Monthly Archives

October 2021

Francis Collins to step down as director of the National Institutes of Health

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Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., today announced his decision to end his tenure as the director of the National Institutes of Health by the end of the year. Dr. Collins is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director, having served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years.

“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” said Dr. Collins. “I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one, done in close counsel with my wife, Diane Baker, and my family. I am proud of all we’ve accomplished. I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future. I’m most grateful and proud of the NIH staff and the scientific community, whose extraordinary commitment to lifesaving research delivers hope to the American people and the world every day.”

A physician-geneticist, Dr. Collins took office as the 16th NIH director on August 17, 2009, after being appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In 2017, he was asked to continue in his role by President Donald Trump, and in 2021, by President Joe Biden. Prior to becoming the NIH director, Dr. Collins served as the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) from 1993-2008, where he led the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.

Click here to read more via the NIH

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Completes Acquisition of Infectious Disease R&D Center in Frederick, MD

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CHATHAM, N.J., Oct. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: TNXP) (Tonix or the Company), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced it has completed the acquisition of its new research and development center (RDC) located in Frederick, Md. The approximately 48,000 square foot facility will support Tonix’s expanding infectious disease pipeline, including:

  • TNX-1800 – a live virus vaccine designed to protect against COVID-19
  • TNX-801 – a live virus vaccine designed to protect against smallpox and monkeypox
  • TNX-3500 – a small molecule antiviral under development to treat COVID-19
  • TNX-2100 – a peptide based skin test to measure functional T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Tonix purchased the RDC from Southern Research, a collaborating partner on TNX-1800 and TNX-801 development.

The center is operational with a dedicated staff of scientists and technicians. The main building was constructed as a biosafety level (BSL) -3 facility but has been operating at BSL-2. Tonix plans to make appropriate upgrades and seek certification for BSL-3 so that research may be conducted on live SARS-CoV-2- and other pathogens.

The RDC in Frederick, Md. will complement Tonix’s Advanced Development Center (ADC) being constructed in New Bedford, Mass., and its Commercial Manufacturing Center (CMC) planned in Hamilton, Mont. The ADC will house laboratories dedicated to process analytical development and pilot manufacturing of the Company’s vaccine candidates for clinical trials. The CMC is expected to support commercial scale manufacturing of vaccine products.

“The establishment of the RDC is a significant milestone for Tonix and aligns with our strategic focus to support and grow our pipeline of vaccines and antiviral therapeutics,” stated Seth Lederman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Tonix. “We believe that this strategy will enable Tonix to develop vaccines and therapeutics to address the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to be prepared to efficiently combat potential novel or emerging pathogens, termed ‘Disease X’, that could impact society in the future. We believe that the recombinant pox virus platform technology underlying TNX-1800 and TNX-801, coupled with our capabilities at the RDC and ADC, will be rapidly deployable for addressing Disease X, with simplified distribution and administration, relative to modified mRNA based vaccines. Our goal is to be able to design and test new recombinant pox virus vaccines against novel pathogens within the 100 days of recognition of a potential emerging pandemic threat, consistent with the criteria1,2 recently set forth by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.”

Click herehttps://www.citybiz.co/article/152473/tonix-pharmaceuticals-announces-completion-of-acquisition-of-infectious-disease-rd-center-in-frederick-maryland/?abkw=citybizwashington to read more via citybiz.co

Nanochon Wins BioHealth Capital Region 6th Annual Crab Trap Competition

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Winning company is developing an implantable device based on 3D printing and a synthetic material, which supports and regenerates surface cartilage damage in the knee.

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, October 1, 2021 – Nanochon, a Washington, D.C. based company in the BioHealth Capital Region, applying novel materials to replicate bone and cartilage, and high-end 3-D printing to create an implant which can permanently repair debilitating joint injuries, was selected from five finalists as the company with the most commercial potential at the 6th Annual Crab Trap Competition. This year’s judges included industry leaders Sally Allain, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC, Andrea Alms, Co-Fund Manager, BioHealth Capital Fund, Lora Green, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, Chief Executive Officer, TEDCO, Conley Jones, Senior Associate, Alexandria Venture Investments, John Newby, Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Biotechnology Association, and was moderated by Rich Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

The Crab Trap, presented virtually for the second year in the row due to the pandemic, was held on September 29th in association with the 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region and 4th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Investment Conference. Nanochon CEO, Benjamin Holmes, presented on his company’s implant, which acts as both cartilage replacement and tissue growth scaffold, and is designed to be custom 3-D printed for each patient. Nanochon joins previous Crab Trap winners, BrainScope (2020), Floreo (2019), Galen Robotics (2018), LifeSprout (2017) and Sonavex (2016).

“It is a true honor to win the BioHealth Capital Region Crab Trap this year. Being an entrepreneur, especially in life sciences, is a difficult journey. Being recognized by this panel of judges is an achievement we are proud of.” said Benjamin Holmes, Nanchon CEO. “When we first created Nanochon, we were not sure we would stay in the region long term. However, the area continues to grow and provide the support and ecosystem we need to succeed and grow too.”

In addition to Nanochone, the judges and virtual audience viewed four other finalists’ presentations: Hubly SurgicalLinshomRevalo, and VNTC.

“The companies who present as part of the Crab Trap every year continue to be remarkable with their visions for the future of BioHealth.” said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. “Not only do we applaud Nanochon and all the finalists this year, but also all the competitors over the past six years of this event. They truly are the future of this industry.”

Click here for a replay of the 6th Annual Crab Trap Competition is available online by

Founded in 2016, the Crab Trap Competition focuses on companies in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, healthcare services, e-health, mobile health, electronic medical records, health informatics, and biohealth cyber security.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is a public-private nonprofit organization focused on accelerating biohealth (therapeutic, diagnostic, medtech, and health IT) commercialization in the BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland, DC, and Virginia). BHI’s team of expert Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, in-house venture analysts, and other professional staff work in the region to:

  • Facilitate technology commercialization,
  • Raise the profile of the industry cluster and individual organizations,
  • Increase access to capital for early-stage and growing companies, and
  • Expand the pool of talent with commercially relevant experience.

BHI’s early-stage company support includes market research and commercialization plan development, non-dilutive funding application assistance; a jobs board; event calendar; and introductions to investors, strategic partners, business advisors, and potential clients. BHI also manages wet lab space and provides referrals to other spaces for early-stage companies, offers soft-landing support for international companies, and works with partners to co-host the annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum and an annual BioHealth Capital Region investor partnering conference. For more information: www.BioHealthInnovation.org

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Media contacts:
Richard Bendis
Phone: 301-637-6439, e-mail: rbendis@biohealthinnovation.org

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