(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.



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!



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


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

Novavax Logo

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


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.

Jeeva Informtics Logo

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

Joseph Allen

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.


“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.



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.


IonQ  Image

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.


Alexandria Logo

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.



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.


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

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.