through this substantial grant.”
“This award to BioHealth Innovation is yet another indicator of the excellent work the organization is doing and of the vitality of the biohealth and biotech sectors in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Commercialization of technology is the linchpin that transforms ideas into businesses and benefits for the public. I congratulate BHI on this award and look forward to more great work from it.”

V-COMM is designed to drive technology development and develop entrepreneurial practices in the areas of medical technology, vaccines, and bioHealth cybersecurity within the biohealth industry of Maryland. V-COMM’s expansion from this grant will enable BHI to review a greater number of technologies, and help to spur the development of new companies, while raising capital, and creating jobs.
“We are thrilled to have BioHealth Innovation as a partner in actively growing our biohealth economy,” said Councilmember Nancy Floreen. “This new EDA grant represents the fabulous work BHI is doing on a regional basis.”

“This 2015 Regional Innovation Strategy cohort of grantees is truly an exciting group – the diversity in programs and regional representation proves that innovation and entrepreneurship are igniting all corners of the country,” Assistant Secretary Williams said. “From Puerto Rico to Pittsburgh, and Seattle to Blacksburg, these programs will reach all kinds of communities and help entrepreneurs gain the edge they need to succeed.”

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland’s life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland’s bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

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Media contact:
BioHealth Innovation, Maryland, USA
Rich Bendis, President & CEO, Phone: 301-637-6439, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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- Several BHI Board Members and Designees Among Those Appointed by Governor Hogan

- Chancellor Robert L. Caret Joins BHI Board of Directors as Representative for the University System of Maryland (USM)

Rich Bendis, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) President and CEO, was recently appointed to serve on Governor Larry Hogan's Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB). Mr. Bendis is one of 16 individuals who represent Maryland's key federal, academic and industry organizations on the LSAB.

Several members of the BHI Board of Directors, including Dan Abdun-Nabi, President and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (who also serves as LSAB Chair); Doug Liu, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Operations at Qiagen Sciences Inc.; and Mike Gill, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce, were also among those newly appointed to the LSAB. BHI Board alternate designees Christy Wyskiel, Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University, and Jarrod Borkat, MedImmune's Head of External Collaborations, Biotech Hubs and Government Contracting, are also new LSAB appointees.

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Attracts Top Health Tech Startups from Around the Country and World

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, Oct. 27, 2015  – Relevant Health, a health technology startup accelerator in the Washington, DC metro area, welcomes its inaugural class.
The selected startups come to Relevant Health from its backyard of Bethesda and Rockville, as well as Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York City, and Latvia. This week, the cohort of startups embarks on a five-month program that involves an intensive product development focus, enabling them to improve their skills to define, develop, position and launch a viable health tech product.

"Relevant Health chose candidates who have a vision and business model for a product that promises significant positive impacts in the health sector,” stated Rich Bendis, BioHealth Innovation President and CEO. “A cohort of companies building wearable devices, consumer-facing health apps, and provider-facing healthcare platforms is a strong representation of the innovation occurring in the health marketplace."

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Juan Carlos Lopez of Roche and Mike Gill, Secretary for Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development, Join BHI Board

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously voted and approved the appointments of Board Member Juan Carlos Lopez, Ph.D., Head of the Academic Relations and Collaborations (ARC) Group at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), and Ex-Officio Board Member Mike Gill, Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), State of Maryland.

"We are pleased to have two powerhouse individuals join our dynamic board," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "We also want to thank Roche's Dr. Judith Dunn for her commitment and service to our board during her tenure, which has now ended. We are grateful for her leadership and contributions during her time with us."

Dr. Lopez leads the Roche pRED's team in conducting outreach to academic and non-profit biomedical research and healthcare organizations for purposes of enhancing and complementing their internal R&D efforts. He began his career with the Nature Publishing Group in 2000, coming on board as an Associate Editor to launch Nature Reviews Neuroscience. In less than a year, he advanced to Chief Editor and led the publication to become the top monthly reviews journal in the neuroscience field, a position it retains to this day. In 2004, he was named Chief Editor at Nature Medicine, which is ranked by the Institute of Scientific Investigation as the world's top journal in experimental and research medicine.

Financial Award from SBA's Accelerator Competition Supports Relevant Health's Mission to Bring the Best Health Tech Products and Services to Market

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BioHealth Innovation's Relevant Health, a recently launched health technology startup accelerator focused on bringing products to market, participated in the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Second Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Relevant Health was among 80 winners from a pool of 400 applicants from across the country, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories. Relevant Health was the only accelerator in Maryland to be recognized with this honor.

The total prize amount for all of the winning accelerators was $4.4 million, and the announcement came yesterday at 4:00 p.m. EDT when President Barack Obama formally named the winners during an event at the White House. The President discussed the future of innovation and entrepreneurship as demonstrated by individuals and businesses within the United States who participated in the White House Demo Day. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet played a similar role in ceremonies in Los Angeles as part of the same program.

Each of the winning accelerators will be given $50,000 to aid in continuing to invest in the innovative startups and entrepreneurs who participate in the programs. In exchange for the recognition and funding that was awarded to them, the accelerators will be required to provide quarterly reports documenting metrics around the use of these funds, including job creation, additional funding generated, outside sponsorships and the status of startup launches.

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−Drs. Steve Wolpe and Ethel Rubin Named EIRs for National Institutes of Health; Dr. Albine Martin to Serve as EIR Working with Johns Hopkins University and Maryland-Based Health-Technology Companies

−BHI Continues Search for Neurology and Neuroscience Experts to Fill Roles of EIRS for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, June 8, 2015 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today the hiring of three new entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs): two for the NIH and one to work with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Maryland-based health-technology companies. Additionally, BHI is actively recruiting neuroscience and neurology experts for EIR positions within the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is providing grantees of the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) with mentoring and training designed to develop and hone their presentation skills as a step toward securing investment dollars and strategic partners. The NIH has awarded BHI a contract to conduct a multi-year effort for NINDS grantees that will boost their business acumen, strengthen their communications skills, and introduce them to additional sources of funding designed to help bring new healthcare products to market.

"Frequently, NINDS grantees are forced to balance their focus between advancing their research and technology objectives into healthcare products and the necessity of procuring funding and building partnerships to drive those advancements. They are truly distinct activities, but progress needs to be made on both fronts to mature projects for commercialization," said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. "By coaching grantees on the best methods to develop and deliver impactful industry presentations and introducing them to investors and strategic partners, we help strengthen the grantees' business perspective and expand their networks."

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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 7, 2015 – To capitalize on the region's significant human capital and resources driving health innovation, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and ProductSavvy, in partnership with Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED), are launching a health technology accelerator program named, "Relevant Health." The accelerator will consist of a five-month intensive program focused on preparing eight early-stage health-related businesses for pilot product testing and financing. The program is scheduled to launch in September 2015 and will be located in the Rockville Innovation Center, part of the Montgomery County incubator network.

BHI is a public-private partnership that's been building programs to foster commercialization of health and life sciences assets in the Central Maryland region over the last three years.
"It's fitting that we are fueling the launch of the first dedicated health-technology accelerator aimed at 'moving minds to market' in Montgomery County with the product-acceleration company, ProductSavvy, and our strategic partner, Montgomery County DED," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "Montgomery County is a hotbed of brilliant scientific minds driving new innovation. Our mission is to focus these minds toward new commercial-oriented goals. This new accelerator will allow us to foster leadership teams in these companies, enabling them to interact with the rich health resources and talent located in Central Maryland."