A regional economic development strategy and why commercial real estate should care

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The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced last month the winners of $500,000 planning grants to 60 jurisdictions across the country for the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Winners of Phase 2 Build Back Better will be eligible for federal grants of up to $100M to create new science and technology parks and districts, accelerators, and other technology infrastructure across the country.

Funding for the technology infrastructure must go to a nonprofit, such as a university, but the nonprofit will need the commercial real estate industry to design, build and manage this technology infrastructure.

The District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) region submitted some very good bids, including ones in quantum technology, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and other topics but only Howard County for cyber security, Richmond, Virginia in bio manufacturing, and rural Southwest Virginia in transportation logistics won planning grants.

Given the region’s enormous amount of research and development, universities, federal labs, HBCUs, and other assets, it might have been expected that the three-jurisdiction region would have had more winning Phase 1 proposals. The District of Columbia did not win a grant at all.

One thing hampering the region’s efforts to win EDA funding is a lack of a regional CEDS — Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. A CEDS is a necessary component of any EDA grant submission. Many counties in the DMV do not have a formally approved CEDS. Previously, CEDS were not that important, as the EDA had relatively little funding and much of it was restricted to economically distressed areas for water and sewer projects.

However, all of that has changed as the EDA has declared the entire U.S. as a distressed region, and Congress has given EDA an enormous amount of funds for a variety of purposes, including billions for new regional technology infrastructure grants.

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act currently under consideration by Congress authorizes the EDA to receive approximately an additional $10 billion in future years for projects, including regional technology hubs. So, while the region might have punched under its weight with this round, our region and the real estate industry need to be prepared for the next.

Luckily, D.C., Maryland and Virginia were each given $1 million in planning funds by the EDA to do individual economic development strategies. Some of these funds could be used for the regional overlay purpose. The region should learn from the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine that collectively won an EDA planning grant for regional biotechnology manufacturing.

Adding a DMV regional CEDS overlay strategy in areas such as quantum, biotechnology, AI/machine learning, advanced manufacturing, aero and space tech, minority and small business development, HBCU outreach, community college involvement, bio manufacturing, workforce development, federal lab partnerships and other topics would help the region and real estate industry.

The Greater D.C. Partnership and Connected DMV have been doing great work, and adding a regional CEDS overlay zone is a practical way to increase odds of winning EDA funding in the future and creating greater regional cohesion, like our peers across the country.



Brian Darmody


Association of University Research Parks (AURP)

AURP DC Area Office

7761 Diamondback Drive

College Park, MD 20742


Personal Genome Diagnostics Being Acquired By LabCorp for $450M

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By Holden Wilen – Reporter December 23, 2021, 01:35pm EST Personal Genome Diagnostics has agreed to be acquired by one of the world’s largest life sciences companies in a deal that could pay up to $575 million.

Baltimore-based PGDx has agreed to sell to Laboratory Corp., of America Holdings, better known as Labcorp. The Burlington, North Carolina-based giant is a leader in medical testing and drug development, and has played a particularly important role during the last year and a half with Covid-19 testing. PGDx specializes in developing in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests that can be used to analyze the DNA of tumors to diagnose cancer.

The deal announced Thursday morning will see Labcorp, which is publicly traded, pay $450 million in cash at closing. Labcorp could pay up to an additional $125 million if future performance milestones are accomplished. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

PGDx’s revenue this year is expected to be approximately $22 million. Revenue is expected to grow nearly 82% to $40 million in 2022. Labcorp expects the acquisition of PGDx to negatively impact its adjusted earnings per share slightly over the next couple of years but provide returns in excess of the cost of capital by year five.

Click here to read more via BizJournals.


TEDCO Generates $2.3 Billion in Economic Benefits to the State of Maryland and Supports 10,433 Maryland Jobs, According to New Independent Study

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COLUMBIA, Md.Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — TEDCOMaryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today the findings of an independent study detailing the impact of TEDCO’s six core programs to the state of Maryland.

Conducted by the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute, the study found that TEDCO provides significant value to the state’s start-up community, supporting 10,433 Maryland jobs and more than $2.3 billion in statewide economic activity as of 2021.

“This study reinforces the role TEDCO has played in the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said TEDCO CEOTroy LeMaile-Stovall. “By creating a more connected suite of funding and resources, TEDCO is able to provide significant value to the state’s start-ups. It’s encouraging to see the continuous growth in our economy from the support provided by our programs.”

The study states that TEDCO has generated significant economic and fiscal returns to the state. Reviewing the change from 2018 to 2021, the job creation impact of the portfolio of companies supported by TEDCO’s six core research and investment vehicles increased from 7,746 in 2018 to 10,433 in 2021. Similarly, the economic impact of these companies has also seen a significant increase from $1.6 billion in 2018 to $2.3 billion in 2021. The jobs supported by these companies earn $885 million in labor income and generate an estimated state and local government revenues of $100.1 million, according to the study, including estimated State of Maryland revenues of $57 million, an amount greater than TEDCO’s appropriation.

See the study:

The previous study in 2018 projected that by 2023 TEDCO’s economic impact would increase to $2.4B and will support a total of 11,812 jobs. TEDCO is set to achieve these projections nearly two years early.

“It’s exciting to see the changes the organization has brought to our community,” said Omar Muhammad, TEDCO Board of Directors chairperson, director and EN-TRE-PRE-NEUR for the Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center at Morgan State University. “Where the greatest impact is seen through it’s growing portfolio of companies. At the time of this study, TEDCO’s programs have supported the formation and growth of 366 active Maryland companies with 4,845 employees. These technology-based start-ups will be leading the state through continuous innovative growth for years to come.”

Programs under the TEDCO umbrella include the Maryland Venture Fund, the Seed Investment Funds, the Pre-seed Builder Fund, the Pre-Seed Rural Business Innovation Initiative Fund, the Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund, and the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. The Seed Investment Funds consists of the following: Technology Commercialization Fund; Life Sciences Investment Fund; Cybersecurity Investment Fund; and Gap Fund.

Watch TEDCO’s 23rd Anniversary video highlighting the historical achievements and success stories from the organization since 1998. Visit TEDCO’s YouTube Channel to view the video:

TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

Media Contact
Tammi Thomas
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, TEDCO


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Emmes and MedGenome Launch Genomics Strategic Partnership Focused on Advancing Rare Disease Research

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Emmes, a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation, today announced a partnership with MedGenome aimed at accelerating breakthrough treatments, powered by human genomics, for rare disease patients.

“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with the leading genetic testing laboratory in India and South Asia to use our collective expertise to help bring faster and more innovative treatments to patients around the world who are suffering from rare diseases and desperately awaiting new therapies,” said Emmes Chief Executive Officer Dr. Christine Dingivan.

“The unmatched potential to build comprehensive and curated disease specific cohorts will leverage the power of large data sets to design smarter research protocols and to reduce the time it takes to identify rare disease patients for clinical trials.  Ultimately, we hope this will result in more successful treatment outcomes.”

During its recognition of Rare Disease Day on March 5, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted, “Patients with rare diseases often have few or no treatment options. In 2020, we continued to see significant progress in the development of treatments for rare diseases, also known as orphan products.”  In 2020, the FDA approved 32 novel drugs and biologics that had an orphan drug designation.

Traci Clemons, Ph.D., Emmes’ Chief Research Officer, explained that the two companies would collaborate to combine patients’ epidemiologic, phenotypic and genomic data into custom disease registries to enhance study design, support patient recruitment, and create standard control arms for advanced statistical models of treatment effect.

“There are so many rare diseases and, at the same time, a very small global pool of potential patients for these clinical trials,” she said.  “Creating these disease registries across high population regions will give us an even greater opportunity to identify and recruit patients with these very rare diseases into clinical trials.  These cohorts will, in a sense, offer a customized data resource for potential research sponsors, from biotech firms to large pharmaceutical companies and government research institutions.”

Earlier this month, Emmes launched a new rare disease center, blending its expertise in biostatistics, data management and clinical research with Orphan Reach’s rare disease patient and clinical trial experience.  Emmes acquired the UK-based Orphan Reach in May.

According to a recent article in Scientific American, “Only 5% of the 7,000 known rare diseases have an approved treatment, making patients with rare diseases collectively one of the most underserved communities in medicine today.”

Some of the initial rare diseases that the Emmes/MedGenome partnership will address include hemophilia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and muscular atrophies, and retinitis pigmentosa.

MedGenome Services CEO Dr. Vedam Ramprasad, said, “Few people realize that India and South Asia have the world’s largest population of people affected by rare and inherited disease. Given the high unmet need of these patients and families, we are dedicated to expanding support and opportunities for the rare disease community in South Asia to contribute to, and benefit from, the substantial treatment advances being made in rare disease globally.”

He added, “Rare disease clinical trials face substantial recruitment and regulatory challenges globally. Our rare disease alliance with Emmes is positioned to directly mitigate these challenges and is a natural extension of MedGenome’s substantial investment to support rare disease patients and clinicians in South Asia.”

Dr. Christine Dingivan concluded, “There is no clear CRO market leader in this space.  Our acquisition of Orphan Reach, the creation of our new rare disease center, and now this strategic partnership with MedGenome, solidifies our leadership standing in rare disease drug development.”

About MedGenome MedGenome is a genomics-driven research and diagnostics company with a mission to expand access to personalized medicine in South Asia and other emerging markets and help improve global health. Its unique access to genomics data matched with clinical and phenotypic data provides insights into rare and complex diseases at the genetic and molecular level to facilitate research advances and personalized healthcare. MedGenome is the market leader for genetic diagnostic testing in India.  For more information, go to:

About Emmes Founded in 1977, Emmes is a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to excellence in supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. The company’s clients include numerous agencies and institutes of the U.S. federal government and a wide range of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies throughout the world.  To learn more about how our research is making a positive impact on human health, go to the Emmes website at

CONTACT: Company: Lynn Lewis, 301-251-1161,, Media: Karen Vahouny, 703-624-2674,

Washington Business Journal Names Dr. Kurt Newman, President and CEO of Children’s National Hospital, and BHI Board Member, 2021 CEO of the Year

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We thought 2021 would bring a stronger path forward for Greater Washington — and the world — after a debilitating, unpredictable, unprecedented 2020.

And yet, we remain steeped in uncertainty and adversity after a Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus deepened the death toll and put thousands more at risk on a daily basis, physically and mentally, while businesses and employers continue to navigate through reopening delays and staff departures.

Our CEO of the Year stood at the nexus of all of those issues, on the literal front lines of the health crisis amid a financial downturn and worker shortage. He was working to not only sustain, but also grow, his organization, even as he assumed responsibility for attending to our community’s most vulnerable population: our children.

He is Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National Hospital.

He’s been in that role for a decade and a surgeon for decades more than that. Yet, 2021 was unparalleled, bringing what Newman himself has described as “a perfect storm.” Whether it was Covid or seasonal flu, respiratory disease or behavioral health, he watched pediatric admissions soar this year at his 323-bed pediatric hospital, more so than even during the heights of infection in 2020. He’s pushed for vaccinations for all ages, including among his own staff, and he contributed to clinical trials and advocated for greater resources as a D.C. Hospital Association board member as the pandemic pressed on.


Click here to read more via the Washington Business Journal.

BioTalk Welcomes Mr. Hakdo Kim, President, Korea SMEs & Startups Agency KOSME)

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Mr. Hakdo Kim, President, Korea SMEs & Startups Agency KOSME), joins Rich Bendis from the BHI Offices to discuss their biotech mission, their relationship with Maryland, and opportunities to expand in the United States

Listen now on Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

Mr. Hakdo Kim is the President of Korea SMEs and Startup Agency, also known as KOSME. KOSME, which is now governed by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, was first established by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy in 1979 to promote small- and medium-sized businesses. Their goal is to foster the competitiveness of SMEs and nurture more balanced development of the Korean economy with sustainable growth of SMEs. SMEs are currently faced with numerous difficulties: accessing vital information and funds.

Click here for the transcript.

A US – UK Discussion: How to Conduct Clinical Trials as Seth Toback, Vice President, Clinical Development at Novavax and Divya Chadha Manek, Director of Business Development at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) join Rich Bendis on BioTalk.

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Listen now via Apple, Google, Spotify, and TuneIn

Divya Chadha Manek was appointed as the NIHR CRN’s Head of Commercial Business Development in 2015 then in 2020, Divya was seconded to the UK Vaccines Taskforce (VTF) which was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to lead the UK’s search for a safe and effective vaccine. Divya was responsible for supporting global pharmaceutical companies to rapidly generate the evidence required for marketing authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines. Divya also played a pivotal role in conceptualising and developing the NHS Vaccine Research Registry.

In April 2021, Divya was appointed to her current role as the NIHR Clinical Research Network’s Director of Business Development and Marketing. Here she leads a team responsible for increasing investment into UK health and social care research from both non-commercial and commercial research sponsors, including the global life sciences industry.

Seth Toback, MD is currently a Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Novavax. He is working on the clinical development of the SARS CoV-2 vaccine and is the lead physician on the phase 3 study being conducted in the United Kingdom. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields for the past 15 years focusing on vaccines and therapeutics against respiratory viruses. Prior to that he was in private practice pediatrics in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania close to where he trained at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  He is a board-certified Pediatrician with degrees from Carnegie-Mellon, Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Tufts University School of Medicine and McGill University.

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Awarded Additional $8 Million from U.S. Department of Defense for Clinical Advancement of Phage to Address Unmet Needs in Infectious Diseases

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GAITHERSBURG, MD, September 30, 2021 – Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies to treat infectious diseases, today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the company an additional $8 million for the continued development of bacteriophage therapies (PhageBankTM) for the treatment of infectious diseases. The new funding brings the total contract awarded to APT to $31.2 million.

“We are thrilled to have the ongoing support of the DoD in the advanced development of our PhageBank platform to treat drug-resistant infections across multiple indications,” said Greg Merril, CEO and co-founder of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics.  “We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. military to create potentially lifesaving therapies for our nation’s service members.”

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc.

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT) is a clinical-stage company advancing therapies to treat multi-drug resistant infections. Prior antimicrobial therapeutic approaches have been ”fixed,” while pathogens continue to evolve resistance to each of those therapeutics, causing those drug products to become rapidly less effective in commercial use as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) increases over time.

APT’s PhageBank™ approach leverages an ever-expanding library of bacteriophage (phage) that collectively provide evergreen broad spectrum and polymicrobial coverage. PhageBank™ phages are matched through a proprietary phage susceptibility assay that APT has teamed with Mayo Clinic Laboratories to commercialize on a global scale.

APT’s technology was originally developed by the biodefense program of U.S. Department of Defense. APT acquired the world-wide exclusive commercial rights in 2017. Under FDA emergency Investigational New Drug allowance, APT has provided investigational PhageBank™ therapy to treat more than 40 critically ill patients in which standard-of-care antibiotics had failed.

For more information, visit

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics
Investor Relations:
Gilmartin Group, LLC.:
Laurence Watts

WaPo: D.C. region leaders pitch plan to build stronger post-pandemic economy

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More than 50 local leaders have mapped out an economic recovery strategy for the Washington area that they say would leave it more unified, resilient and prosperous than before the novel coronavirus upended the region.

Connected DMV — a group representing the local academic, nonprofit, public and private sectors — initially came together in March 2019 to drive economic growth in the D.C. area. When the pandemic struck a year later, the group pivoted to creating what it calls a “strategic renewal” task force, which issued a report this month with 12 initiatives to remedy the region’s social and economic challenges.

They range from a coordinated regional contact-tracing system to the creation of a pandemic biodefense facility. One effort calls for an economic development plan that permeates the jurisdictional barriers that have previously caused Maryland, Virginia and the District to operate in silos.

Click here to read more via the Washington Post.

BioBuzz: Maryland Company Poised to Produce Millions of Point-of-Care COVID-19 Tests that Deliver Accurate Results in 15 Minutes

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Rockville, Maryland’s Maxim Biomedical (MaximBio) is on the cusp of bringing 3 million of its new and effective point-of-care COVID-19 tests to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in early 2021, with a scale up to 15 million tests per month expected by Q2 2021.

The company’s brand new point-of-care (POC), ready out-of-the-box antigen test is based on a Lateral Flow Assay technology (LFA) that produces visually interpreted results within 15 minutes.

MaximBio is a family-owned business that was founded in 2005; it is part of the Maxim family of businesses. The company operates out of its 26,000 square foot fully FDA-registered, cGMP compliant, and ISO13485 certified facility in Rockville that houses 13 labs. MaximBio offers a suite of FDA and CDC approved products, as well as customizable CDMO services.

Click here to read more via BioBuzz

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