Coffee

Companies like Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) aren’t healthcare companies, but one venture capitalist believes their example can guide personalized medicine.

Bob Kocher, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock, said that these consumer-focused companies have all taken steps toward personalizing their offerings. Personalization increases the value of those offerings and helps the companies make delivery of services and products more efficient.

NewImage

Gene scans for everyone? Not so fast. New research suggests that for the average person, decoding your own DNA may not turn out to be a really useful crystal ball for future health.

Today, scientists map entire genomes mostly for research, as they study which genetic mutations play a role in different diseases. Or they use it to try to diagnose mystery illnesses that plague families. It's different from getting a genetic test to see if you carry, say, a particular cancer-causing gene.

But as genome mapping gets faster and cheaper, scientists and consumers have wondered about possible broader use: Would finding all the glitches hidden in your DNA predict which diseases you'll face decades later?

NewImage

Fuad El-Hibri has started a financial consulting business. He’s started telecommunications businesses.

But his most challenging venture has been the Rockville biotech he helped launch 14 years ago.

Still, El-Hibri — CEO and board chairman of Emergent BioSolutions — says the challenges are worth it, because the rewards are so great from protecting and saving lives.

 

NewImage

Following a considerable contraction in investment dollars in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. angel investor market continued to recover in 2011, a trend that began in 2010 in investment dollars and in the number of investments, according to the 2011 Angel Market Analysis released by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire.

Total investments in 2011 were $22.5 billion, an increase of 12.1 percent over 2010 when investments totaled $20.1 billion. A total of 66,230 entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding in 2011, an increase of 7.3 percent over 2010 investments, and the number of active investors in 2011 reached 318,480 individuals, a substantial growth of 20 percent from 2010.

NewImage

Shares in AstraZeneca ticked up after the Anglo-Swedish drugs giant announced a tie-up with biotechnology giant Amgen to develop and commercialise five treatments.

Under the terms of the agreement, Astra will make a one-off upfront payment of $50m and the companies will share costs and profits on the drugs for a variety of inflammatory, respiratory and auto-immune diseases.

BioPharm

Pharmaceuticals have figured that out that if they can't be as innovative or nimble as biotechs, the next best option is to pay for their good ideas with licensing deals and acquisitions.

And what better way to identify those potential deals than to cozy up to the biotechs?

Invite them into your homes

Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) opened an incubator within its San Diego campus to house biotech startups. Janssen Labs -- named after one of Johnson & Johnson's drug divisions, Janssen Pharmaceutical -- is a no-strings-attached affair with startups free either to develop the products on their own or partner with Johnson & Johnson or another company.

Johns Hopkins University was tops for research and development spending in 2010.

Surprise, surprise — Johns Hopkins University    spent more money on medical, science and engineering research than any other university in fiscal 2010.

Hopkins topped the research and development spending list, compiled by the National Science Foundation    , for the 32nd consecutive year. The 2010 data is the most recent available.

Hopkins also tops the foundation’s list for federally funded research and development.

NewImage

No matter how privatized healthcare is in America, at the end of the day it remains a social sustainability issue and a government concern. That’s why America’s newly minted CTO Todd Park is sparking health care innovation and reform through liberation of data from the vaults of NIH, FDA, CMS, USDA, CDC and other government health agencies.  Park believes that de-centralization and data liberation leads to empowerment and innovation.  In this interview at the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, Park outlines his initiatives to catalyze the ecosystem of health services by unlocking data.

Prior to being appointed the CTO of America to the White House, Park was a successful health IT entrepreneur who co-founded Athenahealth and Castlight, then served as the CTO at Health and Human Services (HHS). His Health Data Initiative (HDI) is mandating that HHS agency data be publicly accessible in machine readable format using APIs.

NewImage

Dingman Center Angels

The Dingman Center Angels connects regional start-up companies seeking seed and early-stage funding with angel investors.

Facts About Dingman Center Angels

  • Over 150 companies submit applications to Dingman Center Angels each year
  • $4M invested in start-ups since our inception in 2005
  • 50 qualified angel investors and venture capitalists comprise our network
  • Partnerships with incubators, economic development orgs and service providers in the region
  • Companies receive coaching to prepare for their pitch

Barbara Mikulski

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today spoke out in support of Maryland's health research and innovation economy at a fiscal year 2013 oversight and budgetary hearing of the Senate  Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The hearing included testimony from NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, MD.

"I am for being frugal but we must not jeopardize or hamper America's gold standard as the worldwide leader in medical research and innovation," Senator Mikulski said. "NIH invests in the best and brightest scientific minds at universities, in the public and private sector, and with our federal employees."

Umd 30 days

On March 30, the University of Maryland launches its expanding lineup of competitions and activities devoted to innovation, ingenuity and ideas: 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship. Nearly a quarter-million dollars in prizes will be awarded at six events involving UMD faculty, students and alums.

The events honor the best in entrepreneurship at all stages of innovation - from invention to business plans to start-ups. Celebrants will include Gov. Martin O'Malley and one of Maryland's most successful entrepreneurs, Kevin Plank '96, founder and CEO of Under Armour.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. (Loyola University)

Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland  and Wasabi Ventures, a venture capital company in San Mateo, California, have begun a new-business accelerator near the university’s campus. As part of the collaboration, Wasabi’s co-founder Thomas “T.K.” Kuegler, a 1994 Loyola graduate, will serve as the university’s entrepreneur-in-residence.

Loyola says the accelerator will provide opportunities for its students and help the surrounding community. “It creates new opportunities for our students to think creatively about new products, new markets, and the types of business, marketing, and expansion plans that will help young companies grow, and to apply these ideas to real-world organizations and the entrepreneurs behind them,” says Rev. Brian Linnane, Loyola’s president. “For those with an entrepreneurial spirit of their own, it can give them a chance to get their own businesses off the ground.”

Md bio enterprise

The MdBio Foundation, Inc., a private charitable organization that is an affiliate of the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM), today announced that it has received an unrestricted donation of $75,000 from MedImmune, the Gaithersburg, Md.-based global biologics arm of AstraZeneca.

MdBio Foundation will use the donation to support operation of the MdBioLab, its popular mobile bioscience laboratory that travels to schools across Maryland, and development of MdBioSphere™, an innovative interactive digital game that is being designed to enhance high school biology education and awareness.

NewImage

Peter Greenleaf

Peter Greenleaf visited the Department of Business and Economic Development recently to oversee the historic tax credit auction that raised $84 million for the state’s InvestMaryland program. Greenleaf took some time out from his duties as chairman of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority for a quick Q&A about his day job — running MedImmune, one of Maryland’s most successful life sciences companies.

bendis

Chairman Quayle and Ranking Member Edwards, thank you for the opportunity to testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation on the important topic of “Fostering the U.S. Competitive Edge: Examining the Effect of Federal Policies on Competition, Innovation, and Job Growth.”

My name is Richard Bendis and I am the President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation Inc., (BHI). BHI is a private-public partnership that is predominantly funded by the private sector to foster biohealth innovation-based economic development, which is a unique cluster-based model for regional economic development. This initiative could be used as a model program regardless of industry or cluster strength.

BHI is the first regionally focused innovation intermediary created to connect the university and hospital biohealthresearch strengths of Baltimore with the bioscience industry and federal laboratory strengths of Montgomery County. It has entered into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement with the National Institutes of Health's Office of Technology Transfer and has created the first private-sector funded Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program to identify commercializable science in the 27 institutes of NIH. This program will create new project-based companies and high-paying life science jobs. BHI believes this EIR program is applicable to many federal agencies that have technology transfer offices and support SBIR programs.

BHI has designed a potential national pilot, the Health-Regional Innovation Cluster (H-RIC) model, which will incorporate the best innovation-based economic development practices in the United States and integrate them into one region in Central Maryland. BHI is currently seeking federal financial support from several relevant federal agency partners to accelerate the creation and implemention of this innovative biohealth H-RIC model.