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Women of the Virginia bioscience community from across the state will lead this first-ever full day event offering examples of working together to build a stronger bioscience industry, stronger companies and institutions, stronger teams and networks, and stronger individuals.  

When: Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:00AM-5:00PM

Where: Inova Center for Personalized Health 3225 Gallows Rd Fairfax, Virginia  22037 United States

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As members of a life sciences advisory and investment banking group, my partners and I have often noted that life sciences companies fall victim to the same mistakes and misconceptions, repeated again and again. These failures mostly hinge upon company management misunderstanding the fundamentals of market dynamics and failing to appreciate the importance of the exit—the sole event where company investors receive a return on their investment, either through an initial public offering (IPO) or a company sale. Unfortunately, the biotech industry's track record on exits is disappointing. According to the National Venture Capital Association (Washington, DC), between 2005 and 2014, only one in five US biotech and medical device companies achieved liquidity after six years. And from my perspective over the past 20 years, that low success rate does not appear to be improving.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb’s acquisition of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals and its prodrug used to treat heart failure earned top honors in the Mergers and Acquisitions category from Thomson Reuters’ Allicense event on June 8.

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and a visiting researcher from the National Institutes of Health helped put the Johns Hopkins University scientists who compose the startup in touch, which led to the creation of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals.

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In the past few years the wearables sector has been a hive of activity, but it feels like this year things have accelerated, particularly in the realm of health and wellness. A report by Forrester Research projected that 29 percent of Americans will use wearable devices, compared with 18 percent in 2015. It predicts that wearables sales will rise from $4.2 billion in 2015 to $9.8 billion in 2021.

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QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced plans to return approximately $250 million to shareholders through a synthetic share repurchase proposal that combines a direct capital repayment with a reverse stock split.

These actions, which will lead to an adjustment in QIAGEN’s share capital, have been used previously by other large, multinational Dutch companies as an efficient way to provide returns to shareholders. The proposal, if adopted, is expected to be similar to QIAGEN repurchasing approximately $250 million of its own shares, but will enable the return of capital to all shareholders in a much faster and more efficient way than through a traditional open-market repurchase program.

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Tioma Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-stage biopharmaceutical company developing anti-CD47 antibodies for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers, today announced it has raised $86 million in Series A venture financing. Proceeds from this financing will be used to further develop Tioma's antibody portfolio, including its lead drug candidate -- an anti-CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor -- through advanced proof-of-concept in human clinical trials.

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Companion diagnostics is gaining currency as novel drugs are being paired up with tests that determine which patients will have a higher chance of  responding to that drug.

But 15 years after the human genome project has been completed, the progress of precision medicine appears to be woefully slow, at least according to Nicholas Dracopoli, vice president and head of Oncology Biomarkers at Janssen Research & Development, part of Johnson & Johnson. Others believe precision medicine and companion diagnostics have a chicken and egg problem.

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Defense IT firm Leidos today announced it has successfully closed on the acquisition of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business, formalizing a deal announced in January.

With Lockheed Martin’s $5 billion IT business, Leidos becomes the government’s largest IT provider—nearly doubling its annual revenue to $10 billion—and further cements its place as a force in the growing federal health IT market.

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The Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB) is developing recommendations to support the continued growth of the BioHealth industry in Maryland. The LSAB Working Group focused on Workforce and Access to Talent is seeking your input for their recommendations.

If you are involved with hiring/training employees, please take five minutes to complete this online survey by next Monday, August 22nd to have your feedback considered by the LSAB Workforce Working Group. (Please forward this survey to your HR manager/others if appropriate.)

Your input is valued. All responses will be kept confidential unless you ask for a member of the LSAB to contact you. If you have any questions or feedback for the other groups (Access to Capital, Technology Transfer, Foundational Support, Convergence of Bio and IT), please email the Maryland Department of Commerce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for sharing your time and feedback.  

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Symbiomix today announced it is accelerating plans for the commercial launch of Solosec™ (secnidazole) oral granules following the presentation of clinical results from the second pivotal trial for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) with the hiring of Taunia Markvicka, PharmD, MBA, as Chief Commercial Officer. Symbiomix had a significant presence at the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG) Annual Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland this past weekend with both the oral data presentation and sponsorship of a panel discussion on emerging diagnosis and treatment recommendations for BV. In addition, the company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued conditional acceptance of the proprietary name Solosec™. Solosec™ was previously known as SYM-1219.

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In case you haven’t heard, BioBuzz just announced the launch of the BioHive – an Online Community and Collaboration Platform that is now open to general public. The BioHive will help enable all the components in our regional biotech ecosystem to work more efficiently to accelerate innovation, collaboration, workforce and growth opportunities.

Categorized into industry specific networks, the BioHive was built to bring together this region digitally and cultivate relationships that otherwise would not have been created due to company, role, geography, etc.

Please help us by pointing your coworkers and peers to the BioHive tab at http://www.biobuzz.net/ or directly at https://biohive.breezio.com to learn more and register for free today for their own BioHive account.

Working to build a stronger Biotech community has been BioBuzz’s mission for more than six years, so they are very excited to bring to you this great resource – so come join me on the BioHive!

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Former University System of Maryland chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan will lead a new commission to make recommendations about funding formulas and innovative strategies used in public education in Maryland.

The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education will revisit the equity of the state's K-12 education funding formula, examining the alignment between K-12 education requirements and higher education expectations, Kirwan said. It will also review successful innovations in education nationally and globally. Gov. Larry Hogan and leaders of the General Assembly announced Kirwan's appointment to chair the commission Aug. 9.

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A new book by Andrea LaFountain, CEO of Mind Field Solutions, looks at the science of patient behavior to answer the questions that big data cannot. LaFountain stopped by the Knowledge@Wharton Show on Sirius XM channel 111 to talk about the book, How Patients Think: A Science-Based Strategy for Patient Engagement and Population Health.

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: In this age of technology and big data, why is there still that disconnect between healthcare providers and patients?

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Get Real Health’s InstantPHR® Powers Patient Engagement Tool for Saskatchewan Residents: eHealth Saskatchewan pilot provides 1,000+ residents centralized access to their health records.

Rockville, Maryland-based Get Real Health furthered its mission of empowering patients across the globe by developing a pilot program for eHealth Saskatchewan targeted at improving access to health data for residents of the province, giving patients a real-time view of their overall health.

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Thursday September 22, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus is also a site for the popular Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Geared toward retirees, these non-credit classes cover topics including opera, literature, history, politics and more.

The campus is home to approximately 35 research companies and entrepreneurs. Scientists on campus are studying cervical cancer, Alzheimer's disease, cell therapy, proteins and other health issues. Other companies focus on technology, medical devices and consulting services. The Rockville Science Center's administrative offices are located here. Start-up companies, second-stage businesses and more established companies are welcome.

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You came to Hopkins in 2009 and now your contract has been extended through 2024. That’s a long time!

The board invited me to extend my term at Johns Hopkins, and I jumped at the opportunity. My wife and I love Hopkins and Baltimore, and couldn’t be happier knowing that we will be able to spend the next eight years being part of this amazing place, including, of course, strengthening Johns Hopkins’ relationship with Baltimore.

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Venture capital (VC) financing fuels our future by investing in small, early-stage companies and projects that may be destined to become the next Apple or Google. A new report from Martin Prosperity Institute shows venture capital is highly concentrated by industry. The top five industries (in order) are as follows: software, biotechnology, media and entertainment, medical devices and equipment and information technology services.  According to the report, which uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters, these top five VC industries receive $25 billion in investment—more than three-quarters of the overall pie. If expanded to include the top 10 industries, we can account for more than 90 percent of all VC investment. The report focuses on the intersection of industry and geography for all VC investments.

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This free event brought to you by BioHealth Innovation is to gather interested small businesses seeking funding from the NCI SBIR grants program.

  • Connect with NCI SBIR program managers
  • Hear about the current NCI contract solicitation
  • Learn about additional support from BioHealth Innovation

When: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Where:Germantown Innovation Center 27201 Goldenrod Lane Germantown, MD 20876

RSVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attendance is limitied to BioHealth companies. The parking at the GIC can handle 20 non-resident companies labeled in the GIC reserve spaces. Others will be ticketed.

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New treatments are needed for severe asthmatics who do not respond to standard therapy with inhaled steroids, especially those with a “type 2 low” phenotype, such as individuals with neutrophil-predominant inflammation. This solicitation is for the development and early commercialization of an inhalational formulation of the 5A apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) mimetic peptide that can be administered to asthmatic subjects in Phase I clinical trials and subsequently developed into a new treatment for severe asthma.

Proposals will be due October 21, 5 pm and there will be a pre-proposal webinar on August 24, 2 pm (http://bit.ly/FY17ContractsWebinar) for companies who may be interested in applying."

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The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine received a $14.4 million grant for HIV research.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will fund research aimed at tackling a significant scientific challenge in HIV vaccine research – the inability to produce long-lasting antibodies to protect against the infection.

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The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine announced today a $14.4 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to tackle a significant scientific global challenge in HIV vaccine research – the inability to produce long-lasting antibodies to protect against HIV infection. The announcement was made today by Robert C. Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and his colleagues George Lewis, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Director Division of Vaccine Research, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Anthony DeVico, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Vaccine Research, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. IHV’s grant collaborators include Guido Silvestri, MD at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University and Warner Greene, MD, PhD, of the Gladstone Institute of Virology & Immunology at the University of California at San Francisco.

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The company, which employs more than 300 people at its plant in Ulverston, was praised for its work helping tackle diseases in both the western and developing world.

This list appeared in prestigious American publication Fortune, which has its headquarters in New York City.

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Chevy Chase venture fund New Enterprise Associates upped its bet on ThreatQuotient, a Reston-based cybersecurity analytics start-up, in a $12 million investment announced Tuesday.

ThreatQuotient operates a set of data analytics tools for corporate cybersecurity analysts, meant to help sort through the millions of data points that might predict the next hack. The company was founded in 2013 by two technologists working out of AOL’s Fishbowl Labs incubator in Sterling, Va., and chief executive John Czupak joined in late 2015.

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Precision Medicine is gathering pace, driven by leaders from across healthcare, academia, Big Pharma, government, technology innovators and more. In the past year the investment of both time and resources into this exciting new area has grown exponentially with exciting projects and initiatives springing up across the globe.

For the first time Phacilitate has gathered all of these influencers and industry innovators together into the Top 50 Big Data Influencers in Precision Medicine eBook.

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In 2011, a supercomputer won $1 million on Jeopardy! In 2016, that same supercomputer is tackling a challenge quantified not in millions of dollars but in millions of cancer patients.

The goal is to use Watson’s natural language processing to mine the medical literature and a patient’s records to provide treatment advice. And this month the Watson computer system is drastically expanding its reach—from one hospital in Thailand to six in India and a planned 21 more in China.

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Twenty accomplished female life sciences executives will comprise the first ever cohort of Women In Bio’s Boardroom Ready program, the organization announced today. The women will spend five days this fall at George Washington University completing a new executive-level board certification training program to prepare them to join corporate Boards of Directors.