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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.



“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.


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.



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.


Marshall L Summar MD

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.


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Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Hospital and Cerner unveiled the five winners of their first annual Bear Institute Pediatric Accelerator Challenge for Kids, the organizations recently announced. 

Children's National and Cerner launched the Bear Institute in 2013 to support pediatric healthcare technology and innovation. The organizations kicked off the accelerator in June as a way to increase technology innovation and treatments for pediatric healthcare. 


UMD Computer Science Professor Andrew Childs (second from left) is principal investigator in the new NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation.

Photo by John T. Consoli

The University of Maryland has been tapped to lead a multi-institutional effort supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop quantum simulation devices that can understand and exploit the unique behavior of complex quantum systems while speeding the introduction of general-use quantum computers.

Image: UMD Computer Science Professor Andrew Childs (second from left) is principal investigator in the new NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation. Photo by John T. Consoli


Europe’s biotech industry continues on a trajectory of growth fueled by innovations from cell and gene therapies to antisense, messenger RNA (mRNA), and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T), with more emerging technologies and techniques on the horizon. The industry has made considerable progress in improving access to capital and talent gaps in the past few years. However, its future growth will depend on whether it can continue to scale up innovation and keep up with the pace of change in other regions. Biotechs, investors, and other stakeholders will need to play their part in the industry’s next act if the promise of a golden age of biotech is to become a reality.



My name is Julie Lenzer, and I’m currently the chief innovation officer at the University of Maryland and also the Founding Director of the Quantum Startup Foundry. Although I am one semester away from my Masters in Machine Learning, my background is not in academia – I’m actually a recovering entrepreneur and active angel investor. I’ve also spent the last 10 years building ecosystems for entrepreneurs through various roles, including 2 ½ years in the Obama Administration as the Director for the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I’ve also trained entrepreneurs and spoken around the world through various programs and my own nonprofit aimed at helping women start technology-based companies. And yes, I sleep.


Courtesy NIAID
Dr. Anthony Fauci receiving a shot of the Moderna vaccine in December 2020.

Lucky is the last word that comes to mind when thinking about Covid-19, a worldwide pandemic that has killed millions, locked down entire nations and rattled world markets. But Dr. Barney Graham, a researcher responsible for key research that helped create the coronavirus vaccine, believes that luck played a big role in the creation of the therapeutic.

“If it was a bunyavirus or an arenavirus, we would have been lost for months or a year or two just trying to get the right thing made,” he said, referencing two of the many virus families that could still spark a global outbreak.

Image: Courtesy NIAID Dr. Anthony Fauci receiving a shot of the Moderna vaccine in December 2020.

World University Rankings 2022 Times Higher Education THE

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 include more than 1,600 universities across 99 countries and territories, making them the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.

The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.



At Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (“JLABS”), we value great ideas and are passionate about removing obstacles to success. We help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries, by:

  • Providing you with state-of-the-art infrastructure (lab and offices) if needed 
  • Assigning you a mentor to help you on your journey and connect you to our network of professionals 
  • Giving you access to our investor community 
  • Offering you the training and skills you need Part of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation family

JLABS is part of the larger Johnson & Johnson Innovation family of companies, which includes our deal teams and therapeutic experts for early-stage development, our established venture capital arm, our business development group focusing on later-stage development. 


Speakers 2021


Last Week to Register!

Key speakers listed to the right.

The BioHealth Capital Region Forum is free Virtual 2 Half-Day event for executive-level biotech leaders. The theme of the forum this year is "Big Data...Big Data...Converging" with panels on Big Data in Biotech, infectious Diseases, Developing Talent, Regional Real Estate, IP Analysis and Protection, Funding, and a Fire Side Chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director.

The 7th Annual BioHealth capital Region Forum is organized by event partners - Association of University Research Parks, AstraZeneca, BioHealth Innovation, BRAINBox Solutions, Inc, Children’s National Hospital, Emergent BioSolutions, George Mason University, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC, Maryland Department of Commerce, and Virginia Bio. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set the bar high for biotech innovation. Please join us for our 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow. We hope you’re able to join us!

Joseph Allen

What would you say about a technology commercialization system that kept on performing even through the worst pandemic in over a century? How about if it improved its performance over the previous year and was a critical factor in developing desperately needed therapies to protect people around the world? Would it seem reasonable that this was something that all of us should highly value and want to protect? You might think so, but some in Washington apparently don’t agree.


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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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Regardless of molecule, the goal of biopharmaceutical downstream processing is to reduce process- and product-related impurities while maintaining the highest possible process yield. However, emerging modalities such as those based on gene-edited human cells, transgenes carried by viral vectors, and proteins transferred by exosomes all are pointing out limitations in current downstream strategies, which by and large have been developed around purification of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). This year's nominees in the BPI Readers' Choice downstream category highlight technologies and processing strategies that biopharmaceutical developers and manufacturing organizations are developing to address the separation and purification demands raised by innovative therapies.



On August 23, 2021, BARDA's Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) opened a new area of interest (AOI) under the EZ Broad Agency Announcement (EZ-BAA) solicitation to expand the capabilities of existing next-generation sequencing diagnostics to agnostically detect any pathogenic respiratory RNA virus including new, emerging and existing viruses.

Next-generation sequencing diagnostics have been established for oncology and some genetic disorders, and such technology also is needed for infectious diseases due to growing health security challenges and threats. In a viral outbreak or pandemic, having agnostic tests – especially those which can detect any respiratory RNA virus and can be implemented rapidly without the need for additional regulatory approvals – is crucial.




Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC set the bar high for biotech innovation. Join us for the 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum that will highlight the accomplishments of today and chart our successes of tomorrow.


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Join the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in collaboration with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021, for a webinar to learn about the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs for researchers and entrepreneurs in translational science.


Daniela Lecca 500

Daniela Lecca completed her education in Italy, where she received her Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Cagliari for her research on the neuroprotective and immunomodulatory actions of a PPAR-γ agonist in MPTP mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. During her Ph.D. program, she spent a short-term period as a visiting Ph.D. student at the Dept of Neuroscience of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. She carried out a project on non-motor symptoms onset in a MPTP chronic model of Parkinson’s disease. After completing her Ph.D., she won a fellowship from her University that allowed her to join as a special volunteer the Synaptic Plasticity section of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, Maryland; here, she worked on a research project on the role of L-DOPA-mediated neuroinflammation in the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, by a 6-OHDA mouse model.

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. is conducting phase clinical 3 trials of its plasma-derived therapy for outpatient treatment of COVID-19, the company announced this week.

The randomized clinical trial will assign participants to receive infusions of either a placebo or the plasma treatment. Emergent is one of two companies providing hyperimmune globulin products for the trial, which plans to enroll 820 patients across the U.S. and abroad.

https://www.astrazeneca.com - Graphic

Automating adjudication of events in cardiovascular trials Clinical trials for cardiovascular (CV) disease are time consuming and expensive to run, often requiring large patient populations to meet the statistical requirements needed to demonstrate efficacy.1 These trials require robust data packages to achieve market approvals and registrations in order to get essential new medicines to patients.

Image: https://www.astrazeneca.com


The U.S. government’s announcement that it is investing $3 billion into research on antiviral medicines for Covid-19 is a step in the right direction and comes at a critical moment in the pandemic — though earlier, of course, would have been better.

But based on my experience with drug development, in particular with antivirals, in both government and the private sector, I know that the process takes longer and is more expensive than anyone ever anticipates. I believe that $3 billion in federal funds is not nearly enough, and that at least $10 billion in clinical research funding is needed to discover and develop the new antiviral medicines that patients desperately need and that physicians have been asking for since the start of the pandemic.


Health Tech Harsha Rajasimha On How JEEVA s Technology Can Make An Important Impact In Our Overall Wellness by Dave Philistin CEO of Candor Authority Magazine Aug 2021 Medium

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

I had an introverted childhood growing up in an orthodox Hindu family with my caring parents, two brothers, and paternal grandparents. My father was a bank officer all his life and has been my major inspiration. He had his master’s in mathematics and was a child prodigy at it. He could do 6-digit multiplication and division faster than I could crunch the numbers in a calculator.

Image: https://medium.com


Avian H7N9 influenza viruses cause sporadic outbreaks of human infections and threaten to cause a major pandemic. The breadth of B cell responses to natural infection and the dominant antigenic sites recognized during first exposure to H7 HA following infection are incompletely understood. Here, we studied the B cell response to H7 HA of two individuals who had recovered from natural H7N9 virus infection. We used competition-binding, hydrogen-deuterium mass spectrometry, and single-particle negative stain electron microscopy to identify the patterns of molecular recognition of the antibody responses to H7 hemagglutinin.



Home to the National Institutes of Health and operations of nearly every leading biopharmaceutical company, Montgomery County, Maryland, has been on the frontlines of coronavirus vaccine research and other life-saving developments. Its thriving life sciences sector is among the diverse industries that had brought steady population growth to the County. Over the past decade, demand for housing and retail services—as well as land prices—had grown dramatically. In response to growing constituent needs, Montgomery County set out to transform its real estate management.