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Antibodies that target the glycan cap epitope on the ebolavirus glycoprotein (GP) are common in the adaptive response of survivors. A subset is known to be broadly neutralizing, but the details of their epitopes and basis for neutralization are not well understood. Here, we present cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of diverse glycan cap antibodies that variably synergize with GP base-binding antibodies. These structures describe a conserved site of vulnerability that anchors the mucin-like domains (MLDs) to the glycan cap, which we call the MLD anchor and cradle. Antibodies that bind to the MLD cradle share common features, including use of IGHV1-69 and IGHJ6 germline genes, which exploit hydrophobic residues and form β-hairpin structures to mimic the MLD anchor, disrupt MLD attachment, destabilize GP quaternary structure, and block cleavage events required for receptor binding. Our results provide a molecular basis for ebolavirus neutralization by broadly reactive glycan cap antibodies.

Image: https://www.cell.com

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We are proud to announce that U.S. News & World Report has designated the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, located at our hospital, as the number one training program for pediatrics in the country! Please join us in congratulating our faculty, staff and trainees who consistently strive to make our department an exceptional place to work and learn.

Image: https://www.linkedin.com

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Studying kidney physiology is essential to increase our understanding and improve the quality of life and prognosis of patients with renal diseases. Organoid cultures have been developed that enable in vitro studies of donor-specific tissue in a controlled three-dimensional (3D) environment. Organoids are 3D multicellular constructs that recapitulate structural and functional characteristics of their organ of origin. Using a modified protocol originally developed for the expansion of adult intestinal Lgr5+ stem cells1, Schutgens et al. recently established kidney tubular epithelial organoids (tubuloids) derived from adult kidney tissue and urine2. 

 

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – – Arcellx, a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it raised $115 million in a Series C financing to advance its pipeline of adaptive and controllable cell therapies. The proceeds will support the company’s development of CART-ddBCMA, a BCMA-specific CAR-modified T-cell therapy currently in Phase 1 and anticipated to begin a pivotal trial in 2022. In addition, the funding will support initiation of clinical trials evaluating ACLX-001 and ACLX-002, cell therapies derived from Arcellx’s uniquely controllable ARC-SparX platform, in multiple myeloma (MM) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), respectively.

 

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Join us as Alex Hanlon, Ph.D. (Director of the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science at Virginia Tech,  Professor of Statistics and works closely with researchers on the Health Science and Technology Campus in Roanoke, adjacent to Carilion Clinic and the VTC School of Medicine) and Richard Bendis (Founder, President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. and a successful entrepreneur, angel investor, innovation and technology-based economic development leader, international speaker and consultant in the technology and healthcare industries and host of BioTalk) discuss how ‘Big data requires team science.’

 

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Jeff Galvin, the CEO of American Gene Technologies, has always made investing in his team and the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) a top priority. 

In the latest sign of the company’s commitment to its employees and the region, AGT recently announced the creation of a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified lab that is actively providing RT-PCR testing for COVID-19. 

Image: https://biobuzz-io.cdn.ampproject.org

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COLUMBIA, Md. (April 13, 2021)—TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub (The Hub) launch in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Commerce and the University System of Maryland. The Hub, https://marylandentrepreneurhub.com/, was designed with the entrepreneur in mind, to provide a platform that gathers all of Maryland’s resources and funding information in one place. 

"It's so important for entrepreneurs and the entities that support entrepreneurs be connected, especially during COVID-19,” said Claire Broido Johnson of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, managing director of the University System of Maryland's Momentum Fund. “We want to make sure there is a resource connecting providers and suppliers with tools, funding, mentors, space, and more and hope this new platform is really efficient!" 

 

innovation - Postit notes

The military wants to stop pandemics. Many of the innovations and breakthroughs deployed to combat COVID-19 began years ago as Pentagon-funded research programs to protect soldiers, some spearheaded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Bill Whitaker and 60 Minutes cameras were allowed in to report on some of the technologies the Department of Defense is developing to defend against future pandemics -- including a single vaccine to ward off all coronaviruses. Whitaker's report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, April 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.   

 

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The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our region’s economy overall, but it has also triggered explosive growth in a pair of critical technology industries on either side of the Potomac.

The medical battle against the coronavirus opened a gusher of nearly $8 billion in fresh investment last year in Montgomery County’s biotech companies. The money has accelerated the sector’s evolution from innovative but small-scale research to the sale and manufacturing of vaccines and drugs.

Image: Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Reuters)

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 C-suite Executive and Serial Entrepreneur Who Specializes in Longevity Economy Innovation Joins Diverse Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Team

 

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 12, 2021 BioHealth Innovation Inc. (BHI) announces the addition of John P. Reinhart, CPA, MBA, to the growing Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) team. The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program at BHI aims to ensure that disruptive technologies receive all the resources required to transform the technology from a discovery into a commercially relevant product and eventually have a measurable impact on human health. The program was created to support scientists, early-stage startups, and licensed technologies to provide them with access to these resources. John will be working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically the National Institute of Aging (NIA)

 “BHI is proud to welcome John Reinhart to our strong group of EIRs work with the National Institutes of Health,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President, and CEO. “His background as an executive and serial entrepreneur adds to the mission of this program.”

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 Former Vice President with Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation Joins BHI Tem

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 12, 2021 BioHealth Innovation Inc. (BHI) announces Sarah Miller’s addition as VP of Economic Development. This move coincides with the departure of BHI’s Managing Director of Economic Development, Judy Costello, who will be joining Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s staff.

“It is with mixed emotions that we said goodbye to an important part of the BHI family while adding a talented leader from right here in Montgomery County,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. “We thank Judy for all her contributions to BHI and the BioHealth Capital Region, and welcome Sarah, who brings a background of success to our organization.”

Sarah Miller has served in various positions that have given her the tools necessary to help communities recognize and build upon their unique assets. In her work across Pennsylvania and Maryland, she has created high-quality civic spaces, helped industrial communities reinvent themselves, supported new farmers, built technology business incubators, and managed local public art programs. 

Brian Darmody

Advancements in biotechnology are recognized as one of the most important scientific achievements of the 20th Century.  The emergence of biotechnology profoundly impacted the health of the world, and the economic vitality of regions where bio clusters and bioresearch parks grew.  This article explores some of the historical and policy implications undergirding this development in the United States and the importance of alignment of life science research activity, public policies, and leadership to build place-based communities of biotechnology innovation.

 

BondTrue's Aimee Martin and Dr. David Zachary Martin.

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Baltimore-based BondTrue was awarded a $256,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for development of its surgical closure device.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award is non-dilutive, meaning that it doesn’t require the startup to exchange equity in the company to receive funding. CEO Aimee Martin said the stamp of approval from the NSF makes this grant a big step towards reaching commercial release, as it will fund live testing at the University of Maryland. Martin said the company is seeking out non-dilutive grants to minimize risk and mature the product before taking it to bigger investors.

Image: BondTrue's Aimee Martin and Dr. David Zachary Martin. (Courtesy photo)

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AUSTIN, Texas, March 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference today announced the winners of the 13th annual SXSW Pitch event, which took place virtually on March 17-18 as part of the SXSW Online digital experience. In addition to a winner chosen from each of the 8 categories, the most promising project of the finalists also took home the overall "Best In Show" award.

Image: SXSW Pitch Presented by Cyndx - SXSW 2019. Photo by Camille Mayor

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic greatly exposed a dearth of essential medications and significant vulnerabilities in the United States medical supply chain. Phlow Corporation aims to mitigate those weaknesses and manufacture essential generic medications at its Virginia manufacturing facility.

In early 2020, little-known Phlow made a splash with an $812 million contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to manufacture essential medications in the United States. Phlow, along with strategic partners Civica Rx, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute, and AMPAC Fine Chemicals teamed up to meet the challenge of ensuring a steady supply of these essential drugs, as outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be available for patients.

Image: https://biobuzz.io/

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Under the agreement, GSK will provide ‘fill and finish’ manufacturing capacity at its Barnard Castle facility in the North East UK. Fill and finish comprises the completion stage of vaccine manufacturing, in which vials are prepared for the final vaccine, before it is packaged and distributed for us.

Novavax’s NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate has shown strong efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials, with data showing that it is 96.4% effective against the original Covid-19 strain and 86.3% effective against the UK variant.

 

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 8, 2021) – Dr. James Crowe, Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine, has been named winner of the 2021 SEC Faculty Achievement Award for Vanderbilt University, the SEC announced on Thursday.

A board certified pediatric infectious diseases physician and viral immunology researcher, Dr. Crowe is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. He is a named inventor on approximately 100 patents and patent families for vaccines and antibodies. His research interests are in the human immune response to infection, and his work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, agencies within the U.S. Department of Defense and numerous foundations. He has been published in journals such as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association.

Image: https://www.thesecu.com

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Testing remains a key factor in reaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, what happens if you test positive for the virus?

For many, it’s a waiting game and an unsettling experience in finding out the possible range of symptoms That’s an issue one Maryland-based biotech company is hoping to solve.

IES Life Sciences and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore are teaming up to determine how severe a COVID-19 case could become and even what type of symptoms a patient could have.

“I hope that it will eliminate the fear that is associated with getting a positive [COVID] test,” Dr. Robert Figliozzi, Director of Research and Development at IES Life Sciences, said.

 

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FREDERICK, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) announced today it will receive a $378,000 federal CARES Act grant to significantly expand its Business Continuity Task Force to assist more entrepreneurs in Maryland as they navigate COVID-19’s economic impact. Awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the grant enables MTC to expand the task force’s mentoring services to tech and life science businesses in the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County at no cost.

The task force pairs tech and life science executives with experienced mentors who specialize in finance, accounting, engineering, innovation, and founders issues. The goal is to provide these entrepreneurs free and practical advice on leading a business through economic uncertainty from experts who navigated crises like the 2008 recession.

 

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In tiny tubes filled with strands of human DNA, Robert Figliozzi carefully extracts what could be breakthrough science in the fight against the coronavirus.

The samples are mixed and sorted into data through machines. Figliozzi then identifies what are called biomarkers, indicators that predict the severity -- even what type -- of COVID-19 symptoms a patient will have.

"That, hopefully, will lead to those individual patients getting the right types of therapy and medical attention that they need," said Figliozzi, a lab coordinator at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

 

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University of Maryland (UMD) bioengineers reached a new milestone in their efforts to design an immunotherapy strategy to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases. The team’s findings, published this month in ACS Nano, used nanomaterials to manipulate inflammatory pathways that might one day help slow or reverse MS without compromising a patient’s immune system. 

Nearly 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to wrongfully attack myelin, the insulation that surrounds and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. When this happens, nerve fibers and cells are damaged, leading to a loss of motor function and other neurological complications that greatly impact the patient’s quality of life.

Image: Dr. Robert "Smitty" Oakes (front) and Dr. Christopher Jewell (back)

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Long home to federal institutions like the National Institutes of Health and leading universities, suburban areas like Montgomery County have long been home to a cluster of talent and companies working to commercialize pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical devices. Then came the pandemic. The federal government needed to invest in new treatments to stop the spread of COVID-19. In Maryland, the companies around the NIH and FDA figured prominently in the solution, as many had expertise that left them poised to jump into the fight.

 

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(BOSTON) – CARB-X is awarding Novel Microdevices, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, up to $3.6 million in non-dilutive funding, and, subject to available funding, up to an additional $10.2 million if certain project milestones are met, to develop a new rapid molecular test to diagnose sexually-transmitted bacterial infections, including Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Novel’s new device would diagnose infections in about 25 minutes from a vaginal swab or urine sample, and detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including those resistant to ciprofloxacin and 3rd generation cephalosporins, the only antibiotics that are still effective as treatments for most strains of the gonorrhoeae bacteria.

Image: https://carb-x.org

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BHI is working with Montgomery College and Montgomery County to support their work growing and retaining the county’s workforce.  Did you know Montgomery College’s Germantown location has a mock-cGMP training facility, and that they are experienced providers of scientific skills, business management and clinical trials project management, and soft skills training for your employees? They also partner with and/or feed into the many institutions at the Universities of Shady Grove which are part of the University System of Maryland.

To help Montgomery County provide useful training and workforce resources to you in the future, please provide your feedback on this program using this brief survey:

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ehsgtmbrkmytl91z/start

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BioHealth Innovation, Inc., (BHI) a non-profit organization which strives to facilitate the development of commercially viable bio health products and companies by connecting market relevant research assets to appropriate funding, management and markets, is seeking a Senior Analyst.

JOB TITLE – SENIOR ANALYST

Reporting to the Lead Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), the Senior Analyst

Download the full description here.

BHI Logo

BioHealth Innovation, Inc., (BHI) a non-profit organization which strives to facilitate the development of commercially viable bio health products and companies by connecting market relevant research assets to appropriate funding, management and markets, is seeking a Senior Analyst.

JOB TITLE – SENIOR ANALYST

Reporting to the Lead Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), the Senior Analyst

Download the full description here.

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) today announced that the Company continues to be on track with its manufacturing agreements related to COVID-19 vaccines and confirmed that there are no changes to its financial guidance for 2021. In addition, the Company received a contract modification to increase the original task order by $23 million from Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

 

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Seraxis, which is currently located at the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science & Technology at Montgomery College (PIC MC) in the County-owned Germantown Innovation Center is developing its lead therapy, SR-01, to eliminate the need for type 1 diabetes patients to inject insulin. SR-01 is a revolutionary therapy that could impact more than 4.5 million people in the world. 

The Seraxis solution is a simple approach to diabetes. Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Rust explained that the therapy replaces damaged or lost insulin-producing pancreatic cells with those grown in the Seraxis labs. In order to accomplish this, Seraxis has developed a proprietary human stem cell line dubbed SR1423 which is special. 

 

130 TEDCO Talks Troy LeMaile Stovall with Rich Bendis BioHealth Innovation YouTube

TEDCO Talks: A new virtual series featuring thought leaders in economic development from across the State of Maryland.

Join TEDCO's CEO & Executive Director, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, in thought-provoking conversations with regional leaders about the future of Maryland’s innovation ecosystem.

Troy had the opportunity to interview Rich Bendis with BioHealth Innovation. Watch now to learn more about BioHealth Innovation, and the role Rich has played in supporting Maryland's entrepreneurial community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dYM3vQAIEU

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Every year or so at Crunchbase News, we take a look at which U.S. universities graduate the highest number of funded startup founders. And each time, we find few surprises in the top rankings.

The leading schools for funded founders are reliably Stanford, Harvard and MIT. The top regions are California and the Northeast. And the top business schools are Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.

Image: https://news.crunchbase.com

United Therapeutics

SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tyvaso® (treprostinil) Inhalation Solution for the treatment of patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with interstitial lung disease (PH-ILD; WHO Group 3) to improve exercise ability. This is the second FDA-approved indication for Tyvaso, which was first approved in July 2009 for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; WHO Group 1) to improve exercise ability.

 

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched an innovation challenge competition today encouraging American inventors to aid the nation's COVID-19 response by designing effective, comfortable face masks for personal use that resolve the common complaints people have about wearing masks. The contest taps into the nation's creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to help curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Image: https://www.medicalcountermeasures.gov