This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS)

While President Trump continues to promote antimalarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine sulfate and azithromycin to treat COVID-19—“What do you have to lose?” he exclaimed during the April 4 Coronavirus Task Force Briefing—the global community of drug discovery researchers and biopharmas is developing a much broader menu of therapeutic options.

 

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“Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic” … “Nobody has ever seen anything like this before” … “Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened.”

Those were President Trump’s words in March about the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s repeated protestations were questioned by, among others, Trump himself, who told the White House press corps on March 17 that, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

 

COVID 19 Cough chamber shows six feet not far enough Neuroscience News

Summary: Droplets from a cough travel at a speed of 1.2 meters per second at peak velocity. Findings reveal that there is no logical reason to suggest 6 foot of physical distance is substantial at reducing coronavirus transmission.

Source: Western University

A recent Western-led study says two meters might not be far enough away if someone lets an uncovered cough loose in your direction – meaning sneeze and cough etiquette is more than a simple social nicety, but a key to stopping the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

Image: Western Engineering’s cough chamber is a two-metre enclosed cube with an opening and chin rest in the front, which is used as an access point for study participants to cough. Within the cube, a camera and a laser are used to determine the velocity of the expelled droplets from the cough. The image is credited to Frank Neufeld.

money

On Thursday morning, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) released the highly anticipated details of its massive $600 billion Main Street Lending program (Program) to support small and mid-sized businesses with up to 10,000 employees. The Program is particularly welcomed by businesses that are too large to be eligible for loans under for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

 

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Sanofi and GSK, two of the biggest names in vaccine development, are joining forces on creating a coronavirus vaccine, the companies announced Tuesday.

Sanofi launched the project in February; what’s new is GSK’s contribution of an adjuvant — a substance that is added to a vaccine to enhance people’s immune responses.

Image: JOSEPH N. DISTEFANO

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Iceland has 364,000 inhabitants. Currently, roughly 10% of them are aware of whether or not they have COVID-19. This is due to a massive undertaking by Kári Stefánsson, MD, Dr. Med., the co-founder, president, and CEO of deCODE genetics—a population genetics powerhouse that has routinely produced new discoveries in fields such as genomic architecture, cancer genetics, and mental illness. Now, deCODE has combined the most intensive targeted testing and general screening of any population to date for SARS-CoV-2.

 

2020 BioHealth Capital Region Forum Planning Committee Update

We hope you and your families are well. This is a reminder that due to COVID19 the BioHealth Capital Region Forum, originally scheduled to take place this week, April 14th and 15th at AstraZeneca, has been postponed. 

We are looking into combining the BioHealth Capital Region Forum with the BioHealth Capital Region Investment Conference which tentatively will be held between October 19th and 21st, 2020. We will advise you of our future direction on these events as soon as we develop our path forward. Please save these dates until we finalize the details as we hope to have an in-person event at that time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

- BioHealth Capital Region Forum Planning Committee

Montgomery County wants to spur medical manufacturing to fight coronavirus Washington Business Journal

The coronavirus outbreak has required all manner of businesses and government agencies to turn on a dime and think creatively — and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. is no exception with its new effort to spur medical manufacturing.

In normal times, the EDC focuses primarily on attracting and retaining businesses in the Maryland suburb. But as a global pandemic roils the economy, many companies are simply struggling to survive, not eyeing new office space or a splashy relocation.

Image: Ben Wu, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, is leading an effort to create a new "manufacturing ecosystem" for medical equipment in the county. EMAN MOHAMMED

Maryland Commerce releases FY19 annual report Maryland Business News

There are numerous local and national programs for businesses in need of emergency support, but understanding which options are relevant for your organization can be a challenge.

The Maryland Business Relief Wizard is a tool that helps connect businesses with the resources and programming for which they’re eligible, streamlining the process of finding support.

 

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Biopharma companies are attacking the COVID-19 pandemic from many fronts. Emergent BioSolutions is among those leading the fight. The company has a proven track record, partners and extensive networks to advance vaccines or therapeutics quickly toward trials.

Emergent BioSolutions supplies the Strategic National Stockpile with vaccines against anthrax and smallpox, and treatments against anthrax, botulism and smallpox vaccine complications. Its pipeline includes vaccines against Chikungunya and anthrax (again), treatments targeting Zika and Influenza A, and now, COVID-19.

Image: https://www.biospace.com

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The genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was published on 11 January 2020, triggering intense global R&D activity to develop a vaccine against the disease. The scale of the humanitarian and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is driving evaluation of next-generation vaccine technology platforms through novel paradigms to accelerate development, and the first COVID-19 vaccine candidate entered human clinical testing with unprecedented rapidity on 16 March 2020.

 

Dr Fauci We need to put our foot on the accelerator to see an end to COVID 19 pandemic fox8 com

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Even though he says the worst is yet to come, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has seen signs of progress in the country’s fight against the coronavirus.

“The next week we’re going to see a spike in deaths throughout the country, particularly in the hot spot areas like New York, but simultaneously with that, we’re starting to see some cautiously optimistic type signs,” Fauci said.

Image: https://fox8.com

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Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels shared a message with the university community today. The full text of the message is below.

Dear Johns Hopkins Faculty, Students, and Staff:

It has been a long and nerve-wracking month since we began to fully prepare for, and mitigate the impact of, the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19. Our colleagues from the Bloomberg School of Public Health remind us that we are still likely a few weeks from the peak of the pandemic in Maryland. For the foreseeable future, we will remain under significant strain as we respond in ways that run counter to our normal course of action and to our community's innate desire to connect in person with each other.

Image: https://president.jhu.edu/

Homepage emocha Mobile Health Inc

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, emocha Mobile Health has implemented a remote monitoring service powered by human engagement to support health systems including Johns Hopkins Medicine and LifeBridge Health-affiliated hospitals. emocha uses short, asynchronous video check-ins to identify, track, and manage symptoms of healthcare professionals who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and ensuring their safety and availability is critical. The virus is spreading rapidly across the globe with more than 35,350 confirmed cases in the United States as of March 23. As a result, this highly infectious and novel disease requires strategies to protect the public’s health and to slow the rate of transmission.

 

PathSensors Inc Announced the Development of a SARS CoV 2 Biosensor PathSensors

BALTIMORE, MD March 24, 2020 – PathSensors Inc, a Baltimore biotechnology company, announced today that they are developing a CANARY ™ biosensor to detect the Novel SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent for the coronavirus disease COVID–19. The biosensor will be available for research purposes in May 2020 and validation data on the new SARS-CoV-2 product will be available June 2020.

CANARY ™ technology provides a unique opportunity to reduce the impending public health impact of COVID-19 with rapid results and high specificity. The initial application for this PathSensors product will be for testing of environmental swabs and air monitoring in sensitive spaces such as hospitals, offices, food services, etc. PathSensors will continue to advance the assay’s capabilities as the novel virus is further characterized. As the SARS-CoV-2 biosensor is commercialized, PathSensors expects new uses to emerge, such as rapid specimen screening.

 

Aphena Pharma Solutions Logo

BALTIMORE, MD (April 13, 2020) – Aphena Pharma Solutions, an industry leading organization that provides packaging and manufacturing solutions for the medical industry, is planning to expand its pharmaceutical manufacturing operations in the Town of Easton. The company, which currently operates within a 110,000 square foot facility at 7978 Industrial Park Road, is purchasing an additional 54,000 square foot facility adjacent to its existing location. Building renovations and the installation of new equipment is expected to begin this year, with an estimated completion time of December 2020. Aphena currently employs 150 full-time workers and plans to add an additional 100 jobs in Talbot County over the next two years.

 

ITI Forms Collaboration with EpiVax PharmaJet to Develop Novel Vaccine Candidate Against COVID 19 Using Its Investigational UNITE Platform Immunomic Therapeutics

ROCKVILLE, Md. & PROVIDENCE, R.I. & GOLDEN, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today that it is developing a nucleic acid vaccine candidate against COVID-19 leveraging its investigational UNITE platform for prevention of the novel coronavirus disease caused by SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus. Immunomic will work with leaders from EpiVax and PharmaJet, who have a wealth of immunology and vaccine delivery expertise, to rapidly develop its COVID-19 vaccine. Immunomic’s UNITE platform has been widely applied to create vaccine candidates for rabies, yellow fever, dengue fever, hepatitis C and SARS, a relative to the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.

 

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This is the second post of the “Epidemic Modeling” series. We will be building up on our discussion from the first post, “Epidemic Modeling 101: Or why your CoVID-19 exponential fits are wrong”, so you might want to start reading there. You can find the notebooks I wrote to implement the models and generate the figures over at the GitHub repository I made specifically for this series:

Image: https://medium.com

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS)

CHILDREN’S NATIONAL Hospital, one of the country's leading pediatric medical centers, is prepared to accept adult patients after expanding its admission criteria for the first time in history to bolster the D.C. region’s hospital capacity during the coronavirus crisis.

In the event that regional hospitals see a surge of adult patients, Children's National will accept patients under 30 years old who are showing respiratory symptoms and who may or may not have tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson tells U.S. News. The pediatric hospital, which opened in 1870, will also admit patients in their 20s with cancer or sickle cell disease if other area hospitals become concerned about capacity during a surge.

 

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), an S&P 500® urban office REIT, is the first and longest-tenured owner, operator, and developer uniquely focused on collaborative life science, technology and agtech campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle. Alexandria has a longstanding and proven track record of developing Class A properties clustered in life science, technology, and agtech campuses that provide our innovative tenants with highly dynamic and collaborative environments that enhance their ability to successfully recruit and retain world-class talent and inspire productivity, efficiency, creativity, and success. For more information, please visit www.are.com.

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One of the most common questions that people search about hashtag#coronavirus is how long it lives on surface. Part of the hashtag#healthcommunication and hashtag#healthliteracy is presenting complicated information in different ways. Kudos to my WebMD colleagues for this inforgraphic

 

28 David Rubenstein Interviews Economic Experts on COVID 19 YouTube

The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. hosted its fifth virtual event on April 8, 2020. Club President David Rubenstein interviewed economic experts on the state of the economy and the financial forecast. In addition, they discussed the current U.S. and global economy, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Federal Reserve’s response to the pandemic, and the way forward post COVID-19. Additionally, Dr. Kurt Newman provided a medical update on the evolving virus. The interview took place in three segments.

 

3 lessons from Children s National Hospital on rapidly setting up drive thru COVID 19 testing FierceHealthcare

Just as many schools around the nation began shuttering for the year last month due to the pandemic, top officials at Children's National Hospital were quickly mounting their own response to address COVID-19 concerns among kids. 

"We heard from our pediatricians in late February, early March that they were very worried about what they were seeing in the community," said Children's National Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Gorman during a virtual roundtable with FierceHealthcare this week.

Image: Here's a look at the advice Children's National had to offer other hospitals about lessons learned from standing up a drive-thru specimen collection site within one week. (Children's National Health System)

Women s Venture Competition AIM HI

The AIM-HI Accelerator Fund’s Women’s Venture Competition is a high-profile initiative among women-led oncology start-up companies or venture teams aspiring to soon establish such firms, in which all participants are offered access to intensive accelerator boot-camp programming by one of the world’s most renowned women entrepreneur accelerator and business training service providers, Springboard Enterprises, and—subject to due diligence and negotiation—the winning business will receive up to $300,000 in AIM-HI investment.

 

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COVID-19 wasn’t about to stop the important work being done to meet the large unmet need for pediatric medical devices among patients younger than 18. NCC-PDI’s annual “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” pitch competition moved to a 100% virtual event format to keep pediatric medical device innovation moving forward while complying with social distancing recommendations that will help to flatten the curve.

In late March, 30 outstanding companies pitched their pediatric device innovations in cardiovascular, orthopedic, spine and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) devices — areas where the need is greatest  — to judges in a virtual meeting room setting. 

Image: https://biobuzz.io

JP Morgan Logo

Just three months ago, thousands of biotech types blotted out the streets of San Francisco for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, four days of crowded rooms, overstuffed bars, and double-booked meetings. Today, with the coronavirus forcing the industry to interact via videoconference, that kind of physical proximity is difficult to imagine. And it might still be unsafe by the time JPM 2021 rolls around.

 

Men s White Dress Shirt Free Stock Photo

A new coronavirus was spreading in the U.S., and with social distancing orders going into place, talk immediately turned to finding a treatment that could stop the spread. In Maryland, companies jumped into action. Work began on a vaccine at Gaithersburg-based Novavax, and the company partnered with Emergent Biosolutions on initial development and manufacturing. Gaithersburg’s Altimmune is also developing a vaccine, and announced plans last week for a preclinical testing collaboration with the University of Alabama Birmingham.

 

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Rockville, Md. — In a greater effort to ensure that the Maryland National Capital Region can emerge as quickly as possible from the expected economic hardships of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) announced today that it has joined with its state peers in the Greater Washington metropolitan area to form a regional alliance to support an economic recovery. 

A Joint Statement of collaboration formalizing the Maryland National Capital Region Economic Development Alliance (MNCREDA) was signed virtually by the leaders of the economic development organizations representing six counties. The Joint Statement document and a photo of its virtual signing are attached. 

Image: https://thinkmoco.com

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Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller warns a pandemic of fear could tip the economy into an undeserved depression.

Shiller, an expert in how our emotions drive financial decisions, finds the sheer volume of chatter surrounding depression risks due to the coronavirus could severely hurt the economy.

Image: https://www.cnbc.com

These 8 maps show the massive drop in smog caused by the coronavirus

As streets have emptied of traffic during the coronavirus crisis and airlines have cut flights, the changes have temporarily helped another public health crisis—air pollution. In the Northeastern U.S., nitrogen dioxide pollution (the air pollution caused  by internal combustion engines burning fossil fuels) fell 30% in March as lockdowns began. Los Angeles’s usual smog has nearly disappeared. The same pattern happened earlier in China and Italy as mobility slowed, factories shut down, and hazy skies cleared.

Image: These maps show the air pollution levels in late March 2019 and the late March 2020. Map: courtesy Descartes Labs

The 6 feet office is designed for work after COVID 19

It’s hard to imagine now—as most of us are reading this in quarantine, with our feet propped on Costco boxes of spaghetti noodles—but we will one day have to go back to our offices. COVID-19 won’t be eradicated, and not everyone will be immune. But we’ll still be expected to sit at a desk and work. So how will work…work?

Image: courtesy Cushman & Wakefield

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K.J. Seung is surprised to be hiring and training new workers in Boston.

His public health nonprofit, Partners in Health, specializes in helping the poorest people in developing nations — tracking down contacts of Ebola patients in Liberia and Sierra Leone; running child health and HIV clinics in Haiti; and operating tuberculosis control programs in Peru. But now it is advertising for 500 people to help do what’s known as contact tracing to try to control Covid-19 in Massachusetts.

Image: Riders on the New York City subway last week wear personal protective equipment. JOHN MINCHILLO/AP

The Newest Normal The Six Pivots for Economic Skills Investment Resilient Strategies LinkedIn

First went the energy sector, second the stock-market, then the health-pandemic outbreak, soon flood and storm season return. These persistent shock waves of challenges and disasters do not allow for economies, companies, institutions nor individuals to absorb much less pause operationally, financially, nor emotionally. The "New Normal" is survival - not of the fittest but of those able to pivot their strategies and visions the fastest. Here are six economic, skill, and investment resilient strategies for the 21st Century Pivot. (And yes, you and your team have little time to conduct the typical whiteboard session, report preparation, spreadsheet development because The Pivot is now!)

 

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The COVID-19 crisis has put millions of small business jobs at risk. These small businesses are experiencing a near-fatal cash crunch as they struggle to keep their doors open and jobs intact. These next few critical weeks will impact millions of jobs. 

The non-profit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Virginia-based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance (within maximum three days) to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees and save jobs while they await recently approved federal funding. 

The Virginia 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. All we ask in return: if you can, pay it forward. 

 

Danaher raises 825M to pay down debts days after closing acquisition of GE s biopharma business Washington Business Journal

Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR), the massive D.C. conglomerate of industrial and commercial manufacturers, said Wednesday it has raised $753.7 million euros, or the equivalent of $825.3 million, through the issuance of new shares and will use proceeds to pay off debts, according to a Securities and Exchange commission filing.

The raise was disclosed just days after Danaher finally closed its $21.4 billion acquisition of the biopharma business of General Electric Co.’s life sciences division. Danaher announced its intent to purchase the business in February 2019, and the deal necessitated regulatory approvals in several countries and a substantial stock sale to finance the acquisition.

Image: Danaher Corp. closed its $21.4 billion acquisition of GE's biopharma business March 31. IGOR GOLOVNIOV