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A University of Maryland, College Park fundraising campaign that began in 2006 has reached its goal of $1 billion.

It was the largest fundraising drive ever undertaken by a public institution in the Washington and Baltimore region and the largest campaign of any public university in Maryland.

The school said it raised $1.008 billion from nearly 130 million individuals, companies and foundations, including 125,000 alumni.

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We all know that venture capitalists help entrepreneurs create and grow great companies. Those great companies create jobs and improve our standard of living. Yet what many don’t realize is that the traditional venture industry is consolidating.

Washington area private firms, such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech, New Atlantic Ventures and Novak Biddle, that raise money from third-party investors are becoming fewer and farther between, with just over 500 such firms in the U.S. last year. Yet, our country’s most promising start-ups continue to get funded in part because of the rise of corporate venture capital.

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Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org), a state-wide initiative FOR Entrepreneurs…BY Entrepreneurs, today announced a partnership with CoFoundersLab (www.cofounderslab.com) to provide the Maryland entrepreneur community with a free way to find a co-founder/business partner.  To meet this need Startup Maryland and CoFoundersLab combined efforts and brands to develop a TeamFinder portal – which is also unveiled today as a new Resource at: http://startupmd.org/buildmyteam/  

The branded TeamFinder portal is the first component of Startup Maryland’s Connection initiative.  Connection joins Celebration, Coaching and Capital as four primary Areas of Concentration for Startup Maryland throughout 2013 and beyond.  These four guiding initiatives were officially announced last week at a White House reception during which Startup Maryland highlighted past successes and future plans for Presidential advisors and officials from several government agencies.

Vaxin Inc., a clinical stage vaccine development company today announced the appointment of David Brake Ph.D. to its Board of Directors.

“Vaxin has a long history of product development in animal health. It will be great to have someone with David’s expertise in this area joining our Board,” said David J. Drutz, MD, Vaxin’s Chairman. “Vaxin has significant ongoing collaborations with Drs. Henry Baker and Nancy Cox at Auburn University in the development of a vaccine to sterilize dogs and cats and with Dr. Haroldo Toro also at Auburn University in the development of influenza and other vaccines for poultry. We now have someone to help provide valuable product development and business insights on these initiatives.”

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Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org), a state-wide initiative for Entrepreneurs … by Entrepreneurs, will be recognized today during a White House briefing that corresponds with the two-year anniversary of the Startup America Partnership, a national entrepreneurship initiative in which Startup Maryland is a leading region.

Startup Maryland co-chairs Julie Lenzer Kirk and Michael Binko will join officials from Startup America, entrepreneurs from other high-performing regions, as well as Region Champions from three startups that represent the rich diversity of Maryland’s innovation economy:

  • Brian Murphy, founder/CEO of Smith Island Baking Co. (http://smithislandcake.com)
  • David Troy, CEO of 410Labs Inc. (http://www.410labs.com/#products)
  • Johnny Shockley, Co-founder, Hooper’s Island Oyster Aquaculture Co., (www.cgoysters.com)

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The University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) was recently named as the 5th "Best Value in Public Colleges" by Kiplinger, trailing only the College of William and Mary, the University of Florida, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Maryland was ranked 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state.

The annual Kiplinger study bases its ranking on a combination of financial factors, including total cost-per-year and cost after need-based aid for in-state students, total cost-per-year and cost after need-based aid for out-of-state students and average debt at graduation. Kiplinger also factors in the schools' admission rates and four-year-graduation rates.

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US venture capital (VC) funding in the life sciences sector, which includes the Biotechnology and Medical Device industries, dropped 14 percent in dollars and 7 percent in deals during 2012 according to a new PwC US report, "Double-digit dip" that includes data from the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.  Venture capitalists invested a total of $6.6 billion in 779 Life Sciences deals during the year, compared with $7.7 billion in 836 deals during 2011. The number of Life Sciences companies receiving VC funding for the first time reached the lowest level since 1995 with only 135 companies receiving funding in 2012.

Compared to the prior quarter, Life Sciences venture funding rose 11 percent in Q4 2012 to $1.9 billion. Deal volume also increased, rising 12 percent to 187 deals compared to the prior quarter.

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceutical company, reported lackluster fourth quarter earnings for 2012 this morning, with a 3.5% drop in revenue. But the company’s performance would have been much worse if it hadn’t successfully avoided a looming threat that every brand-name pharmaceutical maker faces from time to time: the end of a patent on a blockbuster drug.

GSK’s Advair inhaler (called Seretide in most of Europe and India)—used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—lost its patent at the end of 2010. Ordinarily, a cheaper, generic version of a patented drug comes out shortly after the patent expires, and the generic quickly eats away at the marketshare and revenue of its branded progenitor. But Advair still brings $8 bln in sales to GSK, making it the third highest grossing drug worldwide. The only other off-patent pharmaceutical in the top ten is Lipitor, used for treating high cholesterol, which earned its maker, Pfizer, less than half as much in 2012 as it did in 2011, the year its patent expired (in spite of Pfizer’s unprecedented campaign to keep Lipitor a top-seller by strategically slashing prices).

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Congressman Michael Honda (D., Calif.), who has been representing Silicon Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives for the past 12 years, recently submitted a bill asking for Congress to create and fund a new office at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which would be called the Office of Wireless Health.

The office would be tasked with regulating the growing number of mobile, wireless health gadgets and applications, which have been proliferating wildly since the start of the smartphone craze.

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Julie Lenzer Kirk, Executive Director of the Howard County Economic Development Authority’s Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and Co-Chair of Startup Maryland, will brief White House officials during an event intended to celebrate entrepreneurship and the Startup America Partnership. The briefing, by invitation only, will be held at 3 p.m., February 5 at the White House.

The Startup Maryland team was invited to share how their efforts have developed over the past year, as well as highlight the group’s themes and areas of concentration for the future. As one of the most active state-based regions over the past year, Startup Maryland has attracted more than 500 startup participants in the eight months since officially launching. In addition to Kirk, other Maryland participants include Startup Maryland Co-Chair and CEO of kloudtrack®, Mike Binko; Brian Murphy, founder/CEO of Smith Island Baking Co.; David Troy, CEO of 410Labs, Inc; and Johnny Shockley, Cofounder of Hooper’s Island Oyster Aquaculture Co.

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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.

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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.