Dr. Dipanjan Pan and Phil Robilotto of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, join Rich Bendis on BioTalk

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Dr. Dipanjan Pan and Phil Robilotto of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, join BioTalk to discuss RNA Disease Diagnostics, UM Ventures, and the commercialization of new medical technologies

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Prof. Dipanjan Pan, MS, Ph.D., is an expert in nanomedicine, molecular imaging, drug delivery, and biosensing. He is presently a tenured Full Professor in Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Pediatrics and Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prior to moving to Maryland, he was a tenured Associate Professor and Associate Head of the department in Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering and Institute of Sustainability in Energy and Environment at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He administratively directs the Nanofabrication and Characterization Core at CBOTH and a Director for the Investigational Probe Design Resources in Radiology.

He serves as study section review board member for NIH, CDMRP (DoD), NSF, and multiple review committee member for American Heart Association. In 2016 he received Nanomaterials Letter (NML) Researcher award, in 2017 a Young Innovator Award from Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and a Deans Award for Research Excellence in 2018. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the American Heart Association, and an elected fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Professor Pan is an Associate Editor for WIRES Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology (Wiley) and an editorial advisory board member of Molecular Pharmaceutics (ACS).

Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, is director of the technology development and commercialization program, University of Maryland (UM) Ventures, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Since joining UMB In 2012, Dr. Robilotto has grown UMB’s intellectual property, and licensing efforts, launched a new business venture initiative, and started an early-stage investment program that supports UMB start-ups.

Dr. Robilotto has over 20 years of clinical practice and pharmaceutical/biotechnology strategic planning and business development experience, most recently with Celera and DuPont Pharmaceuticals. He has led valuation and planning efforts for technology platforms and clinical-stage products and has successfully developed, negotiated, and executed collaborations across a broad range of life science-based technologies with a variety of commercial partners.

Dr. Robilotto is a licensed physician in the state of Maryland and received his DO from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also holds a BS in Biology from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Duke University.

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Conley Jones, Senior Associate at Alexandria Venture Investments, Guests on BioTalk

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Alexandria Venture Investments Senior Associate, Conley Jones, virtually sits down with Rich Bendis on BioTalk to discuss Venture Trends, Investment Goals, and their National Footprint

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Conley Jones is a Senior Associate with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., and Alexandria Venture Investments, where he helps manage the company’s New York City and Maryland tenant and investment portfolios. Prior to joining Alexandria in 2016, he worked in a number of roles spanning the healthcare and life science sectors, including as a Business Analyst with liquid biopsy company Sevident, a Healthcare Informatics Specialist with Inova Health Systems, and as a post-baccalaureate researcher with Harvard Medical School. Mr. Jones received his BS in Biology from the College of William & Mary and his MEng in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

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John Mumm, CEO of Deka BioSciences, joins Rich Bendis on BioTalk

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Deka BioSciences CEO, John Mumm, CEO of Deka BioSciences, virtually guests on BioTalk to discuss his history in the BioHealth Capital Region, Precision Medicine, and Funding Strategies.

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John has spent 24 years researching and developing various technologies associated with IL-10. His work experience included various leadership roles at Anergen, Introgen Therapeutics, Bacterial BarCodes, Schering-Plough, Merck, Targenics, ARMO BioSciences, ACIR BioSciences, and MedImmune/AstraZeneca. John’s primary focus has been on discovery research at the interface between cancer biology and the adaptive immune response. Visit to learn more about them today.

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New “Virginia Bio-Connect” Statewide Consortium and Scale-Up Initiative Featured on BioTalk

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Amy Adams with George Mason University. Nikki Hastings with CvilleBioHub, and John Newby with Virginia Bio join Rich Bendis to discuss the new “Virginia Bio-Connect” statewide consortium and scale-Up initiative.

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Amy Adams:

As Executive Director of the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, Amy Adams and her team support a talented and innovative research community of faculty and students across multiple disciplines who conduct cutting-edge biomedical and health research. She serves as a point of contact to unite George Mason University (Mason) researchers with the broader community. In addition to research, Amy led outreach efforts and built programs including the Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program and the Galileo’s Science Café to engage high school and undergraduate students in research across STEM disciplines, communicate science to the public, and foster internal and external research collaborations. Amy earned a M.S. in Chemistry, and a B.S. in Biology, from George Mason University.

Nikki Hastings:

Nikki Hastings is the executive director of CvilleBioHub in Charlottesville, Virginia working to strengthen and grow the regional biotechnology industry ecosystem. Over the past decade, she has contributed to the growth of early-stage companies including HemoShear Therapeutics and Contraline by leading operational and growth needs and supporting the translation of research concepts into commercial viability. Nikki holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and a B.S. from North Carolina State University in the same field.

John Newby:

John Newby is the CEO at Virginia Bio, the statewide non-profit trade association for the life science industry. Approximately 300 companies spanning biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, med tech, diagnostics, digital health, bioinformatics, agriculture, and industrial bio and related fields are based in Virginia, mainly clustered around research universities and medical institutions. Virginia Bio is the sole state affiliate and works closely with key national industry organizations BIO, AdvaMed, MDMA, PhRMA and We Work for Health. Newby previously commanded an Air Force special operations unit supporting the U.S. Army’s 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne), and served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber. Newby received a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, with Military Distinction, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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United States Pharmacopeia CEO Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D. Joins Rich Bendis on the BioTalk Podcast

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Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, United States Pharmacopeia virtually sits down with Rich Bendis to discuss the over 200 year old Organization, the services they offer, and their goals for the future.

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Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D., has served as Chief Executive Officer of the United States Pharmacopeia since February 2014. Dr. Piervincenzi provides strategic leadership to USP’s global staff of over 1,400 across sites in Rockville/USA, Brazil, China, Ghana, and India. His transformative vision has launched key USP initiatives in bringing quality across the healthcare spectrum, upholding USP’s reputation as a quality leader since its founding in 1820. Under his leadership, USP has modernized its operations and launched innovative new science, including in the areas of digital medicine, cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and advanced biologics. USP is also better connecting to its stakeholders and customers through new initiatives including the Hyderabad Training Institute in India, the Quality Institute, and USP’s new Impurities for Development service. Dr. Piervincenzi also provides oversight and leadership of USP’s global public health initiatives, including sites in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines. Dr. Piervincenzi served as Chair of the Council of Experts, USP’s scientific standards-setting body of 24 Expert Committees and over 750 standards-setting experts until June 2015, when he transferred this responsibility to USP’s new Chief Science Officer.

Dr. Piervincenzi brings more than 20 years of industry experience across pharmaceutical sciences, research and business strategy. Before joining USP, Dr. Piervincenzi served as Vice President of Development Sciences with Biogen Idec, Inc., where he designed and launched Biogen’s value-based medicine group focusing on applying tools and technologies of personalized medicine in the treatment and management of multiple sclerosis. Dr. Piervincenzi was a partner and leader in McKinsey & Company’s global pharmaceutical and medical products practice for over 12 years. In this capacity, Dr. Piervincenzi launched McKinsey’s global drug safety, medical and regulatory service line. With McKinsey, Dr. Piervincenzi also led the global research and information analytics team, managing staff in New Jersey, London, Brussels, and India.

Dr. Piervincenzi earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Duke University in Biomedical Engineering, with research focused on protein engineering. He is the proud co-founder and chairman of the board for the Newark Mentoring Movement.

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Chris Mathia, Chief Executive Officer, Innara Health, and Keith Molzer, Managing Partner, Flyover Capital, join Rich Bendis from Kansas City on BioTalk

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While home in Kansas City for the season, BioTalk host Rich Bendis virtually sits down two local business leaders. Innar Health CEO, Chris Mathia, and Flyover Capital Managing Partner, Keith Molzer chat about the opportunities and challenges of BioHealth and Fund-Raising in Middle American.

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A Kansas City, Kansas native, Chris Mathia joined Innara Health as Vice President of Sales in October of 2017. He was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in May of 2019 and brings 20+ years of healthcare sales and leadership experience to the Innara team. Throughout his career, he has focused on building client confidence, improving the client experience, and increasing overall client satisfaction and reference ability.

Prior to joining Innara, Chris served in various sales and leadership roles with Perceptive/Hyland Software, Cerner Corporation, Thompson Reuters, and Medline Industries. Chris received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas.

From working on his grandparent’s farm in Nebraska to becoming a serial entrepreneur, getting his hands dirty is in Keith’s DNA.   Keith has been an entrepreneur for more than 35 years, starting a variety of companies in the Kansas City region.

Prior to co-founding Flyover Capital in 2014, Keith Molzer founded Balance Innovations in 2004 and built the company into the leading developer of cash office software solutions for the retail industry (acquired by Brinks). Prior to founding Balance Innovations, Keith founded in worked with several other start-ups including Entrepreneurial Consulting Corporation which advised clients within technology, economic development agencies, state, and federal government agencies. Clients included the Kauffman Foundation, KTEC, NIST/ATP, KCCatalyst, and several state entrepreneurial initiatives.

Keith has a passion for supporting entrepreneurship and has spoken as a guest lecturer at Rockhurst University, University of Nebraska, the University of Kansas. Keith has also served as a mentor for KCSpark Lab, KC Pipeline, and the KC Tech Counsel.  Outside of Flyover, Keith is also an active angel investor and has invested in over 15 deals throughout the Midwest. Keith currently serves on the boards of Lending Standard, Innara Health, Inprentus, Verusen, Aker and Layr.  He previously served on the boards of Agrible (acquired by Nutrien), Risk Genius (Acquired by Bold Penguin), and Balance Innovations (acquired by Brinks).

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Dr. Carol Nacy, CEO of Sequella Incorporated, joins BioTalk to discuss her career, the evolution of their science, and vision for the future.

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Dr. Nacy co-founded our Sequella in 1997 and has served as our CEO and Chairman of the Board since 1999. Prior to Sequella, Dr. Nacy served during 1997 and 1998 as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for Anergen, Inc., a California company acquired by Corixa Corporation in December 1998. From 1993 through 1997, Dr. Nacy was Executive Vice President and CSO at EntreMed, Inc. and participated in its successful initial public offering in June 1996. Previously, Dr. Nacy was Career Scientist (GS-15) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC. Dr. Nacy currently serves on the board of directors of companies and non-profit agencies.

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5 Questions with John Newby, CEO, Virginia Bio

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“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This edition features 5 Questions John Newby, CEO, Virginia Bio.

John Newby is the CEO at Virginia Bio, the statewide non-profit trade association for the life science industry. Approximately 300 companies spanning biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, med tech, diagnostics, digital health, bioinformatics, agriculture, and industrial bio and related fields are based in Virginia, mainly clustered around research universities and medical institutions. Virginia Bio is the sole state affiliate and works closely with key national industry organizations BIO, AdvaMed, MDMA, PhRMA and We Work for Health.

Newby was formerly the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS), where he led an 850-member Agency located across 50 Virginia locations, delivering employment, education, benefits, behavioral health, and long term health care services to Virginia’s Reservists, Guardsmen, transitioning service members and 725,000 veterans. Prior to leading VDVS Newby practiced corporate, intellectual property, and Hatch-Waxman biopharmaceutical law at international law firms in Richmond and Washington DC, and at a multinational company. Newby previously commanded an Air Force special operations unit supporting the U.S. Army’s 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne), and served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber. Newby received a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, with Military Distinction, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

1. You recently transitioned into the BioHealth world after various roles with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Share with us a little about your career path.

To be honest, I probably do not follow what most define as a “career path”; I probably more accurately adhere to a “career philosophy.”  Coming from a military family and being a veteran myself, I have always held a philosophy of and desire for public service, doing things that focus on a larger community and a mission worth supporting.  After leaving the military I went to law school with the same thought in mind: get some skills that would allow one to serve in innumerable capacities.  And glad I did!  It allowed me to practice in the biopharmaceutical space, do pro bono work for veterans filing claims for disability compensation, and led me to an opportunity to run Virginia’s Department of Veterans Services.  And, ultimately, brought me back to the life science community with a wonderful opportunity to lead the Virginia Biotechnology Association, our state’s premier organization supporting all aspects of life science.

2. You’ve been with Virginia Bio for a little over a year. Tell us about your role.

Our mission at Virginia Bio is to promote innovation and growth through strengthened networks, advocacy, capital investment, talent development, and retention, and advance the next generation of leaders. We are a member-driven organization comprising over 270 organizations representing all facets of biotechnology: MedTech, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines; research institutions; and investors. My role is simple: to support our Board and lead a team of professionals to execute that mission. I am primarily focused on network building within the BioHealth Capital Region, attracting capital to Virginia, and ensuring that our state policymakers appreciate and support our industry as we continue to innovate and save lives.

3. The industry in Virginia goes beyond just NoVa. What are some of your favorite stories from companies in the Commonwealth that most of the BioHealth Capital Region wouldn’t know about?

Yes, the industry goes well beyond one region!  For instance, the Richmond area is home to the 34-acre VA Bio+Tech Park, occupied by 70 companies, research institutes, and state/federal laboratories.  The Richmond region also has several major life science employers, such as Phlow Corporation (recent recipient of a $354 million BARDA grant to domestically produce certain API’s), Kaleo, FUJIFILM Wako Chemicals, and GlaxoSmithKlein Consumer Healthcare.

The Charlottesville area has an industry cluster of 179 firms and organizations in biotech and medical devices related industries that employ 3,033 workers, many with connection to the University of Virginia. Over the past 10 years, the region has seen nine major exits from companies within the biotech industry, including the 2018 acquisition of Type Zero by Dexcom and the Jazz Pharmaceutical’s 2019 $315m acquisition of Cavion.

Blacksburg is home to The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) situated on 230-acres with 180 resident research, technology, and support companies. Roanoke’ Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, adjacent to Carilion Clinic, has state-of-the-art facilities for molecular medicine, imaging, high-capacity data handling, and human performance analysis. In addition, the Virginia-Maryland School of Veterinary Medicine is located in Blacksburg, VA.

Hampton Roads, home to 510 life science companies that employ 8,787 workers, has experienced recent investments in a life science sector. Three research parks supporting expansion of the life sciences in the region include the Innovation Research Park @ Old Dominion University, the Tech Center Research Park in Newport News, and the future VABeachBio Research Park

And, of course, Northern Virginia itself, which has made significant investments to grow the life science sector to include the 9,000 sqft. Science accelerator and the 30,000 sq. ft. Northern Virginia BioScience Center expected to open in November 2021. The region is home to George Mason University, George Washington University Loudoun Campus, Northern Virginia Community College, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, and Inova, Sentara, Novant Health System, and several life sciences companies. Northern Virginia is home to 1,517 life science companies that employ 30,555 workers including Ceres Nanoscience, Serpin Pharma, Vibrent, ATCC, and Aperiomics.

4. What do you say to companies looking to startup or relocate to the BioHealth Capital Region about the benefits of Virginia?

Three things: quality of life, talent pool, and bioscience assets.  Regarding the quality of life: many biotechnology companies, responding to economic and employee pressures, are seeking opportunities in more economically viable and hospitable places.  Look no further than Virginia!  Our real estate and lab spaces are ½ or less the price found in Boston and California, and our cost of living and quality of life are immeasurably better!  Our talent pipeline is primed by our major research universities at Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and others.  And regarding our assets: while other bioscience clusters are pricing new companies out of the market and are running out of lab space, Virginia is growing, with nearly 50,000 new sq. ft. of lab space coming online in the next two years.  And in addition to a robust and supportive bioscience ecosystem, another Virginia asset is the geographic proximity to our industry’s key federal agencies including the NIH, FDA, BARDA, DARPA, and NSF.  Come join us!

5. If you weren’t in this line of work, what career would you want to pursue?

Any “career” (such as it may be) that will enable me to lead a team, brought together to achieve a mission that benefits society.  Leadership is a largely underappreciated asset until tragedy strikes or major change needs to be accomplished in a short amount of time.  It is often the difference between a successful organization and one that is, at best, ineffectual and, at worst, detrimental to the community.  So, I would be attracted to anything that allows me to team with people who are working towards something greater than themselves, like what we have here at Virginia Bio.

Thank you to John Newby for participating in the ‘5 Questions with BioBuzz’ series and stay tuned for more interviews with others from across the BioHealth Capital Region and beyond.

Jeff Galvin, CEO and Founder of American Gene Technologies (AGT), Returns to BioTalk with Rich Bendis

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American Gene Technologies International Inc. (AGT) CEO and Founder, Jeff Galvin returns to update us of their Phase 1 Clinical Trial of their lead #HIV Program, their expansion in a new facility, and what’s next!

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Jeff Galvin is the CEO and Founder of American Gene Technologies™ (AGT). He earned his BA degree in Economics from Harvard in 1981 and has more than 30 years of business and entrepreneurial experience including founder or executive positions at a variety of Silicon Valley startups. Several of his companies were taken public and/or sold to public companies, including one in the medical-technology arena that was sold to Varian, the leading maker of linear accelerators used in cancer therapy. Following his startup experience, he retired to become an Angel Investor in real estate and high tech. He came out of retirement to found and fund AGT after meeting Roscoe Brady at NIH.

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Novavax Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer, John Trizzino, Guests on BioTalk with Rich Bendis

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John Trizzino, Novavax Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer Joins BioTalk to Discuss the Company’s History, COVID-19 Vaccine Development, and Collaboration in the BioHealth Capital Region

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Mr. Trizzino is executive vice president, chief business officer, and chief financial officer with responsibility for all pre-commercial and commercial launch strategy and execution, financial reporting, corporate funding, and investor/public relations. He previously served as senior vice president of commercial operations beginning in 2014. Mr. Trizzino originally joined Novavax in 2009 with a broad range of experiences in small-to-large, publicly held companies. He has an extensive background in the vaccine market with previous roles overseeing commercialization, vaccine policy, strategic development, business development, financing, investor relations, and public relations. In 2011, Mr. Trizzino joined Immunovaccine as its CEO and successfully led the company into clinical development of its lead candidate while securing the required funding commitments in the equity market as well as non-dilutive sources. Prior to his tenures at Novavax and Immunovaccine, Mr. Trizzino had leadership responsibilities at MedImmune, LLC (an AstraZeneca company), ID Biomedical, and Henry Schein, Inc., which were all companies focused on infectious disease vaccine markets. Mr. Trizzino received a bachelor of science degree from Long Island University, CW Post and a master of business administration degree from New York University, Stern School of Business.

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