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The digital health sector was growing rapidly. Then the pandemic came. In this case, it was a story of growth.

Following distancing requirements and loosening regulations, telemedicine became the name of the game for many healthcare systems across the nation. It was an area where Baltimore startups could add value, whether it was the “digital front door” of b.well Connected Health or Tissue Analytics‘ work with healthcare institutions to remotely monitor woundcare patients.



Calling all women entrepreneurs! Whether you’re already a founder, thinking of starting your own company, or are curious to learn more about the ins and outs of launching a new venture, join Women In Bio-Capital Region and a panel of women founders to hear their experiences, learn about available resources, and ask any questions you may have. From financing to IP law to business strategy, learn from a diverse group of speakers who will share their experiences and perspectives from the world of biotech start-ups. Join us for a one-stop shop to start building your own personal biotech startup toolkit.


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Maryland has one of the nation’s strongest life sciences industries. The state’s array of universities, federal labs, and firms employ 54,000 people, generate breakthrough discoveries, and supply a range of technologies that have been key to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Despite Maryland’s high concentration of employment in research and development (R&D), the sector’s 7.4 percent growth between 2015 and 2020 trailed other leading states such as Massachusetts (58 percent) and North Carolina (38 percent). Beyond R&D employment, the state’s life sciences manufacturing sector expanded at one of the fastest rates nationwide (31 percent), but remains relatively less concentrated than the national average, indicating significant potential for further growth. Maryland’s life sciences industry also faces competition from other states for investment, particularly in entrepreneurs and startup firms that have the potential to sustain job creation across the state.


CHATHAM, N.J., Oct. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: TNXP) (Tonix or the Company), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced it has completed the acquisition of its new research and development center (RDC) located in Frederick, Md. The approximately 48,000 square foot facility will support Tonix’s expanding infectious disease pipeline, including:

  • TNX-1800 – a live virus vaccine designed to protect against COVID-19 
  • TNX-801 – a live virus vaccine designed to protect against smallpox and monkeypox 
  • TNX-3500 – a small molecule antiviral under development to treat COVID-19 
  • TNX-2100 – a peptide based skin test to measure functional T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 

Tonix purchased the RDC from Southern Research, a collaborating partner on TNX-1800 and TNX-801 development.


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RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Activation Capital, a leading entrepreneurship and ecosystem development organization, announced the launch of a cluster accelerator to catalyze the growth of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D in Central Virginia. A coalition of private-public entities from Greater Petersburg and Greater Richmond helped form the accelerator, secured $2.5M in seed funding from GO Virginia and others, and appointed Activation Capital as the organizing entity - a first-of-its-kind initiative for the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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COLLEGE PARK, Md., October 01, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IonQ, Inc. ("IonQ" or the "Company") (NYSE: IONQ), a leader in quantum computing, completed its previously announced business combination with dMY Technology Group, Inc. III ("dMY") (formerly NYSE: DMYI), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, on September 30, 2021. Starting this morning, the common stock and warrants of the combined company, IonQ Inc., will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols "IONQ" and "IONQ.WS," respectively.

IonQ is a trailblazer in quantum computing with the world’s most powerful trapped-ion quantum computer, and is the only company with its quantum systems available through the cloud on Amazon Braket, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. This business combination provided IonQ with $636 million in gross proceeds to fund future growth and accelerate the commercialization of its industry-leading quantum computers.


Cursor and Children s National Hospital reaches 100 COVID 19 vaccine compliance

WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Children's National Hospital in D.C. has announced that 100% of its workforce, around 8,500 team members, is compliant with its COVID-19 vaccination policy. 

"Back in December when vaccines first became available, around 1,500 of those team members were hesitant to get the shot," a spokesperson for Children's National said. "So a lot of targeted work and action took place since then to get to 100% compliance…"


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GERMANTOWN, Md. & HILDEN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that it had won a U.S. government contract to increase the production capacity for consumables used on its NeuMoDx 96 and 288 integrated PCR testing systems, an important step to support laboratory testing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Tweet this QIAGEN was awarded a $3.4 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of and in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to expand production capacity for COVID-19 tests running on NeuMoDx instruments at its site in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The platforms offer a unique combination of speed, flexibility, throughput and ease of use for molecular diagnostics testing, including laboratory-developed tests. By the end of March 2022, QIAGEN plans to scale up production to more than 16 million tests per year, up from the current level of about 10 million.


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Life science and healthcare companies have many avenues available to raise capital at various stages, each with its own benefits and considerations. Savvy founders and startup leaders should understand which asset class can offer the best opportunity to advance and support their company’s success. Across all sectors - therapeutics, diagnostics, tools, medical devices and digital health - the approach you take today to create your syndicate of investors will impact all future funding rounds.


Quantum AI

The BioHealth Capital Region Forum offered many insights into the state of the industry, but the most prevalent theme was certainly big data. Panelists and keynote speakers across multiple events spoke about the importance of data in the biohealth and life sciences industry and how artificial intelligence will help the sector innovate.

Keynote speaker Chris Monroe, co-founder and chief scientist at IonQ, discussed how biotech experts can use quantum mechanics and quantum computers to solve problems within the healthcare industry. Monroe is a faculty member at Duke University and the University of Maryland and studies how Q-bits and quantum computers can help optimize complex problems


Dr. Kelly brings 15 years of executive-level experience to RoosterBio after having led several highly specialized life sciences manufacturing companies

FREDERICK, Md., Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- RoosterBio, Inc., a leading supplier of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) bioprocess systems for cell and gene therapy product developers, today announced Timothy M. Kelly, PhD, has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Kelly brings 15 years of executive-level experience to RoosterBio after having led several highly specialized life sciences manufacturing companies in the U.S. and Europe.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institutes of Health

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., today announced his decision to end his tenure as the director of the National Institutes of Health by the end of the year. Dr. Collins is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director, having served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years.

“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” said Dr. Collins. “I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one, done in close counsel with my wife, Diane Baker, and my family. I am proud of all we’ve accomplished. I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future. I’m most grateful and proud of the NIH staff and the scientific community, whose extraordinary commitment to lifesaving research delivers hope to the American people and the world every day.”


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Winning company is developing an implantable device based on 3D printing and a synthetic material, which supports and regenerates surface cartilage damage in the knee.

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, October 1, 2021 – Nanochon, a Washington, D.C. based company in the BioHealth Capital Region, applying novel materials to replicate bone and cartilage, and high-end 3-D printing to create an implant which can permanently repair debilitating joint injuries, was selected from five finalists as the company with the most commercial potential at the 6th Annual Crab Trap Competition. This year's judges included industry leaders Sally Allain, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC, Andrea Alms, Co-Fund Manager, BioHealth Capital Fund, Lora Green, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, Chief Executive Officer, TEDCO, Conley Jones, Senior Associate, Alexandria Venture Investments, John Newby, Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Biotechnology Association, and was moderated by Rich Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

The Crab Trap, presented virtually for the second year in the row due to the pandemic, was held on September 29th in association with the 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region and 4th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Investment Conference. Nanochon CEO, Benjamin Holmes, presented on his company's implant, which acts as both cartilage replacement and tissue growth scaffold, and is designed to be custom 3-D printed for each patient. Nanochon joins previous Crab Trap winners, BrainScope (2020), Floreo (2019), Galen Robotics (2018), LifeSprout (2017) and Sonavex (2016).

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Alex Philippidis, Senior Business Editor of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, returned to the Forum to give his annual update on the GEN rankings of the Top 10 Bio Clusters in the United States. The BioHealth Capital Region is currently ranked #4 with a goal to be Top 3 by 2023 , and Alex briefly discusses each of the 10 top clusters and discuss how they have performed during the Pandemic. He also mentions the Up and Coming Regions of the Country.

Pete Briskman, Executive Managing Director and Co-Lead for the Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences Practice, follows Alex and does a deep dive into specifically the BioHealth Capital Region’s outstanding performance over the last year.

Watch now by visiting

AURP Space Day

Blast off at AURP’s inaugural SPACE DAY with a galaxy worth of discovery. Converging state, regional and national leaders, unearth the policy and tactics to cultivate innovation clusters on the ground as a observe and investigate the skies above.

This special session will be held on Thursday, October 21, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. immediately following the AURP International Conference (Oct 18-21). Register for the day or plan to attend the full conference. We want YOU at AURP SPACE DAY in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Download the PDF for more information.

SVB 2021 Report Cover

US healthcare venture fundraising soared in 2020, totaling $17B, a 57% increase over 2019’s record.


  1. Strong exits propelled a fourth straight record year in venture fundraising 2020 venture fundraising soared, exceeding 2019’s record with $17B in new venture funds in healthcare.
  2. Q3 2020 surge in venture investment led healthcare to a record $52B Every sector experienced record investment this year, with 2020’s funding rising 50% from 2019.
  3. IPOs led exit activity, and large private M&A deals resurfaced Venture-backed healthcare IPOs yielded record valuations and post-IPO performance of +100%.


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The biggest challenge for every entrepreneur and every startup today is to get noticed and remembered in today’s information overload. The number of entrepreneurs worldwide is huge, starting an estimated 50 million new businesses per year, or 137,000 per day. Every one of these probably has a unique story, but in my years as a startup advisor I only remember hearing a few who capitalized on their story.


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While there are commonalities among their criteria, startup investors don’t take a cookie cutter approach. The key to unlocking investment is understanding the stage of your startup. “In the race of life, always back self-interest; at least you know it’s trying,” the late former premier of NSW, Jack Lang, once said.

Self-interest is defined as “regard for one’s own interest or advantage, especially with disregard for others… personal interest or advantage”. 

Meanwhile, to invest is to “put (money) into financial schemes, shares, property, or a commercial venture with the expectation of achieving a profit”.


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Venture capital is a popular source of capital for early-stage startups, but it’s definitely not the only one. Debt is an increasingly popular alternative, as is non-dilutive, revenue-based financing.

So, we invited Accel Partner Arun Mathew, Clearco co-founder and president Michele Romanow, and Pipe co-founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst to TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 last week to discuss the various ways companies can raise capital and which might be the best avenue for startups. (Hurst unfortunately had a power outage so was not available for the entirety of the panel).


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For anyone who doubted, the data is in. The Great Resignation is real and it’s happening. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that during the months of April, May, and June 2021 a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. And it’s not over. According to Gallup research, 48 percent of employees are actively looking to make a change, and according to Personio research, nearly 1:4 will do so in the next six months. Those looking for new opportunities will find ripe opportunities; in June the U.S. hit an all-time high of 10.1 million job openings.



Some of America's largest university endowments unveiled eye-popping annual gains in the past week. Duke University reported a 56% return for the fiscal year ended June 30. Washington University in St. Louis generated a 65% gain.

These top-performing endowments can thank alternative assets—in particular, venture capital—for the banner year, which is said to be the best since 1986. But that short-term success could prove to be a double-edged sword.



One of the most important skills for every entrepreneur is timely and effective decision making. In a startup, any decision is better than no decision. One of the primary roles of every founder is to solve problems, make a decision, and manage the decision to results. The best entrepreneurs relish this role, while others struggle mightily and ultimately lose their health and their company.


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If you're an entrepreneur enjoying success with your first business, you've probably thought about launching a second business.

About 30 percent of entrepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs--and tend to wear the title as a badge of honor in bios and social media profiles. But does it do more than fluff our egos? Is serial entrepreneurship the ultimate type of entrepreneurship and social proof denoting success?


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GAITHERSBURG, MD, September 30, 2021 – Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies to treat infectious diseases, today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the company an additional $8 million for the continued development of bacteriophage therapies (PhageBankTM) for the treatment of infectious diseases. The new funding brings the total contract awarded to APT to $31.2 million. 

“We are thrilled to have the ongoing support of the DoD in the advanced development of our PhageBank™ platform to treat drug-resistant infections across multiple indications,” said Greg Merril, CEO and co-founder of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics.  “We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. military to create potentially lifesaving therapies for our nation’s service members.” 


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Montréal-based healthtech and artificial intelligence (AI) startup Aifred Health today won second place at the final round of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition and will take home a $1 million USD prize for its digital health software.

Aifred Health offers clinical solutions for mental health treatments using AI. The startup’s second-place win comes five years after it entered the XPRIZE competition along with 150 other applicants. Aifred Health was the only Canadian startup to make it to the finals of this global competition.


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Today, EDA announced that 50 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, state government agencies, and other entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 26 states will receive grants totaling $36.5 million to support programs that fuel innovation and tech-based economic development. (Read full press release)

The grants are part of the “Build to Scale” program, which is administered annually by EDA. The program aims to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to business support and startup capital.


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Barbara Schilberg retiring as Managing Director and CEO;
Shahram Hejazi, Ph.D., appointed as Managing Director and CEO


Philadelphia, PA, September 29, 2021 – BioAdvance, a $70 million early-stage life sciences fund with a focus in the mid-Atlantic region, announced today that it has added six new companies to its portfolio in the last 18 months and has made follow-on investments in eight of its existing companies. Combined, these investments represent a commitment of $6.875 million to the success and growth of life science companies in the region. BioAdvance also announced a transition in leadership with long-time Managing Director and CEO Barbara Schilberg retiring and Shahram Hejazi, Ph.D., appointed as incoming Managing Director and CEO effective October 1, 2021.


“Like many investors, when the COVID pandemic began, we focused on helping our existing companies survive the various disruptions to product development and product sales,” said Schilberg, outgoing CEO of BioAdvance. “Within six months, we were able to resume investing in new companies and also have a robust pipeline of opportunities in active diligence.”


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Nearly 4% of the world’s population is affected by one of more than 80 different autoimmune diseases, according to the National Stem Cell Foundation, and incidence is rising.

However, of the 30 million patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe forms of chronic immune diseases, only 5 million receive advanced therapies and only 2 million experience adequate responses.[1] A key barrier to the development of novel therapies and treatment paradigms has been the complexity and heterogeneity of these diseases, which consist of different disease states with distinct unmet medical need and biology.


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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

For questions/more information, contact BHI.


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September 28, 2021 RESTON, Virginia—During a year of unprecedented reliance on intellectual property rights to solve massive global challenges through business collaborations, namely the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 and its profound disruptions of personal and business lives, today the Licensing Executive Society (USA & Canada) announced  that it is making a President’s Award and three Deals of Distinction™  Awards, along with the Frank Barnes Award. The Deals of Distinction Awards are given each year, to recognize major business transactions involving licensing, that exemplify best practices and creativity to achieve strategic business objectives, with a significant impact on advancing innovation in the industry Sectors that comprise LES.  Similarly, the Frank Barnes Award is given each year to celebrate an exceptional individual who embodies the highest cultural values of LES by selflessly investing their time and expertise in developing the careers of others – an outstanding mentor. 


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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cartesian Therapeutics, a fully integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering RNA cell therapy in and beyond oncology, today announced the hire of Miloš Miljković, M.D., as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Miljković will oversee the strategy and execution of the Company's growing clinical pipeline of RNA cell therapies.  In addition, the Cartesian appointed co-founder Metin Kurtoglu, M.D., Ph.D., as the Company's first Chief Operating Officer, responsible for bridging clinical operations with the cGMP manufacturing and translational medicine groups.  Cartesian also announced that it has expanded its cGMP manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, MD to support its growing clinical pipeline.


(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Universities have long nurtured the development of new ideas. Over the last decade, they’ve increasingly become key incubators of new ventures. Throughout the Baltimore region, university leaders are seeing students and faculty just as interested in entrepreneurship as they are in an academic discipline. In response, they’ve invested a wave of new resources to bolster these activities. Every nearby university now has a hive of startup activity, educating community members on starting new businesses and showcasing their work through pitch competitions. In many cases, universities have specifically created entrepreneurship centers and hired teams to lead these efforts.

Image: (Photo by Stephen Babcock)


BARDA's Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health, are partnering with three non-government organizations to advance the development of microphysiological systems (MPS), also known as tissue chips technology, as part of the BARDA-NCATS ImmuneChip+ Program.

MPS can replicate components of vital human tissues and immune system functions and monitor their interactions. MPS  are 3D biophysical platforms comprised of cellular constructs that mimic the structure and function of human tissues and organs, including the lungs, liver, and heart.