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Montgomery County and the region’s booming life sciences ecosystem is reaping the benefits of a talent pipeline being developed by the Universities at Shady Grove, a unique higher education campus in Rockville that brings together approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs from nine different institutions within the University System of Maryland.

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A Johns Hopkins University-led team has created an inexpensive portable device and cellphone app to diagnose gonorrhea in less than 15 minutes and determine if a particular strain will respond to frontline antibiotics.

The invention improves on traditional testing in hospital laboratories and clinics, which typically takes up to a week to deliver results—time during which patients can unknowingly spread their infections. The team's results appear today in Science Translational Medicine.

 

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In a news cycle dominated by vaccines and an economy focused on innovation, cities see life sciences as not just a good bet but a critical piece of their economic development future. But while many metros believe they can attract jobs with increased investment in lab space, only a relative handful can become new centers of industry growth.

Image: Courtesy Hines Levit Green, a forthcoming development in Houston, exemplifies the spread of life sciences campuses across the U.S.

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A longtime pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s National Hospital, Dr. Julia Finkel has long wanted a more objective way to measure how much pain patients are feeling.

“For pain, we do it very empirically,” Dr. Finkel said. “The patient says they hurt, we give them a drug. They either feel better or they don’t…It’s done in a very empirical way without a physiologic measure, and there are consequences for that.”

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About the business: TaylorMade Experience is a Silver Spring-based event management business that also assists clients with fundraising efforts. It is a certified woman-owned small business, has about a dozen employees, and ranked 15th among the Washington Business Journal’s most recent List of largest meeting and event planning companies based on the 40 local events it held in 2019.

Image: Christina Taylor launched TaylorMade Experience in 2008 as an events management business but made the pivot to all-virtual events during the pandemic. TAYOR-MADE EVENTS

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Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the launch of a $150 million effort to directly address historic underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, and to prepare a new, more diverse generation of researchers and scholars to assume leading roles in tackling some of the world's greatest challenges.

 

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ROCKVILLE, Md., May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmes (the "Company"), a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation and a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, today announced that it has acquired Orphan Reach, a CRO specialized in clinical research related to rare diseases. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

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Set on the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus will be a one-of-kind innovation hub. The nearly 12-acre campus will house leading entrepreneurs, thinkers, innovators and experts aiming to improve the health and well-being of patients around the world. Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC will occupy a 32,000—square foot facility open to biotech, medical device, consumer and health technology start-ups aiming to develop new medicines, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health tech applications. Additionally, in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, JLABS @ Washington, DC will be the hub for BLUE KNIGHT. Blue Knight is a collaboration dedicated to and aimed at anticipating health security threats, activating the global innovation community, and amplifying technological advancements to prepare for and respond to our rapidly evolving global health environment. We look forward to the opening of JLABS @ Washington, DC in collaboration with our partners at Children’s National Hospital and BARDA to support innovation for patients.

 

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies to treat infectious diseases, today announced that the company has closed a $40.75 million Series B investment round led by Deerfield Management Company. Also joining the Series B round are existing investor Mayo Clinic and an additional undisclosed institutional investor. Proceeds of this financing will be used to accelerate clinical development of PhageBank™ phage therapies, as well as for general corporate purposes.

 

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By 2022, Frederick County will see an estimated 1,500 new jobs after diagnostics solutions company Ellume moves in.

The Australian-based company, which makes at-home COVID-19 tests, is set to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Frederick, county officials announced Monday.

The 180,000-square-foot facility in the Progress Labs Corporate Park off Md. 85 will be home to the plant.

 

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Ellume, an Australian company specializing in diagnostics solutions for infectious diseases, is set to open its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Frederick, county officials announced Monday.

The 180,000-square-foot facility in the Progress Labs Corporate Park off Md. 85 will serve as a manufacturing plant, where Ellume will make at-home COVID-19 tests and bring an estimated 1,500 jobs to Frederick County by 2022. 

“This is great news for Frederick County,” Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said in a news release. “Ellume is on the cutting edge, making products that will help the world to overcome this health pandemic. We are excited to welcome Ellume to our thriving life science and biopharma family."

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Maryland’s biohealth boom continues, with Australian bio company Ellume announcing its entrance in the United States. Ellume, a Queensland digital diagnostics company, recently signed a $231.8 million agreement with the federal government to accelerate domestic production of its COVID-19 home tests. The company will establish a manufacturing facility in Maryland, its first in the United States, to accommodate the demand for its products targeting infectious diseases. 

 

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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, May 10, 2021 BioHealth Innovation Inc. (BHI) announces the addition of Dr. Natsumi Takahashi-Vitiello, PhD in the role of Analyst. In her new position, Dr. Takahashi-Vitiello will assist the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Program at BHI in the evaluation of early-stage technologies, strategic planning for start-up companies, and identification/developmental strategies of new venture opportunities.

 “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Natsumi Takahashi-Vitiello to the BHI family,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President, and CEO. “Her biohealth business experience and scientific background will support the BHI clients in their commercialization and fund-raising activities.”