Clock covered up by a white sheet.

Studying procrastination used to be a terrific way to avoid doing things I was supposed to be doing. It hasn’t been as much fun for me since one of the things I supposed to be doing was writing this column on how to manage procrastinators. Rats!

One thing I learned before I was distracted from my studies is that about 20 percent of adults identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. That is, they are habitually unable to perform tasks on time, even when there are serious consequences involved. Moreover, reports DePaul University psychology professor Joseph Ferrari, author of Still Procrastinating? The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done, the incidence of procrastination is pretty consistent across age cohorts, gender, and nationalities. As yet, procrastination researchers have not identified any “blue zones” — Shangri-las in which people not only live longer, but also never miss a deadline.

 

coffee much with begin on it.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and U.S. Representatives Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) introduced the Next Generation Entrepreneurship Corps Act to encourage new business and job creation in underserved communities through a competitive fellowship for entrepreneurs. With a six-year investment of $330 million, the bill will identify talented entrepreneurs through a national competition and directly support the creation of 320 new businesses each year.

 

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures Boosts Maryland Life Sciences BioBuzz

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) has had a significant impact on the Maryland life sciences ecosystem since its founding in 2014, assisting with hundreds of licensed therapeutics in development and backing nearly 200 startups that have collectively nearly $3 billion in venture capital funding, 30% of which has remained in the state.

 

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The Earth has finally attained popular recognition for its fifth ocean, with a decision by the National Geographic Society to add the Southern Ocean around Antarctica to the four it recognizes already: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans.

Although the designation of the frigid waters around the icy southern continent as a separate ocean has kicked around for almost 100 years and is widely used by scientists, until now it has not had popular backing.

 

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A D.C. hospital has once again scored well in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s best children’s hospitals.

And the one ranked second-best overall is just a few hours away.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ranked second in the annual U.S. News Honor Roll, with D.C.’s Children’s National Hospital not far behind at seventh overall.

Dr. Kurt Newman, the president and CEO of Children’s National, noted that it marks the fifth year in a row that Children’s National has been ranked among the top 10 nationwide.

 

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Join us Sunday, June 27 at 3:45 PM GMT for our next session of Saving Lives with Autotransfusion: Lessons from the Field—a Sisu Global webinar series where clinicians speak about their experience using Hemafuse in surgery and other global health issues.

 

Larry Hogan

Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) presented Maryland Governor Larry Hogan with its 2021 Governor of the Year Award. Governor Hogan received the award virtually at BIO Digital 2021.

With the annual award, BIO honors governors for their leadership in public service, commitment to public health, and dedication to strengthening the biotechnology sector in their state. For over a decade, the long-standing award has recognized governors from across the country and both sides of the aisle.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Hogan

Veralox Therapeutics

FREDERICK, Md., June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Veralox Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics that treat the underlying pathologies of diseases with significant unmet medical needs, today announced the closing of a $16.6 million Series A financing.  The round was led by Hatteras Venture Partners with participation from Genesys Capital, Point Field Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments as well as support from previous Veralox investors including Sanofi Ventures, JDRF T1D Fund, Maryland Momentum Fund, VTC Innovation Fund and TEDCO.  The Company also announced that Ben Scruggs, PhD, principal at Hatteras Venture Partners, and Jamie Stiff, MBA, managing director at Genesys Capital, will join the Veralox Therapeutics board of directors.

 

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This is the annual report published by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) on top university patent holders. The Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2020 were compiled using data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Top 100 highlights the vital role patents play in translating university research and innovation. Published annually by the NAI and IPO since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO during the 2020 calendar year.

 

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Novavax said today it will file for FDA approvals in the third quarter for its COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373, after it showed 90.4% overall efficacy, and 93% efficacy against the five most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants “of concern” and eight more variants “of interest,” in a Phase III trial.

“Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional COVID-19 vaccines,” Novavax president and CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a statement.

 

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Starting immediately, miRecule, Inc. is looking for a Laboratory Technician to join its rapidly growing team in Gaithersburg, MD on the development of next generation RNA therapeutics to treat cancer and other diseases.

Job description:

As a Laboratory Technician at miRecule, you will be responsible for supporting antibody development platforms in our lead therapeutic programs. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Preparation of media and solutions as needed for expression and purification of recombinant antibodies and scFvs
  • Performing laboratory experiments to improve expression, purification, stability and affinity of recombinant antibodies and scFvs

 

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — More opportunities to come for college students in Maryland who are interested in STEM-related fields.

Montgomery County is playing a big role in creating new opportunities for those in science education. Since the pandemic, the focus has shifted as creating vaccines against COVID-19 was critical.

“It was a great convergence of the University System plus Montgomery College, plus the private sector, the people who have to bring jobs here,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

A memorandum of understanding was signed to grant students from across Maryland internship and job opportunities to gain work experience in research with Montgomery county’s top industry leaders.

 

DAN HACKETT. PHOTO: BY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

The life sciences sector is hot, and that’s led to a rising interest among building owners in converting assets to lab, research and biotech space.

For instance, Rock Creek Property Group transformed 13.1 acres of what was originally zoned for up to 175 townhomes and 400,000 square feet of office space at 700 Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg, Md., into a Class A, life sciences project suitable for manufacturing, lab and office space. 

Image: DAN HACKETT. PHOTO: BY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

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  • 93% efficacy against predominantly circulating Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest 
  • 91% efficacy in high-risk populations 
  • 100% efficacy against variants "not considered Variants of Concern/Interest” 
  • All COVID-19 hospitalizations/death occurred in the placebo group 
  • Company to host investor conference call today at 8:30 am ET

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), today announced that NVX-CoV2373, its recombinant nanoparticle protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, demonstrated 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, 90.4% efficacy overall, and met the primary endpoint in its PREVENT-19 pivotal Phase 3 trial. The study enrolled 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the U.S. and Mexico to evaluate efficacy, safety and immunogenicity, with an emphasis on recruiting a representative population of communities and demographic groups most impacted by the disease.

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A few weeks ago, we wrote about how the BioHealth Capital Region’s (BHCR) biotech sector is booming. Advanced biomanufacturing, cell and gene therapy, vaccine development, and the medtech industries have all seen record growth over the past few years.

Biotech innovation is accelerating. There are over a thousand cell and gene therapies in the clinical pipeline. Big Data, automation, and gene editing technologies like CRISPR — in addition to the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year—are revolutionizing drug development and forcing the industry to reimagine what’s possible. 

 

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

Maryland universities, Montgomery County government and the private sector are teaming up to capitalize on local momentum in life sciences created over the past year as the pandemic catapulted companies in the region to the global stage — and as the need for research and innovation continues.

Montgomery County, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding Friday at the Universities at Shady Grove’s Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building in Rockville. The collaboration between academia and industry, called the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership, will aim to create job opportunities for local students and, in doing so, build a talent pipeline for the county’s companies.

Image: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich speaks at a press conference as the county, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding Friday at the Universities at Shady Grove’s Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building in Rockville. HANNAH DENHAM

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Novavax, a small American company buoyed by lavish support from the U.S. government, announced on Monday the results of a clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and Mexico, finding that its two-shot inoculation provides potent protection against the coronavirus.

In the 29,960-person trial, the vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent, on par with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and higher than the one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The Novavax vaccine showed an efficacy of 100 percent at preventing moderate or severe disease.

 

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The Biden administration today began to flesh out a proposal for a new agency—modeled on the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—that would seek to speed the development of medical treatments by funding risky, innovative projects. The agency, dubbed ARPA-Health (ARPA-H), would be housed at the National Institutes of Health and have a 2022 budget of $6.5 billion, according to a White House spending request released today.

 

BHI Logo

Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here tinyurl.com/EIRfeedback

For questions/more information, contact BHI.

 

BHI NIH SEED

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), is a Montgomery County innovation intermediary that translates market-relevant research into commercial success by bringing together management, funding, and markets. BHI is seeking two experienced life science professionals with product development and investment experience to join the BHI team to serve as a part-time Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These positions will report to and work closely with our lead at the NIH Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) Office to support academic and small business innovators in their efforts to validate the potential health impacts of promising scientific discoveries and advance them into healthcare products that improve patient care and enhance health.

Click here to download the full job description.

Notification Center

I am delighted to announce that FREE Registration is open for the annual Conference, Targeting Metabesity2021, organized by our colleagues Kinexum and the Kitalys Institute. This four-day event will be virtual from 9:00 am-5:00 pm eastern time each day, October 11-14. Many of you attended last year, and once again we are notifying you of the event and the benefits of early FREE registration.

This year, Targeting Metabesity tackles the barriers to translating scientific breakthroughs into a national policy for increased healthy longevity, with outstanding speakers that challenge convention thinking about our aging.

To learn more about the Conference and review the roster of eminent speakers and provocative topics; please visit www.Metabesity2021.org

To go directly to the registration page, visit https://www.xcdsystem.com/metabesity/attendee/index.cfm?ID=3wsGCbK .

Judy Costello

The Office of the County Executive at Montgomery County, Maryland recently announced the appointment of Judy Costello as Special Projects Manager. As Special Projects Manager, Judy supports a wide range of business and economic development-related projects (i.e., business/large employer recruitment and retention, education and workforce, small business and innovation, climate change, and transportation). Her focus covers multiple industries within the County.

 

Montgomery County MD

 

Friday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m.

Universities at Shady Grove,
Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building
9631 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville
(Parking in Lot 2, directly in front of BSE building)

Montgomery County, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership to facilitate collaboration among industry and the academic partners on cutting-edge research, and allow students from across Maryland opportunities to gain work experience and conduct translational research with Montgomery County’s industry leaders. It is envisioned that the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership will guide the future of post-pandemic education leveraging existing assets to create an economic development powerhouse for Maryland in life and regulatory sciences.

 

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The year 2020 tested the biotech industry and the entire nation. Maryland’s life sciences community can be proud that it passed those tests with distinction. As COVID-19 spread across the globe, Maryland companies stepped up to help save millions of lives. Maryland-based leaders such as AstraZeneca; Becton, Dickinson and Company; GlaxoSmithKline; Emergent BioSolutions; Novavax; Pfizer; and Qiagen Sciences were among the Maryland companies involved in these efforts.

Image: https://www.fiercebiotech.com

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Leiden & Tokyo, June 7, 2021 - MIMETAS has been awarded the ‘Deshima Business Award” in the category ‘newly established’ by the NCCJ, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The award highlights companies with Dutch roots that lead the way in Japan – those companies that have demonstrated successful business development in Japan and have added value to society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=llOFRNF_VeQ&feature=youtu.be

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The quantum-computing power of IonQ Inc. could eventually be put to work in some of SoftBank Group Corp.’s portfolio companies as part of a recently-announced strategic partnership with the tech investor.

SoftBank Investment Advisers, which runs its SoftBank Vision Funds 1 and 2, has taken a “large” equity stake in the College Park, Md.-based startup, though not a majority stake, said Peter Chapman, chief executive of IonQ, without giving specifics.

IonQ is SoftBank’s first investment in quantum computing, said Kirthiga Reddy, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Image: IonQ's trapped-ion chip, pictured above, will eventually be placed in a quantum-computing device about the size of an Xbox video-game console, expected to be completed by 2023. PHOTO: IONQ

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Gaithersburg, MD (June 8, 2021) – miRecule, Inc. (“miRecule”), an emerging biotech company focused on the development of cutting-edge RNA therapeutics, announced the hiring of Fu-An Kang, Ph.D. to serve as its Vice President of Research. Dr. Kang joins miRecule after serving for 6 years as the Senior Director of Chemistry at Abzena, a leading chemistry, biologics and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) research organization.

Image: https://mirecule.com

Maryland is Open for Business Make Your Move

Maryland is offering a new program to match international prospects with local incubators throughout the state. The Maryland Soft Landing Program, announced by Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz at the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, will promote existing “soft landing” programs in the state’s various business incubators, while growing Maryland’s hub of international companies.

 

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NEWARK, Del., June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is pleased to announce funding for 10 new projects in technology, workforce development, and their Global Health Fund initiative, resulting from the Institute's Project Call 4.1, and with a total value of approximately $4.6M.

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (PRNewsfoto/National Institute for Innovati) "Since our inception five years ago, we have been able to fund many great projects that have resulted in significant advancements in the biopharma industry, and this year is no different. The eagerness and ambition this industry has to continuously improve is always encouraging, and I am looking forward to seeing how our newest projects will contribute to accelerating the industry's manufacturing process," states Kelvin H. Lee, Institute Director.

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The efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine accelerated the already strong demand for life sciences real estate in Maryland, and tenants now want lab space faster than developers can build it. 

The market's vacancy rate has fallen so low that life sciences companies often can't find space that meets their time-sensitive needs, experts say, leading them to look to other markets. 

Image: Courtesy of Matan Cos. A rendering of one of Matan Cos.' Progress Labs buildings on the I-270 corridor.

Carten Cordell

In 1976, an Atari engineer named Ron Wayne took a 10% ownership stake in a new technology startup created by a pair of fellow co-workers, meant to serve as the tiebreaker in the ambitious triumvirate.

The enterprise showed early potential, but Wayne became concerned that should the young venture flounder, he would be personally liable for the company’s debts as well. So, he cashed out his 10% stake for $2,300. 

 

podcast

This episode is the first of a new podcast series, where we will visit with different leaders striving to grow economic development in their areas or regions of interest. We will be discussing new initiatives, new models, the interest and investment in Technology Parks, Incubators and Accelerators as well as other creative economic development platforms being implemented throughout the country within public and private initiatives.

 

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As states ease COVID restrictions, more and more people post their vaccine selfies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its mask guidance. It’s beginning to feel like the country is getting back to normal and, in many ways, we are. But the truth is that what we do now in this moment will determine whether we’ve learned the right lessons from the last year of a pandemic that’s cost the world more than 3 million lives.

 

BHI Logo

Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here tinyurl.com/EIRfeedback

For questions/more information, contact BHI.