Johns Hopkins Health System unveils plans for $400 million, 12-story research tower

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Johns Hopkins Health System plans to build a $400 million, 12-story research tower at its East Baltimore medical campus by the spring of 2023.

Hopkins representatives unveiled preliminary plans today that showed part of the research tower will be a new structure rising in place of the Brady Building, a seven-story structure that dated from 1915 and was demolished this year to make way for the new project.

Additional research space will be created through the renovation of the CMSC building, a 1964 structure that was built as the Children’s Medical and Surgical Center but has most recently housed labs and offices.

The combined project will have 440,770 square feet of new and renovated space, including 200,000 square feet of research labs and related areas. That makes it the largest construction project on Hopkins’ medical campus since the Sheikh Zayed Tower and the Charlotte Bloomberg Children’s Center opened in 2012.

It’s also the first major construction project on the Monument Street side of the hospital since Hopkins moved many of its employees into the Zayed and Bloomberg towers seven years ago, and a sign that Hopkins plans to continue expanding along the Monument Street corridor.

“This is an exciting but challenging project,” said Sally MacConnell, senior vice president in charge of facilities for the health system, in a presentation to Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel.

Click here to read more via Baltimore Fishbowl.

The Universities at Shady Grove Celebrates Grand Opening of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building

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ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) – a regional campus of the University System of Maryland that offers degree programs from nine different Maryland public universities – celebrated today the opening of its fourth academic building, a $175 million, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) education facility.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, USM Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret, university presidents from around the state, USG Executive Director Stewart Edelstein, and the USG Board of Advisors were joined by an array of elected officials, business and community leaders, faculty, staff and students for the grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting. Hundreds attended the grand opening event, which was followed by tours of the BSE and a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical studies) Showcase to highlight programs that partner universities will be bringing to the new facility, as well as area science and technology businesses that are partnering with USG.

USG is a regional higher education center of the University System of Maryland that offers approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs from nine different state universities, all on one convenient, full-service campus in Rockville. Students who attend USG pursue and earn their degrees directly from the partner universities that offer the programs on the campus. For undergraduate students, the university programs offered at USG provide third- and fourth-year classes toward a bachelor’s degree. Most students who attend the undergraduate programs at USG transfer from Montgomery College or another college, after completing the first two years of their coursework.

Click here to read the entire press release. Baltimore: Sonavi Labs raised a $1M seed round. It’s a big milestone for a diverse team

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Sonavi Labs, the Pigtown-based company that’s bringing to market digital stethoscope technology combining noise cancellation and AI that was initially developed by Johns Hopkins scientists, has raised $1 million in seed funding.

It’s the first official fundraising round for a company that’s been bootstrapped over its first two years, and Sonavi Labs reached the seven-figure milestone without raising from institutional venture capital firms. Instead, the investors, whose names are not being disclosed by the company, come from the healthcare and scientific community, as well as friends and family, said CEO Ellington West.

Cofounded by West and CTO Ian McLane in 2017, the company has a license from Johns Hopkins for technology, known as Feelix, that combines hardware and software. Initially, the stethoscope will be designed to diagnose respiratory disease. It also does not require internet access — indicating a principle that guided the company as it developed technology that could be used in countries around the world.

Click here to read more.

American Gene Technologies Hosts Celebration Event For Its First IND Submission (For HIV) To The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — American Gene Technologies (AGT) announced today it will host a red carpet event tonight to celebrate a significant milestone in the company’s 11-year history of scientific research in cell and gene therapy: AGT successfully submitted its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a Phase 1 clinical trial for its genetically modified autologous cell therapy for HIV. This milestone was announced on October 18th (read press release).

The event brings together over 370 guests, including life science industry leaders, government, press, and the entire AGT team. It is intended not only to celebrate AGT’s growth and development, but it is meant to celebrate the growing Maryland biotech industry and to energize “DNA Valley,” the cell and gene therapy industry cluster of Maryland.

“We believe in collaborating within our community and industry as we grow. Events like this have the potential to ignite synergies within the industry that will help us accelerate our development of therapies that we hope will save lives,” said CEO Jeff Galvin.

Click here to read the entire press release.

BioBuzz – TEDCO’s Entrepreneur Expo Energizes Maryland’s Startup Ecosystem with Record Attendance

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The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) held its inaugural Entrepreneur Expo in 2011. The first Expo attracted approximately 300 attendees. Three times that number descended on The Hotel at the University of Maryland for its 9th annual Entrepreneur Expo on October 29th.

Entrepreneurs, thought leaders, small business owners, angel and venture investors, federal and state economic development teams and university leaders from across Maryland, the Biohealth Capital Region (BHCR) and beyond gathered at the event to network, share ideas and showcase their programs, technologies and companies.

If there is one word that could describe what it was like at the daylong event that word is ‘Energy’. There was a buzz felt from the moment you walked into the event that carried into the exhibit hall, through every session and into each keynote, and all the way to the event’s conclusion.

Myra Norton, Chair of TEDCO’s Board of Directors, conveyed that energy with inspirational words and a call for solidarity among the Expo attendees in her opening remarks.

“As I was reflecting on this event, I thought about what it means to be an entrepreneur…The highs are really high but the lows can be really low. Sometimes, it’s lonely to be an entrepreneur. There are sleepless nights worrying about if your idea makes sense or if you will make payroll…or when people tell you to be realistic and have reasonable expectations,” stated Norton.

 Click here to read more.

Illumina Celebrates Grand Opening of Its Solutions Center in the University of Maryland BioPark

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BALTIMOREOct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Illumina, Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems, celebrated today the grand opening of its new training facility in the University of Maryland (UM) BioPark.

The 13,000-square-foot Illumina Solutions Center provides training lab capabilities and office space for customers and commercial teams. It is the company’s first commercial location on the East Coast and will host hundreds of employees and customers annually.

Proximity to the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences was a key factor in Illumina’s decision to join the UM BioPark’s thriving community of innovative life sciences companies.

“We believe this location will facilitate collaborative engagement in research activities with our academic partner, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB),” shared Mark Van Oene, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Illumina. “We are inspired by all the ways genomics can stimulate economic activity to maximize impact in the region and fuel research with the potential to improve health outcomes for patients.”

Click here to read the entire release.

BioTalk from the BioHealth Capital Region Investor Forum – Super Angel Investor, Dr. Faz Bashi, M.D.

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Super Angel Investor, Faz Bashi, MD, guests on BioTalk from the BioHealth Capital Region Investor Conference to talk about his background in Immunology/Virology, Venture Investing, and coming to the BioHealth Capital Region.

Listen on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and TuneIn

Dr. Faz Bashi, M.D., has a background in Immunology and Virology from UCSF. Faz is the Chair of the Medical Device Screening Committee of Life Science Angels and is an active member of the LSA screening committee for Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals. He is also the Chair of the Angel Capital Association’s Life Sciences Syndication Group, is a member of the Berkeley Angel Network, and was one of the founding members of Healthtech Capital, where he served two years on the Board of Directors.

He is an adjunct professor in the Integrative Health Studies program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Faz is an active advisor to the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He had worked previously at San Mateo Medical Center developing and implementing special clinical projects targeted towards helping those who are under-served, which included projects focused on TeleDermatology, Diabetic Retinopathy, Screening, and advancements in electronic medical records. Faz is an active consultant to Coleman Associates as a Deep Dive expert, and he coaches public health clinics and safety net organizations on improving their workflow processes. He currently serves as an External Advisory Board Member at The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.

BioTalk from the BioHealth Capital Region Investor Forum – Cartesian Therapeutics’ President & CEO Murat Kalayoglu, MD, Ph.D.

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Cartesian Therapeutics’ President & CEO Murat Kalayoglu, MD, Ph.D., guests on BioTalk from the BioHealth Capital Region Investor Conference to talk about developing novel cell and gene therapies, building his company in the region, and also being an investor.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn

Dr. Kalayoglu is co-founder and CEO of Cartesian Therapeutics, a fully-integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell and gene therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. Before Cartesian, he was co-founder and CEO of Topokine, which he led from concept to late-stage clinical trials, followed by a successful sale to Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Prior to Topokine, he was co-founder and COO of HealthHonors Corporation, which he led from concept to commercialization, followed by a successful sale to Healthways (NASDAQ:HWAY). Dr. Kalayoglu is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed his residency and research fellowship at Harvard, MD/Ph.D. in immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Founded in 2016, Cartesian is a fully-integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell and gene therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. All of the company’s products are manufactured internally at the company’s wholly-owned cGMP manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, MD. Cartesian has three programs in clinical development. The lead product, Descartes-08, is a CD8+ CAR T-cell therapy with a defined and predictable half-life, enabling repeat dosing to maximize potency while minimizing risk of toxicity. Descartes-08 is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials to treat patients with multiple myeloma.

MaxCyte Advances Phase I Clinical Trial of Lead CARMA™ mRNA-based Cell Therapy to Third Cohort of Patients

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MCY-M11 is being evaluated in relapsed/refractory ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma

CARMA platform offers faster manufacturing speeds, broader therapeutic applications, combination opportunities and repeat dosing potential

GAITHERSBURG, Md.Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — MaxCyte, the global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, announces today that, having completed dosing of the second cohort of patients, clinical investigators have initiated dosing in the third cohort of patients of MaxCyte’s Phase I clinical trial with the next higher cell dose of MCY-M11. This lead, wholly-owned, non-viral mRNA-based cell therapy candidate from MaxCyte’s CARMA platform is a mesothelin-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy being tested in individuals with relapsed/refractory ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma.

The dose escalation trial is evaluating the safety and tolerability, as well as preliminary efficacy, of MCY-M11 administered intraperitoneally across a series of ascending dose-level cohorts. In the first two cohorts, the infusion of MCY-M11 has been well tolerated in all patients treated. No dose-limiting toxicities, infusion-related adverse events, on-target or off-target toxicities, or other unwanted events were observed.

“We are making significant progress with our lead CAR therapeutic and our proprietary CARMA autologous cell therapy platform. Furthermore, the on-going trial continues to demonstrate the feasibility of our one-day cell therapy manufacturing process,” said Claudio Dansky Ullmann, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “We are very excited about the potential of MCY-M11 as a new, effective therapeutic in solid tumors where the majority of patients still have very limited treatment options.”

Click here to read the entire release.

Emergent BioSolutions to Host 2019 Analyst & Investor Day

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that the company will host an analyst and investor day on November 21, 2019 in New York City. This event, which is designed for sellside research analysts and institutional investors, will begin at 8:00 AM EST and end at 2:00 PM EST.

Institutional and analyst attendees who choose to participate onsite must register, as space is limited. To register for onsite participation at the event or for more information, please contact Robert Burrows, IRO for Emergent BioSolutions at or (240) 631-3280.

Event Agenda

Emergent’s senior management will provide a detailed overview of the company’s 2020-2024 Growth Strategy. Presenters include President and CEO, Robert G. Kramer; EVP, Business Operations, Adam Havey; EVP Corporate Development and General Counsel, Atul Saran; EVP and CFO, Richard Lindahl; and the heads of Emergent’s four business units.

Lunch will be provided following the completion of the formal portion of the event.

Webcast Information

A live audio-only webcast of the formal portion of the event as well as presentation materials will be available on the Investor Relations homepage of the company’s website at The audio and accompanying presentations will be archived on the company’s website after completion of the event.

Click here to read the entire Press Release.

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