Back in September, a brightly-colored "Startup Bus" toured Maryland, encouraging entrepreneurs to come out of the woodwork to put together business plans and pitch their startup ideas.

And they did. Startup Maryland accumulated 168 video pitches from its bus tour around the state, and they are all on Youtube, on the Startup Maryland channel.


After carrying out a frustrating brain surgery in January of 2008, neurosurgeon J. Marc Simard found himself sitting in a cafe, contemplating a problem.

Deep-tumor brain surgeries were complex and unguided — some picked up too much brain material while others picked up too little, he thought. A few tables away from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, researcher sat two other scientists: university mechanical engineering professor Jaydev Desai and UMB diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine professor Rao Gullapalli. They met, and over cups of coffee and the collision of two worlds — the medical-heavy UMB and this engineering-heavy university — they discussed potential solutions.


Startup Maryland has released the 168 video pitchesfrom Maryland entrepreneurs that were captured during the Pitch Across Maryland bus tour, the three week tour that celebrated entrepreneurship and innovation across the state.

Now, startups and those who love them can show their support by "voting" for the best pitch. Forget the ballot box and hanging-chads, this is the Age of Social Media so the way to "Get Out the Vote" is to activate your personal network.


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have figured out the three-dimensional shape of the protein responsible for creating unique bonds within the cell wall of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. The bonds make the bacteria resistant to currently available drug therapies, contributing to the alarming rise of these super-bacteria throughout the world.

With the protein structure in hand, the scientists say, drug designers have a clear way forward for weakening the cell wall and killing these deadly bacteria. Their results are reported in a paper published online Oct. 25 in Structure.


Kaiser Permanente is joining Mayo Clinic, KPCB, Genentech, UnitedHealth and others as a partner of digital health accelerator Rock Health, which revealed a new class of fresh-faced startups today.

The 14 companies selected for Rock’s fourth class get access to mentorship, office space, operational support and the option of $100,000 in investment. Not surprisingly, they represent some of the latest trends we’re seeing in the digital health space.


Startups offering everything from personalized nutrition and pregnancy apps to live online fitness instruction and a smart, souped-up toothbrush are among the members of Rock Health’s latest class of companies.

The San Francisco-based health tech accelerator on Thursday announced its fourth class of 14 startups, saying that it accepted less than 3 percent of the applicants.

The accelerator said this seasons’ applicant pool included more companies with hybrid hardware/software models, which is reflected in a couple of the startups selected to be part of the class.

LES Deal of Distinction

A gigantic patent deal by AOL, Microsoft and Facebook was one of five extraordinary intellectual property licensing deals that received Licensing Executives Society, (U.S.A. and Canada) 2012 Deals of Distinction™ Awards during the Society's Annual Meeting today.

Now in their 8th year, the awards are presented annuallyto companies that orchestrate the most outstanding IP-based licensing and business deals in five industry sectors including: High Technology; Chemicals/ Energy/ Environment and Materials; Industry-University-Government Interface; Life Sciences; and Consumer Products. Here are details on the winning deals:


While Silicon Valley, Austin and other traditional high-tech hotbeds are considered cities with high-growth companies, new Kauffman Foundation research shows that innovations can come from a wide range of sectors and regions. The Ascent of America's High-Growth Companies: An Analysis of the Geography of Entrepreneurship examined the number of Inc. 500 firms by state and analyzed them over 30 years. It found that since the 1990s there is a huge complex of fast-growing firms in the D.C. area. Several states, including Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts, have remained in the top 10, while Washington, D.C., and Utah are rising stars.


Bioscience Research & Technology Review Day is a special event that features research talks, presentations, mini-symposia, and demonstrations by university scientists. The program provides a unique opportunity for executives and professionals in industry and government to:

  • Discover the most recent advances in bioscience and biotechnology at the University of Maryland 
  • Promote the potential for academic-industry-government collaboration 
  • Meet University scientists and interact with graduate student researchers 
  • Network with colleagues who share an interest in the promotion of bioscience and the bioscience industry 
  • Recruit employees and investigate job opportunities


QIAGEN and Bayer HealthCare today announced a collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics paired with novel Bayer HealthCare drugs, initially to enhance the treatment of various solid tumors. Companion diagnostics are tests that unlock molecular information from each patient's tumor genome to guide treatment decisions with medications for cancers or other diseases. The parties will also collaborate on the development of novel technologies for patient profiling which may result in innovative research-use-only products for exploratory and translational medicine. Financial details were not disclosed.

The targeted companion diagnostics will be designed to run on the QIAsymphony family of automated instruments, which is transforming laboratory workflows and helping disseminate standardized, regulator-approved diagnostics.


Rock Health, the seed accelerator for startups focused on the health space, landed a big, new partner back in August: The well-known Silicon Valley venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The result of the new partnership? The promise of a considerably larger seed investment for its next batch of startups, as Kleiner joined Rock Health’s existing partners in offering $100K in seed funding to each founding team.

This represents a five-fold increase in funding for Rock Health’s fourth class, as the startups that launched as part of the accelerator’s first three classes — 36 companies in total — each received $20K. Today, the healthtech accelerator offered the first look at the fourteen startups that will be taking advantage of the additional funding and participating in Rock Health’s fourth batch.


Chinese CRO WuXi AppTec has opened a biologics manufacturing plant in Shanghai that will initially serve a joint venture it has with AstraZeneca ($AZN) to develop an IL-6 inhibitor to treat rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders that is being developed for the Chinese market.

While providing few details of the new facility, the company claims that it is the first biologics plant in China to meet GMP standards for the U.S. and EU as well as China, and is the first biologics plant in the world to use all disposable technology.


Have a great idea? Looking for seed money and resources to bring your technology to market? AccelerateBaltimore can help you!

AccelerateBaltimore™ is an initiative of Emerging Technology Centers, Baltimore's award winning incubator, and Abell Foundation. Our goal is to close the gap between innovative ideas and getting to market by providing the seed capital, resources, mentors, potential partners and a coworking space.

We are looking for 6 startup companies that use modern technologies to create new business solutions that can be brought to market in 3 months.


The new SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Law (buried in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012) made a number of radical changes in these programs - many of them harmful. The extent of the harm will not finally be known until the SBA finalizes its Policy Directive, which carries the force of law. The SBA has published what it calls AFinal policy directive with request for comments@ in the Federal Register Volume 77, Number 151 (Monday, August 6, 2012). But it is really not Afinal@ as 1) the comments requested therein have yet to be dealt with and 2) the document itself postpones finalizing some of the more difficult decisions to the end of this year. Nonetheless, we can determine many of the implications now.


GlycoMimetics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a new class of glycobiology-based therapies for a broad range of indications, announced today that preclinical data related to its lead drug candidate, GMI-1070, has been published in the current issue of Nature Medicine. The paper describes a new function of E-selectin related to the cycling of hematopoetic stem cells in the bone marrow. Hematopoetic stem cells are multipotent stem cells that give rise to many blood cell types. In the paper, authors highlight how genetically knocking-out E-selectin, or treatment with GMI-1070, protects these stem cells from some of the toxic effects of chemotherapy.


Join us as we recognize 2012 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in Maryland and learn about InvestMaryland.

  • Network with Maryland's Fastest Growing Companies and established industry leaders
  • Learn about new business funding opportunities in Maryland
  • Connect with the Governor's Commissioners on Small Business and Economic Development


Young companies in Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia raised 14 percent less venture capital funding in the third quarter than they did last year during the same period, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mid-Atlantic companies attracted $215.7 million from venture capitalists from July to September, compared with $245.7 million in the same period last year, the report showed. The regional decline mirrored a national one. Nationwide, $6.5 billion was invested in companies, down 11 percent from the third quarter last year.


The third and last presidential debate had few healthcare moments, but one issue that was raised did have some relevance, particularly for any healthcare and life science companies that have benefited from government funding. Should government back companies or should government stick to research grants?

The clearest example of healthcare companies that have benefited from federal dollars is the HITECH Act’s EHR Incentive Program. It provides incentive payments to eligible professionals and hospitals to implement certified electronic health records technology that conforms to Meaningful Use requirements.


The Maryland Innovation Initiative on Monday named a new board chair and unveiled its first two programs designed to provide funding to support the commercialization of technologies at five universities in the state.

Robert Hallenbeck, vice president of BD Biosciences, has been appointed to chair of the organization. Patrick O’Shea, vice president and chief research officer at the University of Maryland, College Park has been named vice chair.


Singer Art Garfunkel, a real estate magnate and an investor are putting $2 million in gold bullion on the line to inspire researchers to cure blindness by 2020, establishing through Johns Hopkins Medicine one of the world's largest prizes for a scientific advancement.

The men, one-time roommates at Columbia University, intend for the prize to trigger research into the variety of diseases that cause blindness — 80 percent of which are preventable — in 39 million people around the world.

Dr. Peter McDonnell, director and ophthalmology professor at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, said Friday that the time between this week's announcement and the day the prize will be awarded is exactly the same period, 2,978 days, from President John F. Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon and Neil Armstrong's first steps on its surface.


Entrepreneurship: It’s a buzzword on a lot of college campuses, in executive boardrooms, and among venture capitalists, franchisers, advocates and believers in the American dream of self-sufficiency and inventiveness that pays off. But really—what is it?

At the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business, entrepreneurship is being redefined—it’s no longer enough to claim to be an entrepreneur as a result of an affinity for creativity, or an impulse to start projects with the hope that they bear fruit. Today’s entrepreneur—and tomorrow’s business leader—is intensely focused on business basics, like competitive pricing, financial forecasting, IT and human resources, and is fusing those skills with the kind of innovation that can prove to be a game changer.


Maryland, Virginia and the District raised a collective $215.7 million in venture funding in the third quarter, slipping from the $245.7 million raised in the same period last year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s MoneyTree report.

The bulk of last quarter’s total came from six deals in the double-digit millions, led by the $50 million investment in Columbia, Md.-based Tenable Network Security Inc. by Accel Partners. The quarter saw a marginal boost from the three months prior, during which companies pulled in $206 million (or, $202 million, according to PWC's updated data, which is sometimes revised slightly from quarter to quarter).


Synovex Corp., a drug developer, has raised $3.50 million, or 50 percent of a $7 million share offering, from five investors, according to an SEC filing.

Principals named in the filing by the Cambridge-based company are:

  • President Christopher Mirabelli of Cambridge, Mass.-based HealthCare Ventures LLC;
  • Director Doug Onsi of HealthCare Ventures LLC;
  • Director Rajeev Dadoo of SROne, the venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline with offices in Conshohocken, Pa.;
  • Director Ron Laufer of Gaithersburg, Md.-based MedImmune Ventures; and
  • Director Isai Peimer of MedImmune Ventures


The University of Maryland released details today on the recovery of Richard Lee Norris, the 37-year-old man who received the most extensive full face transplant completed to date seven months ago. Norris, of Hillsville, Virginia, was injured in a 1997 gun accident, losing much of his upper and lower jaws as well as his lips and nose. The transplant surgery, completed on March 20, 2012 at the University of Maryland Medical Center, included replacement of both jaws, teeth, tongue, and skin and underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck.

"For the past 15 years I lived as a recluse hiding behind a surgical mask and doing most of my shopping at night when less people were around," says Norris. "I can now go out and not get the stares and have to hear comments that people would make. People used to stare at me because of my disfigurement. Now they can stare at me in amazement and in the transformation I have taken. I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look. My friends have moved on with their lives, starting families and careers. I can now start working on the new life given back to me."


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Northrop Grumman Foundation today announced they are partnering to launch the UMBC Cyber Scholars program, which is to be housed in the university's new Cybersecurity Center, and run in partnership with the UMBC Center for Women in Technology. This new initiative is an extension of an already-strong partnership in cyber-related activities that has developed between UMBC, the foundation and Northrop Grumman, and includes the Cync program, a start-up business incubator dedicated to cultivating companies that develop innovative solutions to counter the global cyber threat.

Human Genome

Human Genome Sciences Inc. plans to cut an additional 97 positions in Rockville later this year, and more layoffs could be on the way, the biotech company told the state’s labor department on Wednesday.

The jobs to be eliminated are part of an ongoing internal restructuring plan, according to the notice with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The layoffs will begin on Dec. 15.


New Health Sciences has big plans.

The Bethesda biotech is eyeing a $310 million revenue stream after 2015 should its storage system for red blood cells pass its clinical trials. And CEO Martin Cannon envisions a potential stock sale of $30 million, should the company go public in the next few years.

Cannon was among the Maryland bioscience executives sharing their success stories, due in part to federal funding, during the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Innovation Conference on Monday at Johns Hopkins University’s Rockville campus.

The gathering was hosted by BioHealth Innovation, a Rockville nonprofit private-public partnership that links bioscience companies and research institutions, and Prescience International of San Francisco.


Science Applications International Corp. has won a $13 million contract to provide modeling support to the Naval Health Research Center.

This is the company's second contract award with the Naval Health Research Center in just two days. Yesterday, the company was awarded $24 million toward research that will account for the physiological and psychological health of soldiers in extreme conditions.


University of Maryland, Baltimore County is creating a “Cyber Scholars” program with a $1 million grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

Beginning in 2013, the program will award scholarships, internships and opportunities for advanced research to the 15-20 students selected annually to participate. The program will aim to address cyber security workforce shortages by drawing more women and minorities to the industry, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said Wednesday.


Lockheed Martin will host top performing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) high school students in two sessions today at its NexGen Cyber Innovation & Technology Center to promote cyber security careers and education, and to learn safe online practices through a series of interactive workshops.

By introducing Maryland high school students to cyber security at its Third Annual Cyber Security Awareness Day event, Lockheed Martin hopes to influence students to choose a career in cyber security and consider universities with a cyber security curriculum. This will help to fill the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 65,700 new cyber security jobs between 2010 and 2020.


The purpose of this Notice is to announce the availability of a Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) for NIH SBIR and STTR Phase II awardees. Now in its ninth year, this program is designed to help NIH SBIR and STTR Phase II awardees transition their developed products into the marketplace. Through a contract with Humanitas, Inc. of Silver Spring, MD with a sub-contract to Larta Institute of Los Angeles, CA, the CAP will provide early stage companies with individualized assistance toward accomplishing their commercialization goals.

The 2012-2013 CAP will begin in December 2012 and will conclude at the end of August 2013.  With two distinctive tracks, the program offers customized assistance to meet the specific needs of both early stage and seasoned companies: Commercialization Training Track (CTT), and Accelerated Commercialization Track (ACT).  Each is different in their objectives and outcomes.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under a Continuing Resolution (CR) (H. J. Resolution 117) that was signed by President Obama as Public Law 112-175 on September 28, 2012.  The CR continues government operations through March 27, 2013 at the FY 2012 level plus 0.6 percent.

Until FY 2013 appropriations are enacted, NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). This is consistent with our practice during the CRs of FY 2006 - 2012. Upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after our FY 2013 appropriations are enacted but NIH expects institutions to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period.  All legislative mandates that were in effect in FY 2012 remain in effect under the CR, including the salary limitation set at Executive Level II of the Federal Pay Scale ($179,700), which was effective with grant awards with an initial Issue Date on or after December 23, 2011 (see NOT-OD-12-034 and NOT-OD-12-035). 


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a  Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC).  The purpose of the Trans Agency Research Consortium for Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy (TACTIC) FOA is to support a single multi-component basic collaborative Research Program to conduct a hypothesis-driven study of trauma-induced coagulopathy. Through this initiative, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Department of Defense (DoD) are in partnership to form a consortium with the Research Program to address TIC by linking clinical investigators involved with ongoing DoD funded trauma-related clinical trials with the Research Program scientists who will have the unique opportunity to utilize patient samples in their basic research in TIC.