It is with enormous pride and excitement that we announce that Aifred Health is #2 in the WORLD in the Global @IBM Watson AI XPRIZE!  

I could not be prouder of the entire Aifred Health team and especially the four co-Founders Robert Fratila, Kelly Perlman, Sonia Israel and David Benrimoh, MD.,CM., MSc. whose vision and passion started us on this journey. 

The US$1M prize will be used to accelerate the delivery of our AI technology in the field of #depression and to begin the work to apply our tech to other disease indications where personalize treatment choice is needed to deliver better outcomes to patients. 


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The life sciences industry has been asked to play the lead role in delivering innovative solutions to the world’s pandemic challenges; but like other sectors, is not insulated from these disruptive societal and workplace impacts. And while far from finished, the industry is meeting the moment—delivering on biomedical innovations to mitigate and ultimately end the global pandemic; continuing its role as economic stalwart countering economic downturns with hiring and continued growth; adjusting to the turmoil of remote operations; advancing varied and creative diversity and inclusion initiatives; and partnering with educators to advance the science, technology, engineering, and math, or “STEM” talent needs of the industry as well as enhancing its diversity. This is a daunting agenda for any industry, let alone in a single year, and this report works to take stock of the industry’s position and strategic priorities in 2021, with a primary focus on its demands for workforce and talent, arguably the most critical ingredient for addressing this bold agenda.


TEDCO recently launched ‘TEDCO Talks’, a series featuring thought leaders in economic development across the State of Maryland. On May 28th, TEDCO CEO & Executive Director, Troy LeMaile-Stovall interviewed Sally Allain, Head of JLABS @ Washington DC, about the future of the innovation ecosystem and the crucial role that JLABS will play in advancing the BioHealth Capital Region. It was extremely uplifting to hear the leaders of the two powerhouses discuss solutions on issues ranging from pandemic preparedness and healthcare inequality to diversity in the workforce.



Coastal resources - including fish, minerals and energy - are critical to people, nature and the economy, and are a focus for the emerging sustainable blue economy agenda. It has long been recognized that a particular challenge in coastal areas is the management of land-based activities that generate detrimental impacts on coastal resources in the marine environment. Many of these pressures are negative externalities of land-based human activities that are not taken into account within existing resource-governance frameworks. Therefore, the development of improved approaches to land-sea governance that take account of how land-based activities affect the quality and availability of coastal resources is the focus of this report.



MaxCyte, a life science company specializing in cell-engineering technology, is relocating from Gaithersburg, Md., to Rockville, Md., Commercial Observer has learned. 

The company signed a 13-year, 67,000-square-foot lease at 9713 Key West Avenue, a five-story, 120,000-square-foot office building, with landlord Beckham Gumbin Ventures.


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2021 National SBIR Week kicks off in just 28 days! Taking place July 19 – July 23, the event will connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies to the country's largest source of early stage funding – the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which provide over $4 billion in funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas. We want innovation to help all people, so we must get all people involved in creating those innovations!  



This event is free for executive-level biotech leaders and is presented by the  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. So 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!

Monday, September 13, 2021 8:00 AM 2021 BioHealth Capital Region Virtual Forum

Register Now!

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Starting immediately, the Dutch biotech company Mimetas is looking for an Operations Manager for its office in Gaithersburg,MD, USA. In this new role, you will work together with the Scientific and Commercial teams in the US, and our Finance and Logistics teams in the Netherlands. You will manage the operational and financial aspects of our two US subsidiaries and play a role in the growth of our company in the US. Do you have experience as an Operations Manager with analytical and financial skills, and do you want to work in an international environment? Then join our dynamic and fast-paced team now!

Click here to learn more.

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced a $3.2 billion plan Thursday to build up the country's supply of drugs to treat Covid-19 and future viral threats.

The plan, called the Antiviral Program for Pandemics, will spur clinical trials and the manufacturing of promising treatments for Covid-19, with the goal of gaining authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for some antivirals and making them available to the public within a year, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many problems in American society ranging from public health and racial disparities to economic challenges and supply chain limitations. As was true with many nations around the world, the United States was caught without a detailed plan for dealing with a pandemic. Hospitals were unprepared for the deluge of patients and health care providers did not have access to the supplies they needed to protect themselves. State and national leaders provided mixed cues on how to shut down and when to reopen, and there continue to be sharp partisan differences in how people feel about wearing masks and getting vaccinations.



The U.S. Small Business Administration recently made important clarifications to its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Policy Directive, giving the industry more certainty about whether and when a successor-in-interest to a Phase I/Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees is eligible for Phase III awards.


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“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region and Greater Philadelphia to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. 

Well, we decided to shake things up. Instead of publishing an interview-style “5 Questions With…” featuring one of our community members, we asked our community “5 Questions About” our very own Andy Eckert.


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Studying procrastination used to be a terrific way to avoid doing things I was supposed to be doing. It hasn’t been as much fun for me since one of the things I supposed to be doing was writing this column on how to manage procrastinators. Rats!

One thing I learned before I was distracted from my studies is that about 20 percent of adults identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. That is, they are habitually unable to perform tasks on time, even when there are serious consequences involved. Moreover, reports DePaul University psychology professor Joseph Ferrari, author of Still Procrastinating? The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done, the incidence of procrastination is pretty consistent across age cohorts, gender, and nationalities. As yet, procrastination researchers have not identified any “blue zones” — Shangri-las in which people not only live longer, but also never miss a deadline.


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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and U.S. Representatives Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) introduced the Next Generation Entrepreneurship Corps Act to encourage new business and job creation in underserved communities through a competitive fellowship for entrepreneurs. With a six-year investment of $330 million, the bill will identify talented entrepreneurs through a national competition and directly support the creation of 320 new businesses each year.


Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures Boosts Maryland Life Sciences BioBuzz

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) has had a significant impact on the Maryland life sciences ecosystem since its founding in 2014, assisting with hundreds of licensed therapeutics in development and backing nearly 200 startups that have collectively nearly $3 billion in venture capital funding, 30% of which has remained in the state.



The Earth has finally attained popular recognition for its fifth ocean, with a decision by the National Geographic Society to add the Southern Ocean around Antarctica to the four it recognizes already: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans.

Although the designation of the frigid waters around the icy southern continent as a separate ocean has kicked around for almost 100 years and is widely used by scientists, until now it has not had popular backing.


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A D.C. hospital has once again scored well in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s best children’s hospitals.

And the one ranked second-best overall is just a few hours away.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ranked second in the annual U.S. News Honor Roll, with D.C.’s Children’s National Hospital not far behind at seventh overall.

Dr. Kurt Newman, the president and CEO of Children’s National, noted that it marks the fifth year in a row that Children’s National has been ranked among the top 10 nationwide.


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Join us Sunday, June 27 at 3:45 PM GMT for our next session of Saving Lives with Autotransfusion: Lessons from the Field—a Sisu Global webinar series where clinicians speak about their experience using Hemafuse in surgery and other global health issues.


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Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) presented Maryland Governor Larry Hogan with its 2021 Governor of the Year Award. Governor Hogan received the award virtually at BIO Digital 2021.

With the annual award, BIO honors governors for their leadership in public service, commitment to public health, and dedication to strengthening the biotechnology sector in their state. For over a decade, the long-standing award has recognized governors from across the country and both sides of the aisle.


Veralox Therapeutics

FREDERICK, Md., June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Veralox Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics that treat the underlying pathologies of diseases with significant unmet medical needs, today announced the closing of a $16.6 million Series A financing.  The round was led by Hatteras Venture Partners with participation from Genesys Capital, Point Field Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments as well as support from previous Veralox investors including Sanofi Ventures, JDRF T1D Fund, Maryland Momentum Fund, VTC Innovation Fund and TEDCO.  The Company also announced that Ben Scruggs, PhD, principal at Hatteras Venture Partners, and Jamie Stiff, MBA, managing director at Genesys Capital, will join the Veralox Therapeutics board of directors.



This is the annual report published by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) on top university patent holders. The Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2020 were compiled using data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Top 100 highlights the vital role patents play in translating university research and innovation. Published annually by the NAI and IPO since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as the first assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO during the 2020 calendar year.


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Novavax said today it will file for FDA approvals in the third quarter for its COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373, after it showed 90.4% overall efficacy, and 93% efficacy against the five most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants “of concern” and eight more variants “of interest,” in a Phase III trial.

“Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional COVID-19 vaccines,” Novavax president and CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a statement.



Starting immediately, miRecule, Inc. is looking for a Laboratory Technician to join its rapidly growing team in Gaithersburg, MD on the development of next generation RNA therapeutics to treat cancer and other diseases.

Job description:

As a Laboratory Technician at miRecule, you will be responsible for supporting antibody development platforms in our lead therapeutic programs. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Preparation of media and solutions as needed for expression and purification of recombinant antibodies and scFvs
  • Performing laboratory experiments to improve expression, purification, stability and affinity of recombinant antibodies and scFvs


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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — More opportunities to come for college students in Maryland who are interested in STEM-related fields.

Montgomery County is playing a big role in creating new opportunities for those in science education. Since the pandemic, the focus has shifted as creating vaccines against COVID-19 was critical.

“It was a great convergence of the University System plus Montgomery College, plus the private sector, the people who have to bring jobs here,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

A memorandum of understanding was signed to grant students from across Maryland internship and job opportunities to gain work experience in research with Montgomery county’s top industry leaders.



The life sciences sector is hot, and that’s led to a rising interest among building owners in converting assets to lab, research and biotech space.

For instance, Rock Creek Property Group transformed 13.1 acres of what was originally zoned for up to 175 townhomes and 400,000 square feet of office space at 700 Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg, Md., into a Class A, life sciences project suitable for manufacturing, lab and office space. 


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  • 93% efficacy against predominantly circulating Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest 
  • 91% efficacy in high-risk populations 
  • 100% efficacy against variants "not considered Variants of Concern/Interest” 
  • All COVID-19 hospitalizations/death occurred in the placebo group 
  • Company to host investor conference call today at 8:30 am ET

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), today announced that NVX-CoV2373, its recombinant nanoparticle protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, demonstrated 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, 90.4% efficacy overall, and met the primary endpoint in its PREVENT-19 pivotal Phase 3 trial. The study enrolled 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the U.S. and Mexico to evaluate efficacy, safety and immunogenicity, with an emphasis on recruiting a representative population of communities and demographic groups most impacted by the disease.


A few weeks ago, we wrote about how the BioHealth Capital Region’s (BHCR) biotech sector is booming. Advanced biomanufacturing, cell and gene therapy, vaccine development, and the medtech industries have all seen record growth over the past few years.

Biotech innovation is accelerating. There are over a thousand cell and gene therapies in the clinical pipeline. Big Data, automation, and gene editing technologies like CRISPR — in addition to the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year—are revolutionizing drug development and forcing the industry to reimagine what’s possible. 


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

Maryland universities, Montgomery County government and the private sector are teaming up to capitalize on local momentum in life sciences created over the past year as the pandemic catapulted companies in the region to the global stage — and as the need for research and innovation continues.

Montgomery County, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding Friday at the Universities at Shady Grove’s Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building in Rockville. The collaboration between academia and industry, called the Montgomery/Maryland Life Sciences Education and Innovation Partnership, will aim to create job opportunities for local students and, in doing so, build a talent pipeline for the county’s companies.

Image: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich speaks at a press conference as the county, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding Friday at the Universities at Shady Grove’s Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building in Rockville. HANNAH DENHAM

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Novavax, a small American company buoyed by lavish support from the U.S. government, announced on Monday the results of a clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and Mexico, finding that its two-shot inoculation provides potent protection against the coronavirus.

In the 29,960-person trial, the vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent, on par with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and higher than the one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The Novavax vaccine showed an efficacy of 100 percent at preventing moderate or severe disease.



The Biden administration today began to flesh out a proposal for a new agency—modeled on the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—that would seek to speed the development of medical treatments by funding risky, innovative projects. The agency, dubbed ARPA-Health (ARPA-H), would be housed at the National Institutes of Health and have a 2022 budget of $6.5 billion, according to a White House spending request released today.


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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

For questions/more information, contact BHI.