Investment in Maryland’s life sciences community is heating up only a few months into 2024. From new market launches to expanded production capabilities to increased office space, the past month has seen a flurry of good news across the industry.

Bert Vogelstein , a Johns Hopkins professor of oncology, has launched a new business named Clasp Therapeutics with help from $150 million in funding. Vogelstein has a history of launching successful cancer-focused companies in Baltimore, including Haystack Oncology and Thrive Earlier Detection. The BBJ reports his previous ventures focused on cancer diagnostics , while Clasp Therapeutics will target cancer treatment. The company will have biomanufacturing operations and office space in Rockville.


ROCKVILLE, Md., April 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- NeoImmuneTech, Inc. (KOSDAQ: 950220), announced that Luke Oh, Ph.D. has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NeoImmuneTech, Inc. (NIT or "NeoImmuneTech"), effective from March 29, 2024 (EDT).

Having joined the company as President in January 2024, Dr. Oh now succeeds Dr. Se Hwan Yang, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer of NeoImmuneTech, Inc. In his new role, Dr. Oh will lead NeoImmuneTech from its Rockville headquarters and overview all the operations in Korea.


WASHINGTONApril 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (Nasdaq: VNDA) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Fanapt® (iloperidone) tablets for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adults. Fanapt® is an atypical antipsychotic agent that has been used for the acute treatment of patients with schizophrenia since its FDA approval in 2009.

"Manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder are highly complex conditions, which require a host of trusted options to meet individual patient needs. With over 100,000 patient years of experience, Fanapt is a familiar therapeutic agent that offers flexible dosing with a well-known safety profile. This FDA approval gives patients and service providers a new treatment option for managing bipolar I disorder," said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos M.D., Vanda's President, CEO and Chairman of the Board.


April 2, 2024, Frederick, Maryland — Kemp Proteins LLC, a leading provider of monoclonal antibody development and gene-to-protein services, announced today that the company has entered a Strategic Partnership with Columbia Biosciences of Frederick, Maryland. With a long history in manufacturing of fluorescent proteins and renowned excellence in protein conjugation, Columbia Biosciences uses its experience to select appropriate fluorophores and conjugation chemistries for target antibodies and proteins. Columbia’s technology is broadly applicable in the molecular tools and diagnostic space with applications in Flow Cytometry, Luminex, Western Blot/ELISA, Microscopy and High Throughput Screening. The combination of Kemp’s capability to develop and manufacture gram quantities of proteins and monoclonal antibodies for its clients, together with Columbia’s superior fluorescent conjugation, will provide a streamlined opportunity to generate client-directed, custom-tailored ready-to-use molecular tools manufactured under ISO13485:2016 compliant Quality Management Systems.


COLUMBIA, Md. (April 1, 2024) – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced a recent $50,000 Pre-Seed Builder Fund investment in LASARRUS, a medical device company dedicating to supporting Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients. TEDCO’s Pre-Seed Builder Fund is housed under TEDCO’s Social Impact Funds which were created to engage and invest in economically underserved founders and communities.

“With our innovative device, we are looking to bring current monitoring practices for COPD patients to a new level,” said Lloyd Emokpae, co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer of LASARRUS. “Thanks to TEDCO’s investment we can accelerate our mission to enhance care for COPD patients and ultimately support more COPD patients across Maryland and beyond.”


A globally recognized physician-scientist who studies and treats blood cancer is joining Virginia Tech to lead cancer research in Washington, D.C., said Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology and executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

Christopher Hourigan, a senior investigator and chief of the Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies at the National Institutes of Health, will join Virginia Tech as a professor with the institute and director of its Cancer Research Center in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Hourigan exemplifies the prototype of a physician-scientist, integrating insights from his patient interactions directly into his fundamental and translational laboratory research,” Friedlander said. “We are extremely enthusiastic to have him join Virginia Tech and become a member of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute team to take on this important new leadership role for our growing cancer research programs in Washington, D.C., and to further strengthen our collaborations with Carilion Clinic, Children’s National Hospital, and other health systems and universities.


ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 1, 2024 - BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is delighted to present a compelling episode on its podcast, BioTalk with Rich Bendis, titled "Transforming Healthcare: Insights from John Sackett, Adventist Healthcare COO on BioTalk." In this captivating episode, John Sackett, Executive Vice President & COO of Adventist Healthcare, shares his extraordinary journey and invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of healthcare delivery, all while managing cystic fibrosis.

John Sackett's story is one of resilience, leadership, and innovation. From his early days as an administrative assistant to his current role as Executive Vice President & COO of Adventist Healthcare, John has demonstrated unwavering dedication to improving healthcare outcomes in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR). Despite the challenges posed by cystic fibrosis, a chronic and life-threatening genetic disease, John has thrived professionally and emerged as an inspirational figure, defying the odds and becoming a beacon of hope for others.

In this episode, John candidly discusses his personal journey of managing cystic fibrosis while excelling in his career. His story sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals living with chronic illnesses and underscores the importance of resilience, innovation, and patient-centered care in healthcare delivery.

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Venture financing for Maryland’s life sciences industry in 2023 shows signs of recovery following the significant downturn in 2022, with the total value of private equity financing reaching USD 805m (up from USD 639m in 2022). For the biotech industry, the value of venture financing deals remained stable (USD 453m in 2022 vs. USD 451m in 2023), while the number of funding rounds increased by nearly half (26 rounds in 2022 vs. 38 rounds in 2023).

Among Maryland-based companies that went public in 2023, YS Biopharma led the way with a SPAC merger raising gross proceeds of USD 36m, followed by the IPOs of MIRA Pharmaceuticals (USD 8.9m) and Bullfrog AI Holdings (USD 8.4m). The two largest private equity financing rounds for biotech companies were raised by Georgiamune Inc. with a Series A round of USD 75m and ManaT Bio with a financing round of USD 72m.


LaunchPort welcomes CEO Samantha Scott and her team as the latest Residents to join the Baltimore Peninsula site.

JuneBrain Inc. ( offers accessible monitoring solutions for eye care and neurology. With approximately 1.3 billion individuals worldwide afflicted by conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), tracking the progression of these ailments often involves monitoring the retina. To address this need, JuneBrain has developed an AI-driven wearable eye-scanning device and SaaS platform. This innovation facilitates the detection of new disease activity and empowers clinicians to monitor disease progression and patient responses to treatment between clinical visits.


March 28, 2024, Baltimore, MD. – BioBuzz Networks and the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) – Chesapeake Bay Area (CBA) Chapter are pleased to announce the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. This MOU will enable both BioBuzz and ISPE-CBA to formally work together to help strengthen Maryland’s pharmaceutical and biotech industries by building a stronger, more connected community.

Both Biobuzz and ISPE-CBA provide important educational and networking opportunities for the large biopharma community that has grown in Maryland. In fact, the BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland / Virginia / Washington, D.C) is the third largest biopharma cluster in the United States. Working as ISPE-CBA’s official media partner, the partnership will enable BioBuzz to participate in each of ISPE-CBA’s many events, which include sustainability and other educational webinars and site tours, Women in Pharma®, Emerging Leader, and Student educational and networking initiatives, and numerous social events, as well as the Chapter’s annual conference, the Mid-Atlantic Science & Technology (MAST) Meeting, which provides a full day of education, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall for pharma/biotech companies and service providers alike to share their products, introduce their company, and raise their brand’s industry profile.  ISPE-CBA, based on this partnership, will enjoy continuous promotion on BioBuzz’ substantial online media network, with a reach of more than 400,000 viewers, and will enjoy an enhanced presence at BioBuzz’ many networking events held throughout Maryland each year.


Altimmune on Wednesday said its experimental drug helped patients shed weight but also minimized the loss of muscle mass in a midstage trial, a finding that could set it apart in a potentially crowded market.

Altimmune is one of several smaller biotech companies that are pushing to compete directly with Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in the growing weight loss drug space, or to get scooped up by larger drugmakers that can help bring their treatments to market.

The results are an early sign that the biotech company can address a major concern around those treatments, which have drawn unrelenting demand and investor interest over the last year.


Program performer teams to develop innovative ways for joints to heal themselves 

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced the Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis (NITRO) program’s five teams receiving awards to create and commercialize injectable and implantable regenerative therapies for osteoarthritis (OA). NITRO’s goal is to eradicate OA, a common and irreversible condition where bones and cartilage break down, and that often involves debilitating pain and loss of functional movement, and complex and costly reconstructive surgery.  


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – March 26, 2024 – AMPEL BioSolutions announces a breakthrough in personalized precision medicine that will revolutionize the way doctors manage the autoimmune disease Lupus.  Revealed in the peer-reviewed journal Genome Medicine and being made available to patients through a US follow-on study, the LuGENE® blood test forecasts patient flares and drug targets from gene expression utilizing predictive AI.

The LuGENE® lab test is now launching at several Lupus practices around the country including those in medical centers, concierge practices and healthcare systems as a practical decision support biomarker test that could greatly impact day-to-day healthcare for patients with Lupus.  The blood test predicts flares before they happen and provides specific information about a patient's disease abnormalities leading to symptoms, allowing physicians to make evidence-based decisions regarding therapy including whether a patient is stable on their current therapeutic regimen.  There are a million and a half lupus patients in the US that could benefit from LuGENE® by preventing unexpected flares and shortening the time to disease-controlling therapy.

Kory Bailey and Rich Tall

Join us in this episode of BioTalk with Rich Bendis as we delve into the Baltimore ecosystem with Kory Bailey, Chief Ecosystem Officer (CEO) of UpSurge Baltimore, a trailblazing organization dedicated to fostering equitable economic growth and innovation.

Kory Bailey brings over a decade of leadership experience from both early-stage startups and big tech. He has emerged as a thought leader on equitable economic growth and a champion for Baltimore's tech ecosystem. As the CEO of UpSurge Baltimore, Kory is spearheading the vision for Baltimore to become the first Equitech hub globally, pioneering a new model for American innovation.

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In this discussion, Kory unveils UpSurge Baltimore's mission: to cultivate a thriving tech ecosystem for innovators, founders, and talent by fostering culture and connectivity and mobilizing regional and national assets around Baltimore startups.

From exploring what drew him to Baltimore to discussing the evolution and unique aspects of UpSurge, Kory shares insights into the philanthropic landscape in Baltimore and initiatives like the Equitech Accelerator, Techstars, KHU, and CareFirst. He also delves into the primary challenges facing Baltimore and UpSurge's short-term goals focused on accountability, awareness, investment, and early-stage support.


COLUMBIA, Md. (March 20, 2024) – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced a recent $500,000 Maryland Equity Investment Fund (MEIF) investment in Innate Technologies, Inc. The MEIF – which is housed under TEDCO’s Venture Funds – was created to increase private equity and venture capital in Maryland, generate financial returns, and foster economic growth.

“Our goal at Innate Technologies is to provide a solution that will fill the current void in digital manufacturing practices – data integration,” said Shawn Springs, founder and CEO of Innate Technologies, Inc. “Thanks to TEDCO’s investment we can continue our mission to revolutionize manufacturing through data collaboration.”

Innate Technologies, Inc., headquartered in North Bethesda, Md., has a mission to deliver innovative software solutions for the digital manufacturing sector. Combining cutting-edge technology with industry expertise, they look to empower businesses by bridging the gap between sales and production teams, fostering smarter manufacturing practices.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & ROCKVILLE, Md.--()--Clasp Therapeutics, a biotechnology company bringing unparalleled precision to immuno-oncology using next-generation T cell engagers (TCEs), launched today with $150 million in financing.

The round was led by Catalio Capital Management, Third Rock Ventures and Novo Holdings, with participation from Vivo Capital, Cure Ventures, Blackbird BioVentures, Pictet Alternative Advisors, American Cancer Society’s Bright Edge and Alexandria Venture Investments. Clasp is developing modular TCEs tailored to each patient’s immune system that are directed to common oncogenic driver mutations, resulting in off-the-shelf, antibody-like medicines that can specifically target a wide variety of hard-to-treat tumor types.


Biotechnology company consolidates operations in business community and expects to employ over 50 engineers, scientists, quality-control professionals, and related positions

FREDERICK, Md., March 20, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- BioFactura, Inc. has signed a lease with St. John Properties, Inc. for 12,000 square feet of space at Riverside Tech Park, a 70-acre business community located in Frederick, Maryland. The biotechnology firm has occupied 5,520 square feet of space at 8435 Progress Drive in Riverside Technology Park since 2015 and this new requirement expands the company's presence to 17,520 square feet of space within the building. Danny Foit, Leasing Representative for St. John Properties represented the landlord.

The Precigen company logo from 2020

Germantown’s Precigen Inc., a clinical-stage biotech developing gene and cell therapies for cancers and other diseases, is taking steps to get an experimental treatment to regulators for review this year — which could pave the path for a market launch in 2025.

The 26-year-old Precigen (NASDAQ: PGEN) has been advancing an immunotherapy to treat a rare disease most common in kids called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP. It’s on track to wrap up a phase 2 clinical trial in the second quarter that, if successful, could set it up for the Food and Drug Administration’s signoff to get it to patients next year.



Anticipation is building for the pending decision on Baltimore’s Phase 2 Tech Hubs application to the US Economic Development Administration (EDA).

That energy was most recently demonstrated during a roundtable discussion on the region’s tech hub designation at Coppin State University (CSU) on Monday. The HBCU’s president Anthony L. Jenkins kicked off the Greater Baltimore Committee’s (GBC) event by welcoming dignitaries and leaders in Maryland’s public and private sector to CSU’s sprawling 38-acre campus along North Avenue in West Baltimore.


CEL-4000 may deliver safe and effective therapy for RA by rebalancing the inflammatory response, without weakening important immune defense mechanisms, risking infections or cancer, as current treatments may.

VIENNA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSE American: CVM) today announced the peer reviewed scientific journal Frontiers in Immunology published an article regarding CEL-SCI’s Ligand Epitope Antigen Presentation System (LEAPS) technology in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) titled: “Current status of immunological therapies for rheumatoid arthritis with a focus on antigen-specific therapeutic vaccines”. CEL-SCI’s LEAPS team, along with outside collaborators from U.S. and Europe, reviewed published/presented results from pre-clinical animal model of antigen-specific LEAPS therapeutic vaccines, such as CEL-4000 and CEL-5000, made specific for the treatment of RA, and compared these findings with published results of other RA-therapies that either suppress or alter the immune response in order to treat RA.
In the article, the authors note that the currently available therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of RA consists mainly of immunosuppressive or ablative drugs, which may carry the potential risk of facilitating recurrent or primary infectious diseases or cancer.

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Includes actinium-based clinical-stage radioconjugate targeting PSMA for prostate cancer, pipeline of radioconjugates and state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities

AstraZeneca has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation radioconjugates (RCs). The acquisition marks a major step forward in AstraZeneca delivering on its ambition to transform cancer treatment and outcomes for patients by replacing traditional regimens like chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more targeted treatments.


BALTIMORE, MD, March 19, 2024 –, CoapTech, Inc., a medical device company delivering transformative solutions for minimally-invasive surgery, announced today the market launch and historic first bedside use case of its second generation magnetic balloon catheter. The magnetic balloon catheter is a key component of the PUMA-G System™ which enables ultrasound placement of gastrostomy tubes (i.e. permanent feeding tubes), necessary to nourish patients to recovery. The PUMA-G System is manufactured in Baltimore in collaboration with The LaunchPort™.

This first bedside use case was completed in the critical care unit (better known as ICU) at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) and was performed by Darwin Ashbaker, MD, and Stephen Griffin, PA, on February 27, 2024.

John Sackett and Rich 250 x 600 px

Discover the Future of Healthcare with John Sackett, Executive Vice President & COO of Adventist Healthcare, on BioTalk with Rich Bendis.

In this episode, John Sackett shares his insights into the changing landscape of healthcare delivery. From his early days as an administrative assistant to his current role, John's journey offers invaluable lessons on leadership and innovation in the healthcare industry.

Join us as we explore Adventist Healthcare's role in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) and explore the transformative changes in healthcare delivery. Gain valuable insights into the challenges and innovations reshaping healthcare post-COVID and learn how Adventist Healthcare is leading the way in patient-centered care.

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In a candid and inspiring segment, John opens up about his personal journey of managing cystic fibrosis while excelling in his career. Discover the remarkable advancements in the treatment and life expectancy of CF patients, highlighting the power of innovation and resilience in overcoming adversity.

Don't miss this enlightening episode as we navigate the evolving landscape of BioHealth Innovation and the BHCR Region with John Sackett, a visionary leader shaping the future of healthcare.


Navigating the uncertain road of entrepreneurship

This year marks the year of the dragon in Chinese culture. The dragon symbolises nobility, good fortune, and vitality and presents a year of auspicious opportunities. Against the backdrop of 2023, I’d say this is a fortune well worth getting behind.

The past year has been difficult for most companies, but for business leaders it has meant summoning inner strength and resilience. If you’re an entrepreneur, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve taken an ambitious and courageous leap to launch and build a company during what has been a challenging economic climate for life sciences and biotech startups. The post-pandemic financial downturn saddled us with the impacts of inflation, volatile supply chains, and a stagnant venture funding environment. Research and developing innovation are a risky business even in the best financial conditions, so give yourself credit for tackling this important work during a time of uncertainty.


Amsterdam, March 15, 2024 – The government of the Netherlands has allocated €200 million from the country’s National Growth Fund for a public-private consortium that will conduct research into 'microbiomes' and economically interesting applications thereof. The funds, which will add to €150 million that the dozens of consortium members and partners themselves contribute, will support the activities of a national 'Holomicrobiome Institute' over the next ten years.

In the consortium, ten Dutch universities, five university-medical centers, four universities of applied sciences, and many other knowledge organizations work together with dozens of small and large companies (including MIMETAS) and societal organizations.


Dozens of life sciences startups and early-stage company companies are honing their pitch decks and looking to head to New York, the center of the financial world, for a one-day investor and partnering event in hopes of securing financial partnerships.

In May, Johnson & Johnson – JLABS will hold its third annual Investor & Partnering Day in New York City at the New York Genome Center, a non-profit hub for collaborative genomic research and the home of JLABS @ NYC. The partnering day offers participating companies multiple meetings with investor organizations to highlight their science & technology, expand their investor network, and potentially securing funding to support ongoing and future operations.

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MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zephyr AI, Inc. (“Zephyr AI”), a healthcare technology company committed to developing fast and explainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to democratize precision medicine, today announced it has successfully closed a $111 million Series A funding round with participation from Revolution Growth, Eli Lilly & Company, Jeff Skoll, and EPIQ Capital Group, among others. The company is developing improved data federation tools along with various machine learning algorithms in the areas of oncology and cardiometabolic disease.


ROCKVILLE, Md.March 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Expert Systems, a leader in AI-enabled drug discovery, proudly announces a significant milestone in partnership with Eilean Therapeutics LLC: the start of Phase 1 trial of balamenib (ZE63-0302), a highly selective inhibitor of the menin–KMT2A binding interaction, under the Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) scheme of the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA).

"Balamenib has a highly differentiated pre-clinical profile which indicates important advantages over molecules in the same class in safety, tolerability and feasibility of outpatient treatment," commented Bill Farley, CBO at Expert Systems. "We are proud that our comprehensive hybrid AI-based platform has helped accelerate the development of a new promising & safe treatment for AML."


By Sara Gilgore – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal - Rockville’s RegenxBio Inc. (NASDAQ: RGNX) has raised $140 million in a public offering, four months after making significant cuts to extend its cash runway.

The clinical-stage biotech, which is developing gene therapies for retinal and neurodegenerative diseases, closed the previously announced offering Monday, a company spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Business Journal.


Life science company working to develop ultrasonic bone fracture healing technology

 COLUMBIA, Md. (March 11, 2024) – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced a recent $200,000 Seed Funds investment in Sonogen Medical, a medical device company based in Maryland.

“Roughly eight percent of the seven million bone breaks annually in the United States fail to heal on their own. At Sonogen Medical, we are combining decades of experience to create a device that supports faster more efficient healing processes for patients,” said Jason Winder, CEO of Sonogen Medical. “Thanks to TEDCO’s investment we can continue our research and development efforts, propelling us towards an efficient, cost-effective solution.”



OSLO/LONDON, March 11, 2024 - An international consortium of researchers specialising in human challenge studies is embarking on a US$57 million project to develop advanced, virus-blocking coronavirus vaccines that could stop SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses from infecting people in the first place.

Led by Imperial College London and co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Programme and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the consortium of more than a dozen scientific teams and organisations will begin by running trials to select particular viruses and identify the best conditions under which to safely induce infection in healthy volunteers. A human challenge study is a carefully managed medical research study, during which volunteers are intentionally given an infection in a safe way, with healthcare support.


Hear from ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn, PhD and White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research Director Carolyn Mazure, PhD on the new $100M ARPA-H Sprint for Women’s Health Program and the White House plans, plus insights from WHAM Founder Carolee Lee and AMWA President Elizabeth Garner, MD. If you are an innovator, founder, funder, researcher or care about driving meaningful change in advancing the health of women, this event is for you!


There are more than 10,000 known rare diseases and only a few hundred have safe, effective treatments. ARPA-H’s latest project aims to change that and deliver hope and improved outcomes to millions of Americans.

Introducing MATRIX. Short for ML/AI-Aided Therapeutic Repurposing in eXtended uses, MATRIX intends to build a machine learning platform to rapidly pinpoint and validate existing medications to treat diseases that have no therapies.

• The platform will be open-sourced and include an interactive heatmap displaying predicted efficacy scores for approved drugs against other diseases.


Acquisition will create phage therapy company with an advanced pipeline with two Phase 2 assets, BX004 for the treatment of chronic pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis (“CF”) patients and BX211 for the treatment of diabetic foot osteomyelitis (“DFO”)

Concurrently with entering into the definitive merger agreement, BiomX entered into a definitive agreement for a private placement financing of $50 million that will be used to advance two lead product candidates through Phase 2 clinical readouts in 2025