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Join us on September 30th for the 6th year of the Women Building Bio conference. Don’t miss an event where women converge to advance the industry with all stakeholders, men and women, front and center joining forces.

Our half-day hybrid conference will offer full virtual attendance or the option for in-person viewing at one of 5 regional locations across our state. In-person requires pre-registration at a specific location and space is limited, so do not delay!

 

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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.

Image: https://wtop.com

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A senior official for American biotech company Novavax said the company is committed to equitable COVID-19 vaccine allocation and has made a “great effort” to manufacture its vaccine in different sites across the globe. However, whether its vaccine will be used as booster shots or prioritized in countries struggling with supply will be up to policymakers, he said.  

Speaking at a Devex event held on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, John Trizzino, executive vice president at Novavax, said policymakers are responsible for determining how the COVID-19 doses will be used.

Image: https://www.devex.com

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently provided updated guidance stating that participants in the Novavax PREVENT-19 Phase 3 clinical trial meet the criteria to be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have completed the active vaccine series. With this validation from the United States’ leading public health authority, Novavax expects our PREVENT-19 Phase 3 clinical trial participants will be considered fully vaccinated and in compliance with mandated vaccination policies, including those of employers and any other organizations or entities requiring proof of vaccination. Novavax is grateful to our clinical trial participants for helping to ensure a safer future for all, and we continue to advocate for them at the highest levels.  

 

HemoShear Therapeutics PRNewsfoto HemoShear Therapeutics johnsoncitypress com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- HemoShear Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company, has earned a milestone payment for the advancement of potential lead product candidates for the treatment of gout under its collaboration with Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP). This milestone marks the fourth payment that HemoShear has earned, following previous payments for the identification and validation of two novel gout drug targets in accordance with the Horizon exclusive drug discovery agreement established in January 2019.

 

Fireside Chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Listen to the audio as Rich Bendis, President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation conducts a fireside chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984. Dr. Fauci oversees an annual budget of over $6 Billion and has advised 7 President’s on many domestic and global health issues. He has an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat many existing and emerging infectious diseases.

Listen now via Apple https://apple.co/3nNlHWH, Google https://bit.ly/3Ar0uoZ, and Spotify, https://spoti.fi/3ExxAWH

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Remember the frenzy in 2017 when over 200 cities and towns across the U.S. bid to house the second headquarters for Amazon? Northern Virginia in the D.C. region won that bid ultimately.

But cities, states and regions might want to dust off those bids to enter a new $1 billion competition by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) that promises more winners across the country in applied science areas to help make the U.S. more technologically competitive and inclusive. Thankfully, this competition will look more like the Olympics with many gold, silver and bronze winners compared with the winner-take-all approach of Amazon HQ2. 

EDA will grant $500,000 in technical assistance to 50 to 60 regional coalitions to develop and support three to eight projects to support a regional growth cluster this fall. Next year, EDA will award 20 to 30 regional coalitions $25 million to $100 million to implement those projects from among those that were successful in Phase One.

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According to researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the probability of FDA approval of an industry-sponsored drug entering Phase One of the clinical trial process is 13.8%(1). A major factor in a trial’s success or failure, notes Dr. Harsha Rajasimha, founder and CEO of Jeeva(TM) Informatics, is the trial sponsor’s ability to recruit and retain patients. Current statistics show that 85% of all clinical trials are delayed during patient recruitment, and 30% are terminated early due to failure to recruit enough patients. Those small proportion of trials that do enroll the required subjects experience 30% dropout rate on an average.(2) “This is bad news,” says Dr. Rajasimha, “not just for the sponsors of these trials and the participants, but for a world in serious need of new and better tools to fight disease.”

 

VCs make record bets on quantum computing PitchBook

Scientists and engineers are still toiling in labs in a race to develop quantum computers that would significantly outperform traditional computers.

But that isn't holding venture capitalists back. They're pouring record-high funding into work on computing power that is still considered years away from being ready.

Investors have invested $1.02 billion into quantum computing companies so far this year. That's more than was funneled into the industry during the previous three years combined, according to PitchBook data.

Image: https://pitchbook.com

People sitting on chair during daytime photo Free India Image on Unsplash

Somewhere in India last October, a person—likely immunocompromised, perhaps taking drugs for rheumatoid arthritis or with an advanced case of HIV/AIDS—developed COVID-19.

Their case might have been mild, but because of their body’s inability to clear the coronavirus it lingered and multiplied. As the virus replicated and moved from one cell to another, parts of the genetic material copied itself incorrectly. Maybe the person lived in a crowded home or went out to buy food in a busy market, but wherever it happened, the altered virus was spread to others. Experts believe this singular situation in one individual is likely how the Delta variant now wreaking havoc in the U.S. and around the world was born.

 

Visualizing the World s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies

If the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that in building a patient-centered future, the pharmaceutical industry plays a key role. It has to constantly find new ways to customize medicines while researching and developing new tools and drugs.

By embracing disruptive technologies like 3D printed drugs, artificial intelligence guided therapies, and preventive medicine while working with regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical companies will benefit from having a digital revolution.

Image: https://www.visualcapitalist.com

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In a misguided attempt to control drug costs, some Congressional leaders are urging the Biden administration to misapply a 40-year-old law that supports 6 million jobs, helped launch 15,000 start-up companies, and contributed $1.7 trillion to U.S economic output. The lawmakers — Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) — want the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Department of Defense, to misuse the march-in provision of the Bayh-Dole Act to set the price of federally-funded medicines — something the provision does not authorize. Such an action would undermine the intention of Bayh-Dole, while inflicting devastating damage on the U.S.

 

Dr. Robert R. Redfield

American Gene Technologies (AGT) announces the appointment of Dr. Robert R. Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and co-founder of the Institute for Human Virology, as special advisor to AGT CEO Jeff Galvin.

Dr. Redfield is well known for his decades of dedicated work in virology, immunology and clinical research. He has helped lead collaborative research into HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic during his years as a U.S. Army physician and at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Redfield has held multiple advisory positions, including with the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He was the CDC director from March 2018 to January 2021, leading the agency through a period of historic challenges, including the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

BHCR Recap

The 7th Annual Virtual BioHealth Capital Region Forum might be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access it again. Go to https://eventmobi.com/bhcrforum2021 now to watch or re-watch  every panel, keynote speaker, and bio byte video. Sessions include Fireside Chats with both Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Joel Marcus, Executive Chairman and Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc./Alexandria Venture Investments, and Dr. Tara Schwetz, Assistant Director for Biomedical Science Initiatives, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Panels covering our forum theme of Big Bio….Big Data…. Converging range from Federal Funding, Real Estate, Developing Talent, and more.

Click here for the recap.

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“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This week we welcome Bill Snider, Partner, BroadOak Capital Partners.

Bill Snider is a Partner at BroadOak and leads the firm’s growth capital investing activities. Mr. Snider has more than 25 years of institutional investment experience. Prior to BroadOak, he was a general partner and co-founder of Emerging Technology Partners (ETP), LLC, a life sciences-focused venture capital firm. Before ETP, Bill was a vice president and portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, where his responsibilities included managing $2 billion of mutual fund and institutional client portfolios. He currently serves on the boards of Codex DNA, Halo Labs, Science and Medicine Group, and the MdBio Foundation. He has made more than 50 growth capital investments while at BroadOak and looks forward to making 50 more.

 

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Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices Director William Bentley was named the recipient of the 2021 Society for Biological Engineering D.I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering. This annual award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the field and to the practice of biochemical engineering through their position in industry or academia as exemplified by Professor Daniel I.C. Wang of MIT. 

Wang made tremendous contributions to the biochemical engineering profession and biotechnology community, both in this country and internationally. He was a pivotal leader in developing the biotechnology industry and in shaping biochemical engineering education and training over the past five decades.

Gain Therapeutics Gain Therapeutics Announces Multi Target Drug Discovery Collaboration Agreement with Zentalis Pharmaceuticals

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gain Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GANX) (“Gain”, or the “Company”), a biotechnology company focused on identifying and optimizing allosteric binding sites never before targeted in neurodegenerative diseases and lysosomal storage disorders, today announced topline data from the Company’s study, conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). The study, evaluating two lead Structurally Targeted Allosteric Regulators (STARs) compounds – GT-02287 and GT-02329 – for the treatment of Gaucher and GBA1 Parkinson’s Disease, demonstrated positive effects on all tested phenotypes.

 

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IonQ, the leading developer of quantum computing devices, and the University of Maryland, an international powerhouse in quantum research and applications, today announced a partnership to create the National Quantum Lab at Maryland, or Q-Lab. It will be the nation’s first user facility that enables the scientific community to pursue world-leading research through hands-on access to a commercial-grade quantum computer. UMD-affiliated students, faculty, researchers, staff and partners across the country will have an unprecedented opportunity to gain experience with IonQ’s industry-leading trapped-ion quantum computer hardware and collaborate with IonQ scientists and engineers.

 

Covid 19 Vaccine Vial

The debate over whether and how broadly to approve additional “booster” doses of COVID-19  vaccines is expected to play out this month. This much is certain: The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will discuss whether to recommend booster doses for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (COMIRNATY®, BNT162b2) meets on September 17.

 

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PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), an urban office REIT and the first, longest-tenured and pioneering owner, operator and developer uniquely focused on collaborative life science, agtech and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, today announced that its executive chairman and founder, Joel S. Marcus, was honored last evening for Distinction in Civic Engagement and Renewal by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum during its Benefit Broadcast commemorating 20 years since 9/11. This prestigious recognition highlights Mr. Marcus's many meaningful contributions to the Memorial & Museum and his unwavering support of its mission to commemorate those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993; educate the public and a new generation about their ongoing global impact; and inspire Americans and people around the world to value courage, public service, hope, empathy and resilience in the face of adversity.

 

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This is how I see it…

We all have a choice. We all take in information. We use that information to make daily and life decisions. Some decisions affect only us, but most decisions affect us AND others.

We’ve learned throughout this pandemic that our decisions affect many others. I invite you to consider your decisions (vaccination, wearing masks when necessary, etc) and how you can help yourself AND even more importantly others. Consider it your service to others. Set aside political views and issues and serve others.

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Most Detailed #Visualization of Human Cell Ever Created - this 3D model of a eukaryotic cell is created using X-ray, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and cryo-electron microscopy datasets. It is an attempt to visualize the many pathways involved in cellular processes (i.e. signal transduction, protein synthesis, endocytosis, vesicular transport, cell-cell adhesion, apoptosis) as well as the great complexity & beauty of the cell’s molecular machinery.

Image: https://www.linkedin.com

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Life sciences lab space rents are soaring as biotech VC investment in the U.S. hits record levels.

At first blush, things are looking great in the life sciences real estate market. In particular, venture capital funding is exploding, supporting new companies or expansion from existing ones that should keep demand high for properties and continue to support larger rents. But this could lead to some overheating in the property market and to a shift in the way life sciences investors want to handle real estate.

Image: Unsplash - Life sciences lab space rents are soaring as biotech VC investment in the U.S. hits record levels.

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  • Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) will manufacture doses of Providence Therapeutics' PTX-COVID19-B COVID-19 mRNA drug candidate under a five-year agreement. 
  • The agreement is valued at $90M, and covers manufacturing services, studies to support global supply chain activities, and facility and equipment investments. 
  • Next year, Emergent will manufacture tens of millions of doses of PTX-COVID19-B, as well as batches of PTX-COVID19-B formulated bulk drug substance that can yield hundreds of millions more doses.

 

https://drjohnwhyte.medium.com

“Anyone who wants a COVID test can get one.” When that proclamation was made back in May 2020, it wasn’t true. There was a scarcity of testing supplies and limited sites, and it could take weeks to get back the results — making many of them essentially useless in clinical decision-making. The initial rapid tests on the market were a wild west of different companies who failed to ensure accuracy of their tests — -resulting in significant error rates.

 

Pointer on the map for Washington DC

As a life sciences cluster, the BioHealth Capital Region is poised to become a top-three cluster in the Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) Top 10 Biopharma Clusters ranking on the strengths of early-stage companies becoming commercial successes and the construction of millions of square feet of new wet lab space.

For 2021, the BHCR held onto the fourth-place position behind New York/ New Jersey, San Francisco Bay Area, and the greater Boston area. The latest ranking was revealed at the seventh annual BioHealth Innovation Forum. The region held onto the coveted spot for multiple reasons, including significant funding from the National Institutes of Health, available wet lab space, and patent strength protecting intellectual property.

 

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Rockville, MD, September 13, 2021 – The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) announces the launch of a new department, the Office of Organizational Culture, Equity and Inclusive Excellence (Equity Office). Headed by Chief Equity Officer (CEqO) and Senior Advisor to the CEO, Debra Joy Pérez, Ph.D. (she/her/ella), the Equity Office will shape and implement all diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) programs and initiatives. 

“Our DEIB work should always be about seeing diverse perspectives and how to approach complex problems from different viewpoints. DEIB is all about culture building, it is a way of looking at the work and the world that fosters the best workplace for our people,” said Debra Joy Pérez, Ph.D, USP CEqO and Senior Advisor to the CEO. “Evidence shows that when more diverse perspectives are included, there is more innovation, creative thinking and better problem solving—three critical drivers in applying our science to fulfill our public health mission. Our fundamental belief at USP is that equity equals excellence – excellence in our staff and excellence in our science. Only when we fully embrace the practice of equity can we benefit from the richness and talents of our staff.”  

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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.

 

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IonQ, Inc. (IonQ), the leading developer of quantum computing devices, and the University of Maryland (UMD), an international powerhouse in quantum research and applications, today announced a partnership to create the National Quantum Lab at Maryland (Q-Lab). The Q-Lab will be the nation’s first user facility that enables the scientific community to pursue world-leading research through hands-on access to a commercial-grade quantum computer. UMD-affiliated students, faculty, researchers, staff and partners across the country will have an unprecedented opportunity to gain experience with IonQ’s industry-leading trapped-ion quantum computer hardware and collaborate with IonQ scientists and engineers.

 

Accelerating Cures MSCRF

New Launch-MSCRF’s YouTube Channel Highlighting Stem Cell Research in Maryland

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) is focused on identifying and fostering cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of regenerative medicine in MD. Their Accelerating Cures initiative comprises programs that help transition human stem cell-based technologies from the bench to the bedside as well as mechanisms to build and grow stem cell companies in Maryland. MSCRF is committed to accelerating stem cell research, cures and commercialization, in addition to building a collaborative stem cell community in our region.

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund was established by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 to promote State-funded stem cell research and cures through grants and loans to public and private entities in the State.

Click Here to visit the new channel.

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BALTIMORE, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Isoprene Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an early-stage small molecule oncology company developing oral therapeutics for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and other cancers, today announced that the National Institute of Health's (NIH) NCI has awarded the company a two-year $2 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct-to-Phase II grant. This grant will support ongoing advanced pre-clinical studies intended to lead to the filing of an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a prelude to Phase I clinical trials. Vidya P. Ramamurthy, PhD, Isoprene's chief scientific officer, and Vincent C. O. Njar, PhD, co-founder and chief executive officer of Isoprene and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), are the principal investigators for the program.

 

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Dr. Xavier Barril, Chief Scientific Officer, Gain Therapeutics, and Hartaj Singh, Managing Director and Senior Analyst, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Join BioTalk to discuss Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Drug Discovery Wall Street’s Views on this Exciting Science.

Listen Now via Apple https://apple.co/3z1rdqN, Google https://bit.ly/2X2pNPu, Spotify https://spoti.fi/2Vn2Ohx, and TuneIn https://bit.ly/38PJn41.

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While most children with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, healthcare providers have difficulty determining which of their pediatric patients will progress to moderate or severe COVID-19 early in the progression. Some of these patients develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a life-threatening inflammation of organs and tissues. Methods to distinguish children at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, including conditions such as MIS-C are needed for earlier interventions to improve pediatric patient outcomes.

 

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REGENXBIO Inc. (Nasdaq: RGNX) today announced the appointment of Jean Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., and George Migausky to its Board of Directors, effective September 3, 2021. Dr. Bennett, a leading molecular genetics researcher, is the F.M. Kirby Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine and previously served as director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT) at the University of Pennsylvania. She will serve as a member of REGENXBIO's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Migausky brings more than 30 years of public company leadership and senior financial management experience. He will serve as a member of REGENXBIO's Audit Committee.

 

Childrens Machine Learning

With an average accuracy of 88%, a deep learning technology offers rapid genetic screening that could accelerate the diagnosis of genetic syndromes, recommending further investigation or referral to a specialist in seconds, according to a study published in The Lancet Digital Health. Trained with data from 2,800 pediatric patients from 28 countries, the technology also considers the face variability related to sex, age, racial and ethnic background, according to the study led by Children’s National Hospital researchers.