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Clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Catabasis Pharmaceuticicals Inc. has pulled in an $8.7 million round of funding, according to federal documents.

This is the not the first investment round for the Cambridge, Mass-based company which is focused on the development of treatments for metabolic and inflammatory diseases. In 2010, the company closed a $48 million Series A financing backed by SV Life Sciences, Clarus Ventures, MedImmune Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures. In December 2011, the company received an $8 million Series A extension.

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Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Research Park Corporation - also known as bwtech@UMBC - hosted a ceremony today for the first graduating class of the Cyber Cync Program: AccelerEyes, Five Directions and Oculis Labs.

The event also marked the expansion of bwtech@UMBC's Cyber Incubator program, a sign of the program's success and the positive economic impact both initiatives are making on the region.

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There’s a special place in NIH’s heart for SBIR research to develop drugs, medical devices and other products that require FDA approval. For these capital intensive products where time horizons for market entry are long, many NIH institutes offer extra millions and extra years of SBIR grant support after Phase II ends.

For most institutes, SBIR Phase IIB Competing Renewal grants are the vehicle for giving extra money. At NCI and NHLBI, Bridge grants do the same thing.

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As hospitals work to boost their efficiency and the quality of care they deliver, many are finding they need new ways to go about finding and creating solutions to their post-Affordable Care Act challenges. They’re also looking for new revenue streams.

With that in mind, one California health system put up $40 million to seed an independent, for-profit company that will help commercialize ideas that come from physicians and staff members while also feeding them promising new technologies and concepts from the outside.

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The next event in Tech Transfer Speaker Series will be taking place on February 13, 2013 in the William E. Hanna, Jr. Innovation Center (9700 Great Seneca Highway Rockville, Maryland 20850).

TEDCO has undergone a number of changes over the past two years. These changes have resulted in a variety of new programs and changes to old programs. The talk will provide an overview of TEDCO's new programs, including its affinity funds, and where TEDCO is headed as a funding organization.

Speaker:
Stephen Auvil is the senior vice president for technology transfer and commercialization at the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). In this role, he is responsible for overseeing TEDCO's funding programs.

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Whether you are a budding life science entrepreneur or potential investor, this event should be of interest to you. Multiple speakers explain how to acquire funding from Venture Capitalists and other investors.

AGENDA:

6:00 PM- 6:30 PM Registration and Networking and Life Sciences Speed Dating (Refreshments Served)

6:30 PM – 6:45 PM Dr. Jeffrey Hausfeld--Welcoming Remarks and Society of Physician Entrepreneurs Introduction

6:45 PM - 8:00 PM "Show Me the Money!" presentation followed by Q & A

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After its outstanding success in Boston in 2012, AdvaMed 2013: The MedTech Conference is back in our nation's capital, Washington, DC. AdvaMed 2013 is the leading MedTech Conference in North America, bringing more than 1,000 companies together in a uniquely multifaceted environment for business development, capital formation, innovative technology showcasing, world-class educational opportunities and networking. This must-attend event for the MedTech industry will be held September 23 - 25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Please visit www.advamed2013.com for more information on the MedTech Conference.

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Blue Button Plus (Automated and Interoperable Blue Button) can provide a technology path for startups and innovators to build new products and services to help Americans with their health. But beyond, technology startups and small businesses have to think about practical matters like funding. What are ways that the federal government is trying to help health startups, particularly health tech startups, develop and commercialize businesses?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a federally-funded program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

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Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.

"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"

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Personalized medicine was supposed to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It was going to be the payoff our society would see after investing in the Human Genome Project and so much other biomedical research. While most people on the street can’t say what it means, anybody can understand the standard definition on Wikipedia. It’s about “the customization of healthcare, with decisions and practices being tailored to the individual patient by use of genetic or other information.”

But just as the concept started gaining impressive momentum last year, a movement is afoot to redefine it under a new banner of “Precision Medicine.”

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New Enterprise Associates Inc. is likely to open a Boston office within the next half a year, General Partner David Mott told the Boston Business Journal.

The fact that it's Mott - former MedImmune chief and a prominent life sciences investor - saying this suggests the move is all about biotech. His comments to the Boston paper back up this notion: “Boston is winning the biopharma innovation race, versus other geographies." Mott is based in Maryland.

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State officials are seeking some changes in the $84 million InvestMaryland program, including allowing the Department of Business and Economic Development to acquire a greater ownership interest when investing in a venture firm.

Current law prohibits DBED from acquiring an ownership interest of more than 25 percent in a business in which it invests. Legislation filed by Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Dist. 12) of Columbia on behalf of DBED would allow the state to acquire a larger interest if the investment is in a venture or private equity firm.

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The Baltimore area is a hub of intellectual and technological capital, but a new report says the city ranks behind the national curve when it comes to patenting this research.

The Baltimore region ranks 116th out of 358 metro areas across the country when it comes to per capita patent applications, according to a report released Friday by the Brookings Institution. And while the number of patents granted per year nationally has increased by roughly 50 percent, the number of patents granted in the Baltimore area has remained relatively the same since 1980, according to the report.

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Silicon Valley venture capital giant New Enterprise Associates, known as NEA, is likely to open a Boston area office within the next six months. That's according to General Partner David Mott, leader of the venture firm's health care investing and former CEO of drug maker Medimmune, which was bought by AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) in 2007.

Mott is based in Washington D.C. but says he spends so much of his time in Boston, that it only makes sense to put out a shingle here.

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Portfolio optimization and strategic site selection are crucial for success in the industry's new reality.

In the new reality for life sciences companies - one where the product development formula of the past no longer applies, where extensive M&A activity is needed to fill pipelines and mitigate risk, and where an increasing amount of attention and opportunity lie in emerging markets - prudent measures and strategic solutions are critical to succeed. Yet with all this change and uncertainty comes an immeasurable amount of opportunity.

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A New Jersey foundation that funds research coming out of the state’s medical school has agreed to replenish its investment arm with $5 million to pump into biotechnology startups at the pre-seed stage — one of the most difficult stages for companies to get funding.

The New Jersey Health Foundation’s Foundation Venture Capital Group in New Brunswick, New Jersey invests up to $500,000 in pre-seed stage companies spinning out of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. It is poised to close its 10th investment deal from the fund initially set up in 2006.

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Jim Gates, physics professor and string theorist at the University of Maryland, is best known outside academia for his ability to explain the super-cerebral world of theoretical physics to scientific dummies.

In one oft-viewed PBS video, Gates endeavors to define string theory in 30 seconds, asking: What’s left after splitting an atom 35 times? “We have no instruments to measure that, and so people like me have been working on a piece of mathematics called string theory and superstring theory to answer that question. We think there are filaments there.”

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Two more venture capital firms have been selected to receive money for investing in early-stage businesses through the state’s InvestMaryland program.

New Atlantic Ventures in Reston will receive $8 million and Kinetic Ventures in Chevy Chase will receive $5 million through the program, which is run by the Maryland Venture Fund Authority. The $84 million InvestMaryland program will give two-thirds of its money to venture capital firms to invest in early-stage companies in Maryland and the Venture Fund Authority will invest the rest itself.

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Health IT venture capital funding totaled $1.2 billion in 2012, according to a report by communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group, Healthcare IT News reports.

The amount is more than 200% higher than 2011's total of $480 million (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 1/29).

According to the report, 163 health IT venture capital funding deals occurred in 2012, compared with 49 deals in 2011 and 22 deals in 2010 (Mercom report, January 2013).

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Consistently, Maryland stands at or near the top of national rankings for basic research and development. This will come as no surprise to many who do business in the state, whether it's in government contracting, defense, health care, banking and finance, or in any one of the dozens of other key sectors of the knowledge economy as defined by the Silicon Valley model. But its much lower position in entrepreneurial activity—#33, according to a recent report by the Kauffman Foundation—is prompting the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore to ramp up its efforts to provide first-rate preparation for the state's future leaders of tech-oriented businesses, whether new or established in the marketplace.

Debuting this fall, the M.S. in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialization program is intended for working students who plan to transition from the laboratory to organizational management. It integrates technological, market and organizational issues into the core of the program. Students with science-and technology-based degrees can enhance their career potential, moving into management through the program's four themes:

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The UMD $75K Startup Challenge is an intensive business model competition for students, staff, faculty, postdocs and recent alumni at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to leverage their talent and ideas to create tomorrow's leading companies.

INNOVATE

Take your research or great idea and start a company! Enter the UMD $75K Startup Challenge by February 22, 2013 with just an executive summary and three-minute video pitch.

Interested initial entrants can take advantage of the free, open entrepreneur office hours offered by Mtech for advice in preparing your submission.

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Surgeons have released pictures of the incredible moment an Iraq veteran who lost all four limbs in a roadside bomb blast had a double-arm transplant.

Brendan Marrocco, who was injured in the explosion almost four years ago, said he's looking forward to driving and swimming after undergoing the operation.

'I just want to get the most out of these arms, and just as goals come up, knock them down and take it absolutely as far as I can,' Marrocco said yesterday.

Qiagen

Qiagen NV reported earnings per share (EPS) of 16 cents in the fourth quarter of 2012, significantly up from the break-even EPS in the year-ago period. After adjusting for certain one-time items (other than stock-based compensation), adjusted EPS were 32 cents in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents and up 3 cents from the prior-year quarter. For fiscal 2012, the adjusted EPS came in at $1.00, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and up 8.7% from fiscal 2011. T

Net sales in the quarter stood at $346.5 million, up 4% year over year (same at constant exchange rates or CER). Additionally, it surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $17.5 million. AmniSure (acquired in May 2012) made a 2% contribution to growth at CER. Also, excluding the impact of the year-ago product tender, organic growth was 4% at CER. The year-over-year improvement in sales was primarily on the back of strong performances by the company’s molecular diagnostics and applied testing customer classes.

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Just in case the momentum for comprehensive immigration reform falters, business groups have a back-up plan when it comes to high-skilled workers.

The Immigration Innovation Act, introduced in the Senate today, would raise the annual cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 115,000, and allow for additional visas if this cap is reached within a few months. Businesses in need of highly skilled workers use the H-1B visa program to fill these positions with foreigners.

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How can you tell Maryland is becoming a hotbed for cyber security business?

Ellen J. Hemmerly said it’s obvious from the companies looking into University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s technology incubator.

“We’re attracting not only local and regional entrepreneurs,” Hemmerly said. “We’re getting more and more inquiries and tenants from out of state.”

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As we begin our 2013 search for the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, we hope you’ll share the vision and nominate someone in your community, or even yourself, to be named among the next generation of business leaders. Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award with a lifelong network of gravity-defying entrepreneurs.

Each spring, the business community comes together to celebrate regional semifinalists, finalists and winners. These honorees not only create and build market-leading businesses, but also help take the standard of excellence to new heights, transform the face of industry, create jobs and contribute to the vibrancy of communities.

Applications will be accepted until March 8, 2013.

Click here to access the online application site or download the nomination brochure. 

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Two leading biotechnology companies are competing to be the first to implement cheaper, faster processes for producing drugs inside living cells, making it easier to manufacture human proteins, antibodies, and other medications.

The new approaches will be “disruptively different” says Robert Bradway, the CEO of Amgen, one of the companies pursuing a manufacturing breakthrough. Today’s systems for producing drugs in bacterial or animal cells and then isolating them are hugely expensive and can take months. With more efficient processes in place, companies could swiftly increase production of drugs in high demand, and they could produce medicines for rare diseases more cost-effectively as well.

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world's fourth largest drug maker, has entered into an equal joint venture agreement with Biological-E Ltd., a vaccines company based in Hyderabad, recently. The report has unveiled that the two companies are giving a shot to a six-in-one vaccine.

The companies would conduct a deep research as they are aiming at developing such a combination paediatric vaccine that protects children in developing nations like India. It is being hoped that the combination vaccine could fight not only polio, but other infectious diseases as well.

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Further substantiating the school’s title as one of the most forward-thinking, cutting edge institutions the nation has to offer, the University of Maryland (UMD) has announced the launch of their first ever Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship today.

Due to launch in Fall 2013, the new Academy will instill a sense a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship into all areas of curriculum and colleges with the addition of classes, workshops and real world affairs that will allow students to truly grasp the meaning and need for creativity in the workplace.

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It may just be early adopter tech types who log every step they take or calorie they burn using Fitbits, Nike Fuelbands, and other devices, but that hardly means they’re the only ones who track their health.

About 7 in 10 American adults told the Pew Internet & American Life Project that they track a health indicator like weight, diet, exercise or a symptom. But despite growing buzz around the “quantified self” movement and the explosion of gadgets and apps that help people measure and analyze everything from their activity and sleep patterns to blood glucose levels and other vital signs, just a small slice of health trackers rely on high tech devices.

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New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has pledged a $350 million gift to Johns Hopkins University to support interdisciplinary research and student financial aid, a commitment that will push his lifetime donations to his alma mater to more than $1 billion, the university announced Saturday.

Hopkins officials said they believe that Bloomberg will become the first person to reach the $1 billion level of giving to a single U.S. institution of higher education — an assertion that’s hard to verify because many donors give anonymously to universities. It is also difficult to compare the dollar value of modern donations to those in earlier eras.

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TCM is proud to announce that Governor Martin O'Malley will be the featured speaker at TCM’s Leadership Dinner.  The Governor will talk about Maryland’s knowledge economy, his legislative priorities and what’s in store for technology and biotechnology in 2013.  Our annual Leadership Dinner in Annapolis brings together the region’s technology and life sciences sectors to network and learn about important policy issues.   TCM will also share its legislative priorities for 2013.

We hope you can join us.  Last year we had over 150 executives, TCM’s Board of Directors and 50 members from the Maryland General Assembly in attendance.

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NHLBI Funding and Research Opportunities

The following funding opportunities from the NHLBI or other components of the National Institutes of Health, might be of interest:

NIH Guide Notices:

Please note that most links to RFAs, PAs, and Guide Notices will take you to the NIH Web site. RFPs will take you to FedBizOpps. Links to RFPs will not work past their proposal receipt date. Archived versions of RFPs posted on FedBizOpps can be found on the FedBizOpps site using the FedBizOpps search function. Under “Document to Search,” select Archived Documents.