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Brett Shealy, Executive Director of the Life Sciences Banking Team with J.P.Morgan, joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk to discuss his Career, BioHealth Investment, and the upcoming 2022 BioHealth Capital Region Forum/Investment Conference/Crab Trap.

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Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children's National Hospital, has spent 11 years in the role.

The first time Kurt Newman walked into the Children’s National Hospital atrium as a thirtysomething surgical fellow in 1984, he felt like he was home. He didn’t want to leave.

Nearly four decades later, Newman is announcing his retirement as the D.C. pediatric hospital’s president and CEO.

Image: Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children's National Hospital, has spent 11 years in the role. EMAN MOHAMMED

Cursor and Equity Incubator Fall 22 Flyer

Thank you for your interest in joining the Entrepreneurship Lab Equity Incubator at the Universities at Shady Grove! We will be accepting teams and individuals. You may apply individually, although we recommend having at least one other team member.

For this program, we are inviting individuals who identify with a gender, racial/ethnic, or other identity which, historically has not been dominant in receiving entrepreneurship support. We do this because we aim to create a collaborative, diverse cohort of entrepreneurs that can contribute unique perspectives in a supportive environment as we foster new venture formation and growth.

Download the PDF

Click here to learn more.


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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that it has dosed the first participant in its Phase 1 study evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of EBS-LASV, a recombinant VSV-vectored Lassa virus vaccine candidate being developed for prevention of disease caused by Lassa virus infection. Emergent and CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) are co-funding this program.

“Over the last 24 years, Emergent’s mission to protect and enhance life and commitment to help mitigate public health threats have remained unchanged,” said Kelly Warfield, Ph.D., SVP for research and development at Emergent BioSolutions. “We are proud to deploy our product development and partnering capabilities to address emerging infectious diseases like Lassa fever, for which there is currently no approved vaccine or therapeutic, and to advance our pipeline for patients.”

  • The competition nurtures young scientists around the globe
  • QIAGEN-Verogen generously donated a combined instrument and reagents prize package worth up to $ 60,000
  • Three young forensic scientists have been recognized for work in human identification (HID) and forensics

Germantown, Maryland, and Hilden, Germany, September 5, 2022 -- QIAGEN today announced the winners of its second Young Investigator Awards (YIA). The winner and two runners-up were recognized for their outstanding scientific work using next-generation sequencing (NGS) in human identification (HID). The competition encourages and supports new generations of forensic scientists who show potential to make a lasting impact on human identity and forensics. The three finalists were honored during the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) Congress in Washington D.C.

The 2022 Young Investigator Award went to Maria Martin Agudo, a PhD candidate at the Department of Forensic Sciences (Forensic Genetics Research Group), Oslo University Hospital in Norway. Haley Omeasoo from The University of Montana, USA and Chiara Fantinato from the Department of Forensic Sciences, Oslo University Hospital, Norway, were the two runners-up. All three finalists received all-inclusive invitations to the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) Congress.

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GENOME WEB, CHICAGO, IL, September 1, 2022 - - After nine years in business, precision medicine company AMPEL BioSolutions is broadening its market from pharmaceutical companies to healthcare providers and their patients.

This summer, the firm had an early-access release of a series of gene expression tests coupled with analysis and clinical decision support, starting with LuGene®, a blood test for systemic lupus erythematosus, and DermaGene®, a skin biopsy test to differentiate between several dermatological conditions including psoriasis, scleroderma, and atopic dermatitis.


The Richmond region has won a $52.9 million federal grant to create a hub for research and advanced manufacturing of essential medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients.

The White House announced the grant to the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority on Friday. It is among 21 projects that will receive grants from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, using a $1 billion fund created under the American Rescue Plan Act to generate economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities that need them.

The grant will support six projects in the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Pharmaceutical Cluster, an initiative aimed at bringing new manufacturing opportunities to Petersburg, supporting research at the Virginia Bio + Tech Park in Richmond and boosting work by the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University to build a national supply of essential medicines.

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Nvidia's Cambridge-1 is expected to come online before the end of the year as the most powerful supercomputer in the U.K. and the 29th fastest in the world. GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are slated as the first to receive access. (Nvidia)

Through a new partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and the U.K.’s National Health Service, the chip maker Nvidia plans to build Great Britain’s most powerful supercomputer—and dedicate its use to artificial intelligence research in healthcare.

Dubbed Cambridge-1, the machine is designed to deliver 400 petaflops of performance, or 400 quadrillion floating-point calculations per second.

When presented with dense systems of linear equations used in AI—such as simulations of molecular models and chemical interactions among potential drug compounds—it is expected to provide 8 petaflops of supercomputing power, ranking it number 29 on the list of the world’s fastest.

Image: Nvidia's Cambridge-1 is expected to come online before the end of the year as the most powerful supercomputer in the U.K. and the 29th fastest in the world. GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are slated as the first to receive access. (Nvidia)

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Startup founders and investors are looking at what could be a murky investment outlook over the next few months or quarters. Slowing markets, rising interest rates and turmoil abroad has caused fluctuation in the markets. While the tech sector may continue providing growth opportunity long term, the near term may also be volatile enough that many founders and investors might be forced to take a different path than originally planned.


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DURHAM, N.H.—Angel investors—wealthy individuals who provide essential funds for start-ups—often invest under conditions of extreme uncertainty. While their funds can be vital to early-stage ventures, researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that angels’ egos can play a significant role in their investment decisions—the bigger the ego, the larger and more diverse the deal and the lower the number of co-investors.


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RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, August 31, 2022 / -- Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), today announced an investment in Manassas, Va.-based Jeeva. Jeeva provides a scalable eClinical Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that helps sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) accelerate flexible clinical operations while minimizing burden on site staff and patients. Jeeva will use this investment towards commercialization of the SaaS platform to accelerate therapy development for therapeutic areas such as rare diseases, immunology, and oncology in the U.S. and in emerging markets such as Latin America and India, where the company has recently established strategic partnerships.


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In about 30 days, one of the longest running and most successful small business programs will expire.

The House will have 14 days in September with votes scheduled to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program when it returns to Washington, D.C. after Labor Day. Meanwhile, the Senate reconvenes on Sept. 6 and doesn’t spell out how many days it plans to be in D.C. and voting on bills.

To be sure, the fate of the SBIR program hangs in the balance of what Congress can do by Sept. 30.


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Emergent BioSolutions is set to add the only FDA-approved smallpox vaccine to its portfolio through a $125 million deal with vaccine giant Sanofi Pasteur.

The agreement means Emergent will inherit an existing CDC contract to build the national stockpile. That 10-year, $425 million contract has around $160 million left to be fulfilled before it ends in 2018. Emergent expects to negotiate a multiyear renewal as part of its involvement in the U.S. government’s counter-bioterrorism effort.


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The past few years in the biotech industry have been filled with challenges and promise.

From the rapid and successful deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine and the explosion of the cell and gene therapy sector to a hiring boom, remarkable advances in tissue engineering and strong biomanufacturing growth, the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) has played a pivotal role in it all.

To say a lot has changed is the understatement of the century. The question remains, however: Where is the BHCR headed?

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Since BHI's founding in 2011, the organization has had many interns come through the doors in support of Analytics, Marketing, Communications, Social Media, Business, Legal, Accounting, and more.

BHI wanted to give an update on some names you may remember if you worked with us over the years.

Click here to download the PDF.

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Crab Trap Judges and Sponsors, Sally Allain, MSc., MBA Head, JLABS @ Washington, DC Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, Srujana Cherukuri, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Noble Life Sciences, Inc. & Lora Green, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, join Rich Bendis on BioTalk to preview the event taking place live on September 21st, 2022 at USP in Rockville. For the first time in its history, this year’s Crab Trap winner will be eligible for a package of prizes worth more than $50,000.

Prizes for the qualifying Crab Trap winner include:

  • A $10,000 cash prize from Wilson Sonsini
  • A $5,000 cash from Montgomery County (for a firm headquartered in Montgomery County)
  • A one-year residency at JLABS @ Washington, D.C.
  • Preclinical CRO services from Noble Life Sciences.

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Pioneering life science projects focused on improving pediatric care will be on display at the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus when the hospital hosts its 2022 Innovation Day on Friday, August 26. Hosted by Children’s National Innovation Ventures, the program’s goal is to showcase life sciences and healthcare projects that are mature enough to look for a co-developer, strategic partner, investor or licensing vehicle.

“For us, a successful Innovation Day means we are able to match these entrepreneurs with the strategic partner they need at this stage of their device development journey,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., M.B.A., P.M.P., vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Hospital and executive director of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.


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ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland programs funded by the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) are open. Up to $198 million in federal small business relief is being administered by three state agencies: the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). These agencies will use funds to expand and enhance nine existing state business lending and investment programs.



Who doesn’t like a rooftop networking social? If you’re a fellow University of Virginia Darden School of Business alum and plan to attend our Alumni Weekend, join us on Saturday. See details, below.


Pascal Claude Roland Soriot
23 May 1959 (age 63)
France - Wikipedia

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot raised questions Tuesday about the company’s future in vaccines while hinting at potential M&A activity on the near horizon.

In an interview with Reuters, Soriot discussed the company's plans, which he said include building on its portfolio of antibody therapies. AstraZeneca is also considering bolt-on acquisitions in oncology and cardiovascular areas, Soriot said.

Getting out of the COVID-19 Vaccine Business?

Overall, in the COVID-19 space, the company has shifted its resources to antibody therapies.

Image: Pascal Claude Roland Soriot - 23 May 1959 (age 63) France - Wikipedia

Mon, Aug 22, 2022

HCV envelope-antibody interaction

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) awarded a $6.9 million grant to researchers at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) to design a vaccine to combat the virus that causes Hepatitis C, an illness that affects an estimated 71 million people worldwide.  Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) puts people at heightened risk for severe liver disease, including fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).  Although treatments are available, an HCV vaccine currently does not exist to help prevent infections and reduce the global burden of the disease.

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab lands Pentagon RDT E contract worth up to 10 6B

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has been awarded a contract for research, development, test and evaluation of military-related technology that could be worth up to $10.6 billion, the Defense Department announced Monday.

The lab, based in Laurel, Maryland, was awarded a $4.4 billion cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for RDT&E programs throughout the DOD that fall “within its core competency areas including strategic systems test and evaluation; submarine security and survivability; space science and engineering; combat systems and guided missiles; air and missile defense and power projection; information technology, simulation, modeling, and operations analysis; and mission related research, development, test and evaluation,” according to the DOD contract award announcement.

Image: Photo of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab's Kossiakoff Center. (Photo courtesy of JHU-APL)

Cytimmune Sciences dual cytokine immunotherapy

Novel Nanotechnology Supercharges Immune System Molecules to Fight Cancer

Researchers from Cytimmune Sciences presented new data at a cancer therapeutics conference in Boston, MA demonstrating the potential of their nanoparticle-based platform to supercharge synergistic immune system stimulators called cytokines.


  • Data focused on industry leading, first-in-class, multi-cytokine immunotherapies
  • CYT-IFNg-TNFa (A dual cytokine immunotherapy nanomedicine)
    • 100x increase in direct cancer cell killing potency vs native cytokines
    • 30x increase in cytokine accumulation in tumor tissue
    • Induction of a cancer specific immune response after treatment
  • Other novel cytokine-based immunotherapies
    • Introduction of nanomedicines including combinations of IL-12, IL-2, IL-15 & IL-1b
    • 175x increase in potency of IL-12 presented on nanoparticles vs. native IL-12
  • CYT-6091 (high dose TNF alpha)
    • Unpublished preclinical data showing CYT-6091 induces cytotoxic T-Cell tumor infiltration
    • Phase 1 clinical safety data and preclinical mechanism of action data

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Deloitte Consulting remained atop Modern Healthcare’s annual ranking of the largest healthcare management consulting firms based in the US.

Deloitte US’ sizable healthcare consulting practice realized $2.698 billion in revenue in 2021, with $962.8 million coming from healthcare providers.

Guidehouse jumped from third place 2020 to second place in 2021, achieving $970 million in healthcare consulting revenue, with approximately half from providers. The firm was boosted a significant industry acquisition in 2021, adding Dovel, an 1,800-person IT consultancy with a focus on health IT, life sciences, and public safety.



Intralytix receives Phase II Fast Track NIH SBIR contract to continue development of a universal, scale-independent AI-based platform for manufacturing high titer bacteriophage preparations for clinical applications.

Columbia, Maryland, USA. – August 22, 2022 – Intralytix, Inc. announced today that it has received a Phase II contract in the amount of $1,498,045. This contract is made through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)  program from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This project is the continuation of a successfully completed NIAID-funded Phase I contract (see Intralytix, Inc.) and will further leverage Intralytix’s existing proprietary PhageSelector™ program, big data, and manufacturing know-how along with machine learning to advance an artificial intelligence (AI)-based universal manufacturing platform, the PhageEngine™, to deliver methods for producing high titer, high quality bacteriophage preparations suitable for clinical applications. Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze, President and CEO of Intralytix and the Principal Investigator of the SBIR contract, commented, "We are very pleased to further extend this work with support from NIH after successfully competing Phase I of the project. The resulting technology will significantly increase Intralytix’s capabilities as well as help advance the phage biocontrol and phage therapy fields in general and will ultimately have a very significant positive impact on public health. We look forward to continuing this important project in collaboration with NIH. "


Tonix Pharmaceuticals, a company that has a research lab in Frederick, is developing a vaccine to prepare for a future where the monkeypox virus is endemic outside of Africa.

To do that, the company is looking more than 200 years in the past.

The base infrastructure that Tonix researchers use to design vaccines for infectious diseases is based on a virus called horsepox. That’s the same virus Dr. Edward Jenner used when he started developing the first smallpox vaccine in 1796.

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After getting smallpox vaccine ACAM2000 from Sanofi and an anthrax treatment called raxibacumab from GlaxoSmithKline, Emergent BioSolutions is buying again, this time an entire company: PaxVax.

In an all-cash deal worth $270 million, Maryland-based Emergent, a vaccine company that has focused on biodefense, will buy California-headquartered specialty vaccine maker PaxVax, which also has close ties with the government.


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Congress has approved a new agency — the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) — that will ‘supercharge’ breakthrough medical research and provide over $1 billion in new research funding.

A fight has broken out, however, over ARPA-H’s headquarters’ location. The Maryland congressional delegation is working to locate it in state, but when a majority in Congress senses a chance to put a prestigious scientific headquarters in their home districts, Maryland likely will not win this battle.


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Emergent BioSolutions is mobilizing its M&A war chest again. Hard on the heels of its $270 million deal for vaccine expert PaxVax, the frequent government contractor is buying Adapt Pharma and its opioid overdose-reversing drug Narcan.

The Maryland-based firm is paying $635 million upfront and up to $100 million for potential sales-based milestones through 2022. Narcan, the only FDA-approved nasal spray of naloxone, has been on the market since 2016. Emergent  estimates the drug will contribute $200 million to $220 million to the company’s top line in 2019. In addition to Narcan and an opioid overdose-focused pipeline, about 50 Adapt employees will come aboard Emergent.


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We just released 8 new high priority funding opportunities where your company can make a difference in meeting the needs of cancer patients… Please see the solicitation and join our webinar on August 24th….


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SEATTLE, Aug. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AGC Biologics, a leading global Biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), announced today a strategic partnership with RoosterBio Inc., a leading supplier of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs), highly engineered media, and bioprocess development services.

The partnership creates an end-to-end solution for the development and production of hMSC and exosome therapeutics leveraging RoosterBio’s well-established cell and media products and process development services, coupled with AGC Biologics’ global cell and gene therapy manufacturing capabilities.


The Washington, D.C./Baltimore region continued to see a tightening in its life sciences real estate market.

In particular, the region saw a decrease in life sciences vacancy in the second quarter of 2022, dropping from 3.6 percent to 1.4 percent since last year, according to CBRE’s latest national life sciences report.