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Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,


Let’s pause to appreciate the hard and good work of members of our community across the state last year by taking a quick look at some 2017 headlines.  We celebrate the headlines, but appreciate the extraordinarily difficult, demanding, dedicated, important work that goes on every day in countless places to make such headlines possible.  Let’s share in the joy of the accomplishments of the people behind these headlines, and commit ourselves to help one another write more headlines for next year.  


AgroSpheres receives $750,000 Seed Funding; partners with Milenia Labs to expand international outreach. 


AMPEL BioSolutions creates multiple collaborations developing innovative approaches to assess and treat Lupus.


Aperiomics Raises $512k in Seed Funding to expand pathogen testing services.


             ATCC and One Codex partner to Address Microbiome Research.


Canon Virginia Inc Receives ISO Certification and Launches Medical Device Contract Manufacturing Services in Newport News.


Cavion Raises $26.1 MM Series A Financing and launches clinical trial in Essential Tremor.


CEL-SCI Announces $1.5 Million Offering of Shares, and fully enrolls pivotal Phase 3 head and neck cancer study. 


Ceres Nanosciences raises $3 Million in Series A Funding; receives DARPA award to adapt Nanotrap® and, with GMU, Tasso & USAMRIID receives $4.25M from DTRA.


             Contraline’s Kevin Eisenfrats makes Forbes’ “30 under 30”.


Cupron’s copper infused materials use widely expanded by Sentara HealthCare hospitals to reduce risk of infection.


Diffusion Pharmaceuticals moves towards Phase 3 Clinical Trial for lead compound for inoperable GBM brain cancer.


Focused Ultrasound Foundation Receives Transformative $10M Contribution.


  George Mason University scientists develop test to detect TB early.


  Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc. to expand manufacturing in Fairfax County.


Hemoshear Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company announce a multimillion dollar partnership to discover and develop novel therapeutics for liver diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).


             HemoSonics is acquired by Stago Group for point point-of-care blood diagnostics platform.


IALR expands one of a kind library of endophytes in the plant microbiome; first license to Indigo Ag.


Iggbo to open health care locations in 40 major markets nationally.


             Illuminia Ventures raises $230M in First Fund.


             Indivior wins FDA approval for drug to fight opioid addiction.


Inova Personalized Health Accelerator accepts first company, Hememetics Biotechnologies, into investment portfolio.


ivWatch raises $14.8M; receives FDA 510 (k) clearance on device advancing the safety of IV therapy for pediatric patients.


Kaleo wins FDA approval of AUVI-Q® auto-injector for life-threatening allergic reactions in infants and small children; and donates epinephrine injectors to all U.S. public elementary schools


Landos Biopharma Raises $10 Million in Series A Financing.


LifeNet Health to Invest $12.25 million, create 321 new jobs in Virginia Beach.


Medicines for All Institute created with additional $25M Gates Foundation Grant to VCU School of Engineering to increase global access to life saving medicines.


Nutriati raises $10M for Chickpea protein product development.


             Owens & Minor acquires Halyard Health’s Surgical and & Infection Prevention Business.


             Perthera collaborates with Novartis on Clinical Trials for Breast and Lung Cancer.


             PPD expanding Vaccines lab in Richmond.


             Tear Solutions raises $8.5M series B financing co-led by VTC Innovation Fund.


             TechLab Receives FDA Clearance to Market Tri-Combo Parasite Screen.


The Virginia Catalyst (VBHRC) announces 7 Virginia research universities sign groundbreaking agreement to share resources to enhance collaborative research; and also makes + $3M grants to collaborative commercialization projects. 


  TypeZero partners with Senseonics and Roche on ‘Artificial Pancreas’.


  University of Virginia and Inova Health System fund first 9 joint research projects in their long term partnership.


  UVA Health System Plays Role in Cancer Moonshot Program


  VeneBio Launches Tool to Help Reduce Opioid Overdoses.


  Vibrent Health’s Precision Medicine SaaS Platform granted Authority to Operate (ATO) by NIH.


Virginia Beach Innovation Challenge launches with mission to seed 25 companies focusing on biomedical innovation impacting Veterans’ health.


Virginia Institute of Neuropsychiatry develops NeuroGage software to measure brain volume of high school athletes to detect injury.


             Virginia Tech Carilion Biomedical Research Institute Expansion holds ground breaking on $90M Project.


             Virginia Tech Carilion Innovation Fund formed and makes first investment.


             William and Mary iGEM team wins 1st runner up in global competition in synthetic biology.


At Virginia Bio, the staff and Board of Directors, led by the Executive Committee, have worked hard, too, this year, honored to play a part in helping this community accomplish its important work.  Together with collaborating organizations and financial sponsors, we conducted valuable programs and advanced strategic objectives.   Here’s a quick look.

Our invitation-only Virginia Reception at JPMorgan last January was a hit, battling snow and rain, and featured industry champion and BIO Governor of the year Terry McAuliffe.  Our members-only complimentary meeting rooms at the Clift Hotel provided just the right spot for special meetings. Darden Executive Education, UVA Licensing and Ventures, Cherry Bekaert and the Catalyst led the support for this showcase event. 

We held our statewide conference THRIVE 2017 in Virginia Beach in April, co-hosted by LifeNet Health, Williams Mullen, Sentara Health Care and Virginia Beach Economic Development.  The community gathered 350 strong to meet new sources of private funding across Virginia, and national leaders of research and development for Veterans and military personnel, and the EVMS/Sentara collaboration with IBM Watson.

Women Building Bio grew in its second year, led by outstanding women in the industry and academia in Virginia, and supported by top sponsors GMU, VCU, UVA Health System and Virginia Bio + Tech Park.  We gathered hundreds of outstanding women and men again at Inova Center for Personalized Health to inspire, inform and weave a network of relationships to build the state and regional ecosystem. 

Bringing Data to Life was the Innovate conference we co-hosted with Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vibrent Health and Inova Center for Personalized Health.  We gathered for the first time the rapidly expanding and diverse community of companies and researchers in the region working in digital health to take the first steps in forming a network of excellence around critical common problems and significant opportunities. 

The BioHealth Capital Region Forum once again brought together nearly 1,000 leaders from industry, academia, government, investment and health in Virginia, Maryland and DC to encourage our development into one of the nation’s “top 3 by 2023” bio regions.  We again co-hosted this important event with BioHealth Innovation, Paragon Bioservices, University System of Maryland and Inova, under the extraordinary leadership of co-host MedImmune at its Gaithersburg, MD headquarters.

In the Insights series we brought national leaders to Charlottesville to meet industry and university leaders, students and community members on Grounds at our co-host the i.Lab, and with the support of the Virginia Catalyst, CSC Leasing, Cherry Bekaert and Finnegan.  

The two webinar series we produced were greatly appreciated by the audiences, for practical information easily within reach - one on Intellectual Property Protection and, more recently, on Cybersecurity for bioscience companies.  These are archived for members on the Virginia Bio website.

The BioPurchasing program saved Virginia Bio members $9.6M over the last 12 months. 

We arranged for the consulting firm G2G to provide at no cost to our members insightful comprehensive monthly bulletins on recently announced opportunities for nondilutive federal funding. Many members identified valuable opportunities of which they were otherwise unaware.  

Networking and education events were produced across the state -  at the monthly Biotech Commercialization luncheons in Richmond, the Southwest Virginia LifeScience Forum, “Biotech and Beer” networking events at many spots, and bioscience executive luncheons throughout Northern Virginia.

Finally, Virginia Bio and the lobbyist we engaged, First Choice Consulting, worked hard to represent the industry before policymakers in Virginia year round and during the General Assembly, and Virginia Bio worked with our national partners BIO, AdvaMed, MDMA, PhRMA and We Work for Health, to represent our interests before the US Congress and federal policymakers

Special thanks to our Premium Sponsors.  They provide an elevated level of support throughout the year, which enables us to do everything we do, and to do it better.  They are:  Cooley LLP, Piascik CPA, Lilly, Pfizer, VWR, Xenith Bank, Prince William County Economic Development, Medimmune, the Virginia Bio+Tech Park, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Cherry Bekaert, Vibrent Health and the Virginia Catalyst.  

Thanks, too, to our Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and to our terrific staff.  For the first time in seven years we added a position this year, when Cassandra Isley joined us as Director of Business Development and Strategy.  With Sherri Halloran and Caron Trumbo, and our part time bookkeeper Stephone Jones, the team gets an awful lot done.  They bring a passion for the ultimate mission, and great affection for the people we get to deal with on a daily basis. 

As I travel across the region and the country and return home, I am reminded again and again of the spirit of collaboration, the goodwill and the sense of purpose which animates the community of people in our industry in the Commonwealth.  Over time I have come to appreciate that these are our strongest winds, pushing us to make the best headway we can each on our important journeys, to help patients, customers and folks across Virginia and around the world who are waiting for the fruits of our labors.    

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.



Tags:  #biotech #2017inreview 

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