Sonosa Medical Spins Out of the MDC Studio

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Baltimore, August 17, 2021

The MDC Studio is pleased to announce the spin-out of the company, Sonosa Medical, Inc., as an independent entity. Founded in 2019, Sonosa Medical is developing next-generation devices poised to transform the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The company is led by Dr. Stephen Restaino as Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Wolf as Medical Advisor, and Dr. Gil Blankenship as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Restaino and his team have been developing novel technology for the detection and treatment of OSA using a wearable device. Their work has been funded by a $3.35 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Dr. Restaino is also the Director of Engineering and a Partner at the MDC Studio, and has been involved in developing every technology at the MDC Studio since joining in 2017. Dr. Jeffrey Wolf is a Partner at the MDC Studio, as well as a Professor of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Program in Oncology at the University of Maryland Medical System. Dr. Blankenship is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the MDC Studio, and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. The MDC Studio is dedicated to building health and medical technology companies based on intellectual property from top-tier research programs in Maryland.

“Stephen has played a critical role in developing the Sonosa technology and launching the company, and the MDC Studio looks forward to continuing to support the team to develop devices to revolutionize the treatment pathway for almost one billion patients worldwide with obstructive sleep apnea,” said Dr. Blankenship.

“Support from the MDC Studio has been critical to the success of the Sonosa project and to the development of the Sonosa Medical company. The MDC Studio’s structure of engineering development complemented by business development and support services allowed Sonosa Medical to develop both its technology and its company structure in parallel, ” said Stephen Restaino, CEO of Sonosa Medical.

About Sonosa Medical

Sonosa Medical, Inc. is developing wearable devices to improve the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The Company has developed a novel non-invasive technology that can both locate the source of an airway obstruction during sleep, and provide measures to maintain an open airway, allowing a patient to sleep normally. The development of the Company’s technology has been funded by DARPA through an SBIR contract.

About the MDC Studio

The MDC Studio is the operational unit of the Maryland Development Center Partnership, which was founded in 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. MDC Studio functions as a MedTech Startup Studio that provides engineering support, business development services, and funding to create and support companies commercializing medical devices. The Studio works with inventors to develop their ideas into working prototypes and marketable products and form companies that will grow and create value for both their shareholders and all of society. MDC Studio Baltimore is located in the historic Wilkens-Robins building in the heart of Baltimore, near the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University where MDC’s founding partners and affiliates practice, teach, and research state of the art surgery and medicine.

MissionGO and The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland Reshape the Future of Medical Blood Transport with Successful Unmanned Aircraft Flight

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BALTIMORE, Aug. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As donation and transplantation needs continue to rise in Maryland and across America, a faster, safer and more efficient solution for organ and blood transport has arrived. MissionGO, a leader in unmanned aircraft solutions, and The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (The LLF), the state’s organ procurement organization (OPO) responsible for organ, eye and tissue donation services, today announced a successful flight demonstration. The flight took place on August 10 using the new MissionGO MG Velos 100, a fully autonomous, high-speed unmanned aircraft system (UAS) solution for blood and organ delivery. The demonstration revealed an approximately 292 percent time improvement over ground transportation, this marks a momentous medical achievement for both organizations by being the first to demonstrate rapid UAS blood transport for fast-track lab testing, matching and transplantation of life-saving organs.

“About 20 lives are lost every day waiting for an organ transplant. As the demand of blood shipment to laboratories increases, it is imperative more than ever that we support and facilitate these types of initiatives in order to decrease the total turnaround time for donor matching results and get recipients the organs they need in time,” said Charlie Alexander, president and CEO of The LLF. “We are passionate about saving and enhancing lives through donation, while honoring the legacy and generosity of our donors and their families. Continuing to make these medical advancements furthers our mission to save more lives, and we look forward to finding more innovative ways to help those in need.”

Blood testing and travel time are integral parts of the organ donation and transplantation process, but with so many imminent variables that could threaten the viability of specimens, transporting blood in a safe, timely and effective manner is critical. Currently, The LLF send blood specimens to a minimum of three different labs by ground courier that are most frequently across a 7.1-mile distance, which takes about 38 minutes for just one shipment. This process is also subject to heavy traffic, unexpected accidents and many other unpredictable road-related factors. Once received, The LLF, donor hospitals and partner laboratories within 150 to 250 miles must create extremely efficient, logistical solutions to rapidly and rigorously test the specimen to ensure there are no communicable diseases present, identify a match and provide transport to the transplant hospital for the surgical procedure.

MissionGO recognized that a better method was needed and, with technology partners MediGO and AlarisPro, designed the MissionGO MG Velos 100, a fully integrated solution to track, deliver and monitor the entire logistics process. The LLF and MissionGO then developed a study comparing the speed and reliability of delivering blood specimens via ground transport versus unmanned aircraft. At one of MissionGO’s Maryland test sites, the UAS flew a circuit route over a 5.3-mile distance representing the direct line flight path for the blood delivery. Traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour over a 60-minute period, the UAS completed four total blood delivery shipments demonstrating that a better method is possible. Throughout the process, MediGO provided critical logistical information to all shipment stakeholders, including a chat channel for ongoing communication between the flight team to monitor each step of the specimen’s journey.

“When it comes to donation, specimen testing and transplantation, every second counts, and we found there was a lot of room for improvements within the current process,” said Frank Paskiewicz, executive vice president of UAS Cargo Operations at MissionGO. “For donation to be possible, labs must receive blood as quickly as possible so it can be matched with a waiting recipient, and we’re thrilled that the results of this flight and fully integrated UAS cargo delivery solution will help accelerate the donation process, and potentially, save more lives than ever before.”

Using the MissionGO MG Velos 100, OPOs, hospitals and laboratories will be equipped with an autonomous delivery system, which can airlift specimens over all traffic and geographical limitations for an expedient delivery that is fast, safe and effective. Working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to advance the MG Velos 100 through the certification process, MissionGO will be uniquely positioned to offer transplant stakeholders the only UAS capable of routine medical cargo delivery in urban environments. Combined with the complete visibility and transparency offered by MediGO and fleet and maintenance management from AlarisPro, every detail of a multi-modal organ and blood shipment is covered so that doctors and clinicians no longer have to worry about the logistics and can instead focus on their mission of saving lives.

“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to partner with The LLF, a forward-leaning, technology-focused OPO that is leading the transplant community into the future,” continued transplant surgeon Joseph Scalea, chief medical officer and co-founder of MediGO. “Now, all stakeholders can have eyes on the shipment through its entire journey to final delivery. The confidence and efficiency this brings to medical teams is a gamechanger for the industry and with our partners at MissionGO, the future of transplant logistics is here.”

There are currently about 3,000 Marylanders and more than 100,000 people nationwide waiting for a life-saving transplant. One donor can save up to eight people through organ donation and enhance more than 75 lives through tissue donation. To learn more about organ donation or to register as a donor, please visit www.thellf.org. To learn more about the MissionGO MG Velos 100 and recent flight demonstration, please visit this link.

ABOUT THE LIVING LEGACY FOUNDATION OF MARYLAND
As the organ procurement organization (OPO) for Maryland (with the exception of Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Charles Counties), The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (The LLF) facilitates donation and transplantation in area hospitals, provides donor family support, and educates hospitals and the general public about the life-saving power of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Learn more today at www.thellf.org

ABOUT MISSIONGO
MissionGO is setting a new standard for next-generation transportation logistics. By leveraging unmanned aircraft systems, MissionGO delivers improved reliability, reduced costs, and increased transparency to benefit multiple sectors including healthcare and critical infrastructure. The company is led by CEO Scott Plank and funded by Scott Plank Ventures Impact investments. Learn more today at www.missiongo.io

ABOUT MEDIGO
MediGO is a first-of-its-kind logistics platform that enables real time management of time-sensitive medical shipments on a centralized communication channel. With newfound supply chain transparency, care teams can be proactive in unifying stakeholders, coordinating resources, and making vital decisions- to deliver care at the speed of life. MediGO is a portfolio company within JSP Ventures. Learn more today at www.gomedigo.io

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adam Falzarano Jane Daniel
The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland MissionGO
afalzarano@thellf.org jdaniel@missiongo.io
410-733-0911 410-207-4494
Lindsay McFarland
The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
lindsay@lindsaymcfarlandpr.com
443-605-4706

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/62c4f258-e873-4811-b55e-ebec68e72273
https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d546e2b-1d52-457d-8725-da125bb87762

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Grants Pumas-AI Exclusive License of Analytics Platform to Enhance Drug Development

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Company spun out of University of Maryland School of Pharmacy provides a sophisticated pharmaceutical modeling and simulation platform with upgraded Productivity and Compliance Suites

BALTIMORE, Aug. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Pumas-AI, a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) startup company, has been granted worldwide, exclusive rights to enhancements to Pumas, an end-to-end pharmaceutical modeling and simulation platform for quantitative analysis across the drug development lifecycle. Pumas 2.0 builds on the company’s existing platform, which also employs technology licensed from UMB.

Pumas provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and their investors usable quantitative metrics on technical, regulatory, and commercial success probabilities. Users can quickly translate predictive insight into real-world decisions, and explore a wide range of questions for more valuable insights while effectively de-risking investments.

“Pumas 2.0 is a remarkable enhancement from Pumas 1.0 because it expands the analytics to allow users to gain deeper insights using more innovative approaches such as AI/ML integrated with conventional analyses. Pumas-AI is committed to providing academic researchers access to Pumas free of cost,” said Joga Gobburu, PhD, Pumas-AI co-founder and chief executive officer and professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, who is also director of the School’s Center for Translational Medicine.

Vijay Ivaturi, PhD, Pumas-AI co-founder and chief scientific officer and assistant professor of pharmacy practice and science at the School of Pharmacy, added, “Companies can perform an entire project in the upgraded Productivity Suite without leaving Pumas, eliminating the need to toggle between other software packages, ultimately streamlining the workflow.”

The dedicated Compliance Suite in Pumas 2.0 meets the requirements set forth by regulatory authorities. According to the new electronic submission guidelines, FDA accepts Pumas files.

“Pumas provides deep intelligence that enables pharmaceutical scientists to continue pushing innovation,” said Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, associate vice president of UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer and director of UM Ventures at Baltimore. “Pumas is experiencing rapid growth and UM Ventures looks forward to continuing to support the company as it elevates this integrated modeling and simulation platform as the new industry standard.”

Pumas-AI has a second healthcare data platform, Lyv, which is also based on technology licensed from UMB. Lyv is a robust clinical decision support system that leverages patient history and targeted medical data for personalized healthcare delivery.

About Pumas-AI
Pumas-AI was established by University of Maryland School of Pharmacy faculty members Drs. Vijay Ivaturi and Joga Gobburu. At Pumas-AI, we engineer solutions that empower those on the frontlines of healthcare, from discovery to delivery. With a range of software tools and consultancy expertise, we help scientists, healthcare providers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses as well as regulatory bodies make better decisions. For more information, visit https://pumas.ai/.

About the University of Maryland, Baltimore and UM Ventures
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a fast-growing biomedical research center with nationally ranked professional schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and an interdisciplinary graduate school. UM Ventures commercializes UMB’s breakthrough therapies, diagnostics and devices, fuels the creation of innovative start-up companies, and attracts industry leaders and entrepreneurs to the University’s thriving downtown campus. A wide portfolio of technologies is available for licensing at www.umventures.org

SOURCE University of Maryland Ventures

Connected DMV Formally Launches Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center

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August 11, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – A bold new public-private partnership to prevent future viral outbreaks from becoming pandemics has moved one step closer to realization, as the Greater Washington cross-sector nonprofit, Connected DMV, has announced the formal launch of a Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center (GPPBC). The Center will serve as a vehicle to foster greater collaboration among pandemic prevention stakeholders to deliver on strategic projects needed to advance pandemic preparedness and avoidance. The signature initiative of the Center accelerates the development of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to treat the world’s top 100 pathogens across 25 pathogen families most likely to result in disease outbreaks.

“With more than 4 million deaths and $16 trillion eliminated from global economies caused by COVID-19, we were woefully unprepared for this pandemic and can ill afford to sit back and wait for the next inevitable disease,” said Stu Solomon, President & CEO, Connected DMV. “While other organizations are keenly focused on surveillance, diagnostics, and vaccines to prevent the next pandemic, monoclonal antibodies are the key missing puzzle piece to quickly halt new outbreaks. We aim to fill that void. The GPPBC brings together the world’s top scientists, life science companies, NGOs, and community organizations in partnership with federal labs, agencies, and policy decision makers to carry out this essential mission.”

The announcement was made at the August Steering Committee meeting of the GPPBC, which convened at the formal conclusion of the successful 8-month strategy phase assessing the feasibility of this ambitious $2.5 billion project. The Center’s Steering Committee is comprised of 40 highly respected senior executives, scientists, and policy makers, and will continue throughout the Launch Phase, serving as the official Advisory Committee to the Center’s Board, providing strategic and scientific guidance and direction.

The new stand-alone Center has been incorporated as a nonprofit, nonstock corporation in the State of Delaware and a permanent board will be seated later this year. The Center will be physically located in Montgomery County, Maryland and a site selection team is working to identify and finalize a site location in the county.

The lead initiative of the GPPBC is called AHEAD100 (Advanced Human Epidemic Antibody Defenses 100). This program, led by Vanderbilt University Vaccine Center director and globally renowned infectious disease specialist, Dr. James Crowe, will develop over a period of six years a stockpile of “warm-ready” mAbs to address known and emerging pathogens among numerous viral and bacterial families. These drugs, which will be developed, tested through Phase 1 clinical trials, and stockpiled, fill the critical time gap between outbreaks and vaccines, helping to immediately contain future viral outbreaks. This is especially critical for vulnerable and underserved communities that have been adversely affected by COVID. The Center will establish global stockpiles upon successful completion of the trials.

“Monoclonal antibodies, in alignment with vaccines and antivirals, provide the comprehensive set of medical countermeasures required to prevent and treat infectious disease,” said Phyllis Arthur, Vice President, Infectious Diseases & Diagnostics Policy, Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “By resourcing AHEAD100 alongside other current funding priorities, the US government and philanthropists can accelerate innovation and fill the critical void between diagnostics and vaccines.”

Other functions of the Center include driving innovation throughout the infectious disease ecosystem by facilitating better collaboration across public health and defense, the selecting of specific R&D platforms, advancing routes of dosage administration (Intramuscular (IM) vs infusion), enhancing manufacturing capability and capacity, lowering costs, and increasing efficiency. It will also define the rapid response protocol that governs how mAbs will be used during outbreaks.

“As the world strives to contain and end this COVID-19 pandemic, new and deadly pathogens, like the Marburg virus in South Africa, remind us that danger is always on our doorstep,” said Andy Weber, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs and Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response. “With the newly established Global Pandemic Prevention & Biodefense Center, we will be better able to harness great minds and technologies to ward off emerging threats. Confronting these challenges is not only an urgent health imperative but is also critical to our national security as bad actors use these pathogens to disrupt society.”

To date, the GPPBC has and continues to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders across academia, government, industry and nonprofits – in the US and abroad. To validate its feasibility and support the transition to operations, the Center has received major funding from key partner organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Montgomery County Maryland, the State of Maryland, S&R Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

For more on the GPPBC, including the members of the Steering Committee, visit: https://www.connecteddmv.org/pandemic-center.

About Connected DMV

Connected DMV is an initiatives-based, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that works with regional organizations across Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – the DMV – to help drive ongoing improvements to social, digital, and physical infrastructure. Connected DMV focuses on initiatives that span local jurisdictions and require public-private-academia-community collaboration to best achieve the dual objectives of enduring economic health and social equity.

The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center is one of 13 region-wide key initiatives approved by Connected DMV’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force, that brings the region together for inclusive economic growth and renewal across the entire DMV region in response to the pandemic.

https://www.connecteddmv.org/

Contact:

Toni DeLancey

tonidelancey@connecteddmv.org

(703) 980-5935

CvilleBioHub Announces Leadership Transition as the Biotechnology Innovation Cluster Experiences Strong Growth in Central Virginia

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Expanded entrepreneurship program will accelerate progress for new companies

August 10, 2021, Charlottesville, VA — CvilleBioHub today announces a leadership transition, naming Stephany Oettinger as Executive Director to succeed Nikki Hastings, Ph.D., who will continue to serve as Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Board Member.

Oettinger takes on the role after nearly two years serving as program and communications manager for the organization. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in strategy, communications and marketing, including consumer and industry association work. In the Executive Director role, she will work to foster an increasingly connected and diverse, equitable, and inclusive biotech community through valuable programming and events that strengthen the ecosystem to expand the industry’s impact within the region.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside this collaborative community of more than 75 companies to propel growth and share the important stories of our collective successes,” Oettinger said. “There is an impressive amount of activity with new companies forming and companies adding new jobs within the Hub. Additionally, we are seeing strong local angel and seed support, a diversity of outside investment interest and record raises for maturing companies. The industry is innovating and thriving. Charlottesville delivers both quality in innovation and quality of life. It’s an exciting time to be in biotech in our region.”

Dr. Hastings, a CvilleBioHub co-founder and the organization’s first executive director, will continue to advance entrepreneurship in a new capacity as Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR), bringing more than 15 years of biotech industry experience in startup environments to advise early-stage companies on commercialization, operations, talent and funding strategies.

“I have a passion for biotech entrepreneurship in all stages,” Hastings said. “I am excited by the growth of the EIR program that is following the increased activity from early-stage ventures in our region and honored by the opportunity to both broadly and deeply support emerging technologies and commercialization.”

“As an industry-led organization built from the ground up, we have accomplished so much in our first five years thanks to Nikki’s visionary leadership,” said Taylor Cope, chair of CvilleBioHub’s Board of Directors. “Stephany has worked alongside Nikki to refine our strategic plan and deliver high caliber programming for our community. We look forward to her building on our momentum, serving companies at all stages of growth, and strengthening the regional bioeconomy.”

About CvilleBioHub

CvilleBioHub is an industry-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing engagement, resourcing and education to the Charlottesville-area biotechnology community. The organization has led the growth and expansion of the biotechnology innovation cluster in Central Virginia and has been identified as a model bio hub within the state of Virginia. Charlottesville is home to more than 75 companies working across all aspects of biotech and life sciences to advance human health through innovation, including subsectors that focus on medical devices, instrumentation, therapeutics, vaccines, health technology/software, agriculture technology, non-profit foundations, clinical research and biomanufacturing. There are more than 2,000 employees in the regional cluster and more than $400M invested in the area to date. For more information about CvilleBioHub, visit www.cvillebiohub.org.

BioBuzz: AGT’s HIV Cure Cell Therapy Clears First Safety Hurdle with DSMB Nod

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American Gene Technologies’ goal to develop a cure for HIV moved one step closer to reality. After infusing the first patient with its cell therapy candidate AGT103-T, the company announced the Data and Safety Monitoring Board unanimously supported the continuation of the clinical study without modification.

AGT Chief Executive Officer Jeff Galvin expressed his excitement in the green light from the board.

“Being able to safely administer the cell therapy moves the company closer to its goal of actually developing a cure for a disease that has claimed the lives of millions of people across the globe. The nod from the DSMB is a significant milestone in the clinical development of the gene therapy,” Galvin said.

AGT’s Gag-specific AGT103-T is a genetically modified cell product made from an individual’s own cells administered to patients with an ex vivo lentiviral vector-based gene therapy. The cells used in the process are collected through a process known as leukapheresis, modified outside the body, and then re-administered into the patient. The therapy is developed over an 11 –day process to increase the number of HIV-specific T-cells resistant to HIV in order to better fight the virus. In preclinical studies, AGT103-T demonstrated the ability to clear HIV and HIV-infected cells. The research was replicated in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

Click here to read more via BioBuzz

MaxCyte Signs Clinical and Commercial License with Sana Biotechnology

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Agreement represents MaxCyte’s 14th strategic platform license (SPL)

 Sana will use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation® technology and ExPERT™ platform in conjunction with the development of its hypoimmune cell therapy programs

GAITHERSBURG, MD, 9 August 2021 – MaxCyte, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXCT) (LSE: MXCT, MXCN), a leading provider of cell-engineering platform technologies, today announced the signing of a clinical and commercial license with Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq: SANA)a company focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sana Biotechnology obtains non-exclusive clinical and commercial rights to use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation® technology and ExPERT™ platform. In return, MaxCyte is entitled to receive platform licensing fees and program-related milestone payments.

Doug Doerfler, President and CEO of MaxCyte, said: “We are delighted to support Sana’s ex vivo cell therapy programs and recognize the potential of the company’s novel hypoimmune cell platform to advance treatments for serious diseases. This agreement represents an important achievement for MaxCyte as we continue to expand the use of our next-generation technology platform to support the development of innovative treatments.”

MaxCyte’s ExPERT instrument portfolio represents the next generation of leading, clinically-validated, electroporation technology for complex and scalable cell engineering. By delivering high transfection efficiency, seamless scalability and enhanced functionality, the ExPERT platform delivers the high-end performance essential to enable the next wave of biological and cellular therapeutics.

 

About MaxCyte

 

MaxCyte is a leading provider of cell-engineering platform technologies to advance innovative cell-based research, development and potential commercialization of next-generation cell therapies. The Company’s existing customer base ranges from large biopharmaceutical companies – including 20 of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies based on 2020 global revenue – to hundreds of biotechnology companies and academic translational centers. MaxCyte has granted 14 strategic platform licenses to commercial cell therapy developers that allow for more than 75 clinical programs. Founded in 1998, MaxCyte is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, US.

Reverse BioTalk – Jeff Galvin, CEO of American Gene Technologies Interviews Rich Bendis, CEO and President of BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

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Jeff Galvin, CEO of American Gene Technologies and Rich Bendis, CEO and President of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. have a fireside chat about the rapid evolution of the BioHealth Capital Region.

You can also listen to the audio only version via Apple https://apple.co/37wc6Kk, Google https://bit.ly/2XbLe0v, Spotify https://spoti.fi/3yCWhxE, and TuneIn https://bit.ly/3AqYkoR.

Click here to view the video interview between Jeff and Rich.

On the heels of Silicon Valley’s branding as one of the world’s largest tech hubs, the BioHealth Capital Region aims to brand the DMV region as one of the most prominent BioHealth clusters in the Mid-Atlantic. BioHealth Innovation, Inc. was founded 11 years ago in an effort to drive ideas from labs into markets through innovation-driven economic development organizations and initiatives.

Galvin and Bendis discuss the abundance of opportunities for growth within the region as it is home to a wide variety of research institutions, top scientists, and annual grants. Additionally, they discuss how BioHealth Innovation, Inc. cultivates success for companies within the competitive region.

Click here to view the video interview between Jeff and Rich.

Mason’s Michael Buschmann and team at start-up AexeRNA Therapeutics Inc. pursue patents for improved COVID-19 vaccines

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George Mason University bioengineering professor Michael Buschmann and a team of scientific collaborators have devised improved lipid nanoparticle  technologies to deliver mRNA that could make mRNA vaccines such as the COVID-19 vaccines less costly, with fewer side-effects and more available worldwide.

Vaccines with mRNA use lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) to protect the mRNA and facilitate the immune system’s response to protect people against infection by viruses. This technology has flattened the COVID-19 curve in Western industrialized nations, but the vaccine will need to evolve to reduce side effects and permit worldwide vaccination to eradicate the disease.

Working with George Mason University’s Office of Tech Transfer (OTT) to form the start-up AexeRNA Therapeutics Inc., Buschmann and his team have licensed the commercial rights of four patent applications to the company. The patents address two major LNP technology issues related to novel lipid molecules and novel methods of LNP manufacturing.

“Our solutions seek to make the vaccine more efficient, less costly, and decrease its adverse effects,” said Buschmann, the chair of the Bioengineering Department within Mason’s College of Engineering and Computing.

By modifying the structure and composition of the LNPs, the researchers were able to make the vaccine more efficient, less toxic and easier to make, handle and distribute.

Click here to read more via GMU.EDU.

Paul Rennie OBE and Professor Jason Snape Join Rich Bendis on BioTalk

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Paul Rennie OBE, Counsellor for Global Issues in the Global Economy Group at the British Embassy, Washington DC, and Professor Jason Snape, Head of Environmental Protection within AstraZeneca’s Global Sustainability Team, join Rich Bendis to Discuss Life Sciences, Climate Change, COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference, and The Race to Zero Campaign.

Listen now via Apple https://apple.co/3ls3EEp, Google https://bit.ly/3liTlSU, Spotify https://spoti.fi/3ylxair, and TuneIn https://bit.ly/3rS9Giz.

Paul Rennie, OBE, is the Counsellor for Global Issues in the Global Economy Group at the British Embassy, Washington DC, leading the UK’s climate and energy, economic and trade, and science and technology networks across the United States. Prior to that, he led the Foreign Office’s strategic transformation programme, focused on delivering a 21st century Diplomatic Service. Paul was born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School, before going on to graduate with an MA in Economics and Politics (Edinburgh University) and an MSc in Economics (York University). He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001 as the first of a new group of Diplomatic Service Economists. He has served at the United Nations (New York), Brazil, India and Malaysia, as well as working on secondment to the Cabinet Office and the Department for International Development. In addition to his economic work, Paul speaks five languages (English, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Hindi).

Professor Jason Snape is the Global Head of Environment within AstraZeneca’s Global Sustainability Team. Accountable for delivering AstraZeneca’s global ambitions to drive natural resource reduction (ambition zero carbon, water and waste reduction) and ensure the environmental safety of pharmaceuticals throughout their lifecycle (product environmental stewardship and pharmaceuticals in the environment). Member of the AstraZeneca UK Leadership Team.  Chair of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA), Medicines for Europe, and AESGP working group on the environmental risk assessment of human medicinal products. Recognized scientific leader and opinion former with >6000 citations from approximately 50 publications. Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of Warwick and a Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle.  Member of the University of York’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Board.  Co-chair the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Pharmaceutical Advisory Group.

Click here for the transcript.

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