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Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) and Nature Technology Corporation (NTC) announce today that they have entered into a new license agreement. The licensing of NTC’s RNA-OUT™ and HyperGro™ technology is part of ITI’s expansion into developing nucleic acid immunotherapies for cancer.

ITI believes that LAMP-Vax immunotherapy platform has the potential to transform nucleic acid vaccine therapy. Although additional studies are needed to confirm clinical benefit, LAMP-Vax has the potential to specifically direct the cancer antigen into a processing part of the cell for more efficient presentation to the immune system. Last year, this approach gained important commercial validation when Immunomic Therapeutics entered into significant licensing agreements with Astellas Pharma Inc., totaling over $315 million in upfront payments, as well as potential future milestones and royalty payments.

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VLP Therapeutics, LLC. announced today that it has received a grant for approximately US$960,000 from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund ("the GHIT Fund") for early-stage research to develop new vaccines for dengue fever using virus-like particles that would target all four strains of the virus. Dengue fever is one of the world's most serious public health problems, threatening more than half the world's population, and infecting 50 to 100 million people every year.

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The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Request for Proposals (RFP) for FY2017. The solicitation opens today and Letters of Intent (LOIs) are due by Thursday, November 10th. Award announcements are planned for early June 2017.

The CRCF grows Virginia’s economy by supporting high-potential technology commercialization projects at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities, the private sector and nonprofit research institutions. A single solicitation for $2.8 million will be offered in FY2017, with five programs available for funding: Commercialization, SBIR Matching Funds, STTR Matching Funds, Matching Funds and Eminent Researcher Recruitment.

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Mark Cuban has had a bumpy relationship with the healthcare community, but his approach seems to be evolving with a recent step into the world of healthcare venture capital.

According to Inc., the Shark Tank host is the latest to note the issues with healthcare’s middlemen, and has decided to do something about the problem by specifically targeting pharmacies. Cuban describes his vision as a world without the Main Street staple of modern healthcare delivery, predicting that “over the next 15 to 20 years, medicine will be so personalized there will be no drugstores.”

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Under Armour is partnering with a California tech company to provide more people with access to nearby fitness classes nationwide directly through the MyFitnessPal application.

Through the partnership with San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Mindbody Inc., millions of MyFitnessPal users in the U.S. will be able to search, book and pay for classes at tens of thousands of fitness studios in the Mindbody network. Classes include indoor cycling, martial arts, boxing and yoga.

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Accelerate Baltimore, Emerging Technology Centers' seed accelerator program, landed $250,000 from the Abell Foundation to help fund its sixth year.

The four-month accelerator program gives each participating company $25,000 in seed funding, free office space, access to an advisory team, instructional programming, mentors and connections to potential investors. The program ends with a Demo Day, attended by angel investors and venture capitalists.

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Startup incubator 1776 has selected Accenture (NYSE:ACN) to provide guidance and insights to its growing roster of digital health startups.

“1776 is thrilled Accenture is with us in the mission to drive health care into the future,” said Evan Burfield, 1776 cofounder & co-CEO. “There is so much opportunity to improve health care dramatically, but it can’t be done unless talented new entrepreneurs and prestigious established institutions work closely together.”

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This month, we talk with David Narrow, chief operating officer of Baltimore startup Sonavex, which is developing a patent-pending, ultrasound-based system that pinpoints potential postsurgical blood clots.

Narrow started developing EchoSure, Sonavex’s ultrasound system, with Devin O’Brien Coon in 2012, when they were both in their first semester of Johns Hopkins’ biomedical engineering graduate program at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.

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PlantVax, Inc. has been contracted by a tier one US defense contractor as the primary supplier of Recombinant Human Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in support of a Program of Record chemical warfare disclosure spray. The disclosure spray is a first-of-its-kind plant derived enzyme-based sensor that users apply to wide surfaces, enabling rapid visual indication of chemical warfare agents. The spray requires the high expression and stability levels in the AChE that PlantVax specializes in providing. The end product is the first product of its kind that is able to utilize a recombinant, plant-expressed AChE.

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Although progress has been made, there is no denying the biotech industry continues to have a large gender gap. Women hold only 16 percent of the senior management posts at the top pharma companies, and of senior executive positions at emerging companies — the 10 companies that raised most in venture capital A rounds in 2014 — only 12 (17 percent) were filled by women.*

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As midterm season reigns on, Howard University’s administration still has one question left to answer: when exactly is its upcoming tech incubator opening?

At the beginning of the school year, those close to the project said they would be opening the incubator in fall 2016. Now, as of Wednesday, that date has been revised; the incubator won’t open until at least early 2017.

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As a not-for-profit corporation that manages federally funded research and development centers for the government, MITRE is an ideal organization to host challenges. We do not market or manufacture goods and have no financial investment in the results. Our goal is to work with industry, academia, and government to find solutions that benefit all stakeholders and provide our federal sponsors with the capabilities they need to be successful in their missions.

Working across a wide range of government agencies gives MITRE a broad view into the challenges these agencies face, including the challenges that agencies share. We select our Challenge topics on the basis of this knowledge, looking for gaps that need to be filled.

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Chief technologist at the United States Small Business Administration doesn't immediately sound like the most exciting title, which is part of why after three years, G. Nagesh Rao prefers to be known as the Geek In Residence. He's responsible for coordinating and leading programs to boost entrepreneurship via the SBA and in partnership across nearly a dozen federal agencies as with the Small Business Innovation Research program. But Rao ranges far beyond just his job. He's an advisor for half a dozen entrepreneurship related groups including local organizations like Village Capital and LAUNCH, a group jointly run by Nike and a handful of federal agencies.

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The National Science Foundation awarded a $3.45 million grant to the University of Maryland to expand research as part of the NSF's innovation program, said university Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dean Chang.

The grant, part of the NSF's I-Corps Nodes program, is intended to promote the growth of research and entrepreneurship so that it may be applied on a larger scale, said Chang, the grant's recipient. The grant is slated to go into effect in the beginning of 2017, Chang said.

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Suburban Maryland's tech cluster is among the top 10 biotech regions in the U.S, ranking at No. 6 based on talent, funding availability and its real estate, according to a new report from real estate brokerage JLL.

"The region is the healthiest it has been in about a decade because of tenant growth, number of life sciences companies, mergers and acquisitions, a lowering vacancy rate and rising rental rates," said Pete Briskman, a managing director in JLL's Bethesda office. "However, that could also mean fewer opportunities in the future."

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The National Science Foundation has awarded $3.45 million over the next five years to renew its Innovation Corps program D.C.-area node  to support entrepreneurship. George Washington University works alongside three additional collaborating institutions to train entrepreneurial student and faculty researchers and help them bring their discoveries to market.

The innovation hubs, known as I-Corps nodes, provide research infrastructure and training that help researchers transition fundamental science and engineering discoveries to the marketplace, according to NSF. The nodes also support I-Corps sites nationwide and offer seven-week I-Corps curriculum to their teams.

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We're pleased to announce the release of the Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures fiscal year 2016 annual report - for the first time in digital format!

Last year, we took tremendous strides in realizing our mission to benefit people around the world through innovation and to invigorate the local Baltimore economy. We saw a record number of disclosures, significant growth in our corporate partnerships, the creation of more startups than ever before, and substantial progress on the buildout of new state-of-the-art facilities.

While we're proud of our accomplishments, there's more to do. We are using the facts and figures in this report to identify the paths that led to success and to develop strategies that build upon our progress.

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I have just downloaded the app Uberstand to my phone — the "revolutionary" app that seamlessly converts academics into a standing reserve of mobile, on-demand, adjunct knowledge providers. The app is designed to meet the real-time needs of institutes of higher learning and their customers, who often find themselves operating with a knowledge deficit, or what the industry terms a "need-to-know."

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Supported by a $9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a multidisciplinary team led by Johns Hopkins researchers has begun looking for new ways to attack one of the scariest traits of this disease: its frequent refusal to stay in one place.

The new funding, to be allocated over a five-year period, will enable scholars in physical sciences, engineering, applied mathematics, cancer biology, and other disciplines to pool their expertise to solve stubborn cancer-related mysteries.

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A partnership between the University System of Maryland and Prince George's County schools led to increased student interest in STEM fields, higher scores on the science portion of Maryland State Assessments and more students entering STEM fields in college, according to the project's final report.

The USM's Math Science Partnership Minority Student Pipeline aimed "to expand the minority student pipeline in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in higher education, by employing strategies engaging STEM faculty, teachers, undergraduates and high school students," the report read. The USM's Education Policy and Student Life Committee reviewed the report on Sept. 20.

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Higher education has a business model problem. The business model for U.S. colleges and universities — how they create, deliver, and capture value — hasn’t changed since Harvard, our country’s first college, was founded in 1636. Our higher education system is a national treasure that creates enormous societal value, but its 380-year-old business model fails to deliver affordable access and post-secondary credentials to an increasing percentage of our population. The American social contract was clear throughout the Industrial Era. While many jobs moved out of reach for those without a college degree, there were still ample opportunities for everyone to earn a good living in order to support a family. The U.S. became an economic powerhouse with a robust and thriving middle class.

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Redwood City, California-based medical device company Relievant Medsystems Inc has raised $36 million in funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round with participation from Canaan Partners, Emergent Medical Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures.

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NATURE OF WORK

The Senior Grants and Contracts Manager will be tasked with the preparation, drafting, review and negotiation of contractual agreements with a special emphasis on agreements that support biomedical research initiatives and partnerships. S/he should have a strong customer service orientation and be able to identify process improvements so that transactions are completed with the right balance of efficiency and risk mitigation. S/he will report to the Director of Operations but will serve the contracting needs of colleagues across the Foundation. Strong writing, analytical and organizational skills must be matched with a sense of flexibility, entrepreneurial spirit and good cheer.

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Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 6:00 PM 

Five Top Intellectual Property Legal Experts and a Room Filled with Life Science and Healthcare Entrepreneurs…what could possibly happen?

Strategies for Start-ups (and Non-Start-ups) to Maintain, Protect and Unlock their Intellectual Property

The workshop is intended for non-lawyers to understand IP issues and answer questions on just about every aspect of IP including; Copyrights, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Patents, licensing, IP Due Diligence, IP Strategy, etc.

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The Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter of Women In Bio is presenting a program to learn about board service in the public and private sectors. If you are a budding entrepreneur looking to develop a board, this is the event for you. If you were recently named to a board and want to know more about your responsibilities, this is the event for you. If you want to start a business/nonprofit and need to know how to set up a board, this is the event for you.

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The Johns Hopkins University earned $58 million in licensing revenue in its 2016 fiscal year, three times more than in the prior year.

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, the university's commercialization office, attributed the spike in part to a major sublicensing deal between one of its portfolio companies, Immunomic Therapeutics, and Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma.

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An affiliate of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE), an urban office REIT based in Pasadena, Calif., has purchased Torrey Ridge Science Center in San Diego’s Torrey Pines submarket. Walton Street Capital and SteelWave sold the campus to Alexandria for $182.5 million.

Torrey Ridge Science Center is a Class A life science campus leased to companies such as Regulus Therapeutics, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Nitto BioPharma, Interpreta and BP Technology Ventures. The three-building, 291,799-square-foot campus was 87 percent leased at the time of sale.

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MD Start, a European medical technology accelerator, announced Thursday that it has raised $11.5 million to create and fund four new French companies that can fulfill unmet needs in the medical device market.

The round was led by French Tech Acceleration Fund managed by Bpifrance, a French public investment bank. Other returning investors were French venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners, Dublin-based Medtronic, and LivaNova, a London-based medical device company.

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Venture capitalists invested $19.6 million in Maryland companies in the third quarter, the lowest total in any quarter since 1997.

The total investment represents a 76 percent decrease from the second quarter and is down 86 percent from the third quarter last year, according to a MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers published its quarterly MoneyTree Report Friday showing that startups of all stripes garnered a total of $10.6 billion through 891 deals nationwide. However, the deal value and the number of deals fell 36 percent and 25 percent respectively from the same quarter last year.