Quantum AI

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Nanochon Ben

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

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

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

Gen Top 10 Alex Pete V2 400x225

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

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

Watch now by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV6YjIGdIhg

AURP Space Day

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

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

Download the PDF for more information.

SVB 2021 Report Cover

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


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


people talking around a dinner table.

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


Man looking through binocular 7P6WSVK

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

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

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


Metal detector as a hobby for a teenager MYHAYYC

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

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


Businesswoman supervising employee 3H8KJUE

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



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

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



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

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

Modern businesswoman YHF6LCJ

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

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


Adaptiva Phase Therapeutics Logo

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

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


Two peoople

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

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

Image: https://betakit.com

EDA Logo

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

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


Bioadvance Logo

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


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


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


Cursor and Notification Center

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

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


BHI Logo

Are you a biohealth start-up in Maryland, DC or Virginia seeking feedback on your biohealth business idea, pitch deck, or commercialization plan? Schedule your feedback session with BHI EIRs on one of the following dates. Pre-registration is required; Sign up here tinyurl.com/EIRfeedback

For questions/more information, contact BHI.


Businesswoman receiving award from businessman at TJCBDPE

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


Cartesian Logo

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


(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

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

Image: (Photo by Stephen Babcock)


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

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


Korean Delegation

On September 20th,  BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) hosted a delegation from KOSME, the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency.  Leading the overseas team was KOSME’s President, Dr. Hakdo Kim, who met with BHI board members, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and recorded a “BioTalk with Rich Bendis” podcast episode in which Dr. Kim discussed a new partnership with BHI and a Memorandum of Understanding KOSME signed with the State of Maryland.

KOSME is a Korean-government funded non-profit created over forty years ago to support small and medium enterprises in Korea.  In 2001, KOSME opened the Northern Virginia-based KBDC as an outpost to support Korean companies interested in joining the US marketplace.   


Philophos, Inc. is an innovative Med Tech device company headquartered near Seoul in South Korea.  We develop and manufacture quality, portable and value priced optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices for retina imaging.  We have a functional prototype that is in pilot testing, and we are in the process of securing medical device approval in both Korea and the U.S.  We seek a key management hire who can focus on accelerating sales, marketing and relationship development efforts for the U.S. market.

We are seeking a full-time, Business Development & Relationship Manager to represent Philophos, Inc. in the U.S..  Duties will include identifying, developing, and maintaining vital relationships as the primary role.  Duties will also include supporting a variety of activities associated with launching our operations in the U.S. Our culture is a fast-paced environment that requires the ability to independently support multiple activities and manage deadlines with great coordination and communication skills with our headquarters team. Preferred traits are someone who is organized, adaptable, high-energy, a self-starter and good critical thinker who can overcome challenges.  The candidate must possess excellent presentation skills including both oral and written communication abilities.  

White House OSTP Discussion on ARPA H 400x225

Listen now via Google https://bit.ly/3EWtTtJ, Apple https://apple.co/3ocpP2w, Spotify https://spoti.fi/3EUALYu, and TuneIn https://bit.ly/3CGZ8Ho.

The session from the BioHealth Capital Region Forum focuses on a vision for a new science entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). This new NIH Institute would accelerate biomedical innovation and adoption of technologies and approaches to revolutionize healthcare and medicine. Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director for Biomedical Science Initiatives in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She is currently on detail to OSTP from her role as Associate Deputy Director (ADEPD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). During her tenure as ADEPD, Dr. Schwetz also served as the acting Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Prior to assuming these roles, she was the Chief of the Strategic Planning and Evaluation Branch in the Office of the Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Schwetz led several efforts while at NIAID, including conducting an evaluation of the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance to facilitate evidence-based decision-making and developing the NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research. Previously, Dr. Schwetz served as the Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Director of NIH (DEPD), where she coordinated efforts such as Reimagine HHS, the NIH rigor and reproducibility activities, and the first NIH-Wide Strategic Plan. Dr. Schwetz also served in the dual role of the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Interim Associate Program Director and the Special Assistant to the DEPD. Prior to these roles, she was a Health Science Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where she helped develop the National Pain Strategy. Dr. Schwetz started her career at NIH as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at NINR. She received a BS in biochemistry with honors from Florida State University and a PhD in biophysics from the University of South Florida, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

An ice carving robot at a bar in Seoul: South Korea was the highest-ranking Asian country in the World Intellectual Property Organization's Global Innovation Index this year.   © Reuters

PARIS/NEW YORK -- South Korea has placed among the top five technological innovators for the first time, according to the latest global ranking, as other Asian economic powers moved up the hierarchy.

South Korea jumped from 10th place to fifth in this year's Global Innovation Index, the World Intellectual Property Organization reported Monday. The East Asian country was bested only by Switzerland, Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K.

The WIPO rankings grade 132 economies based on multiple categories. Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore stood in eighth place, unchanged from last year, while China rose two ranks to 12th.

Image: An ice carving robot at a bar in Seoul: South Korea was the highest-ranking Asian country in the World Intellectual Property Organization's Global Innovation Index this year. © Reuters

Officials including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan sign an MOU on Sept. 20.

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Commerce)

On Monday, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan signed a memorandum of understanding with Hakdo Kim, president of the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME).

Through this agreement, the two entities will work together to support Korean tech and environmentally focused small and medium-sized businesses, as well as startups, as they enter the American market. That could bring potential for the companies to join the Maryland Department of Commerce’s soft landing program, which connects companies looking to explore the U.S. with offices and resources at local startup spaces.

Image: Officials including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan sign an MOU on Sept. 20. (Photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Commerce)

Coronavirus covid 19 vaccine destroy covid19 virus D78MCM3

Since 1900, there have been eight different pandemics that concerned public health across the globe, such as Zika, MERS, Ebola, Swine Flu, and others, which have led to the loss of millions of people and billions of dollars in economic losses. That’s one reason for the establishment of the Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center in Montgomery County, Maryland. When COVID broke last year, a task force urged for the formation of an organization that could peer past the current crisis and put on its prognostication hat to prepare for future threats. With its long history of thought leadership in infectious diseases and vaccines development, as well as its proximity to federal health and regulatory agencies, the BioHealth Capital Region was the perfect fit for the biodefense center.


Childrens national buildgins

The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus was officially welcomed to the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus on Wednesday with a visit from D.C.’s mayor and city council chair.

The partnership of Children’s National Hospital, Virginia Tech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC will host biomedical research already underway and support entrepreneurs in early-stage companies that will work to find answers to health problems plaguing children.


Notification Center

WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced 30 of America’s most distinguished leaders in science and technology as members of his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). A direct descendant of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik, PCAST is the sole body of external advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House.


George Mason University Logo

With COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the world, there is a demand for rapid, noninvasive diagnostics. George Mason University researchers Robin Couch and Allyson Dailey, members of the College of Science and the Institute of Biohealth Innovation, are working to answer that call with their research on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for infectious disease detection. VOCs are gases that emanate from a variety of sources, including from humans. Much like a sommelier can smell wine and determine the composition of it, Couch and Dailey have been looking at the scent prints of bacteria. They have been able to successfully diagnose mice infected with biothreat agents using this method, and were able to differentiate standard bacteria strains from antibiotic-resistant strains, as seen in Nature Scientific Reports. Mason holds a patent around the technology on the extraction and analysis of gases through the VOC extraction chamber. When the news of COVID struck the world in March 2020, the researchers embraced it as an opportunity to further test their approach on viruses.