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A Word from Jeff Gallagher, CEO, Virginia Bio It’s my privilege to travel the state and meet hundreds of companies, research institutions, and individuals who are doing fascinating innovative work and making valuable contributions to our economy and to the health and well-being of people around the globe. Every month in this blog I’ll take a short look at an outstanding member of Virginia’s bioscience community, or update you on important information that impacts the community.


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Year in Review

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

Hold on for a quick flashback over 2016, and a flash-forward to the new year!


2016 - Big steps and sound improvements, thanks to so many of you.

Historic levels of support of state public policy, building on the Virginia Bioscience Economy Blueprint. A new large expenditures R&D tax credit, increased funding and increased caps for the separate; refundable R&D Tax Credit; protecting the Angel Investor Tax Credit from attack; increased funding and expansion of authority for Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation (the “Catalyst”), a new fund and authority, Virginia Research Investment Fund, to spur economic development in research intensive fields with our universities; a new GoVirginia Fund and Authority, encouraging regions to focus on strength and collaborate in economic development; and a billion dollar bond package for capital improvements, including bioscience and bioengineering research facilities.

Federal public policy breakthroughs – surely, we are small fish in a big national pond, but as we all saw in Finding Nemo if all the small fish swim in the same direction hard enough, together we can cause big change. So, after years that we “kept on swimming” with partners across the US, this year we saw the enactment of a two-year freeze on the innovation-destroying Medical Device Revenue Tax, and just in the last week, passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, providing significant new funding for several major programs and staff support at NIH and implementing regulatory processes improvements at the FDA.

New networking events taking us to new heights. Adding to our regular cycle of networking dinners and “biotech and beer” around the state. The new Insights quarterly series bringing national leaders in bioscience commercialization to the i.Lab in Charlottesville to meet CEOs from Central Virginia companies, UVA leaders, and then network with the entire Charlottesville community. A first ever Women Building Bio: the XX Factor conference at Inova Center for Personalized Health, with the support of Darden and George Mason, bringing together 250 leaders in a unique and terrific program focused on building up people, firms and the community. Thanks to our sponsors of these innovative events for taking a chance with us. We are delighted with their success.

More money saved in more ways for more members through the national BioPurchasing program. New vendor additions, uniforms and cleanroom garments through UniFirst/UniClean, bulk gases from Airgas, microscopes from Nikon and coming in January gene sequencing equipment from Illumina. The number one supplier VWR now offers great discounts and rebates saving members even more than before. And office supplies savings went up with better pricing on thousands of items from Office Depot. Learn more about member savings programs, click here.

New, nimble ways of providing timely practical information for bioscience company success. We debuted a new series of webinars, grouped to focus on specific topics yet cover a field broadly, and delivered to your desk over the lunch hour at no cost. Our six-part series on Intellectual Property was put on splendidly by many of our attorney members, and inspired and coordinated by Aaron Parker at Finnegan, followed by a series on state and federal tax credits. We also beefed up equipment to provide livestreaming and archiving of our monthly Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Luncheon Programs from Richmond.

Our efforts to help spur capital formation took a big step forward with our free-standing Virginia Reception at the Velvet Room of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco on the eve of JPMorgan Healthcare Conference week. That great event compliments our program of making available near Union Square a semi-private meeting room to Virginia Bio members to reserve for special meetings that week.

A bigger and better BioHealth Capital Region forum at Medimmune, with partners from DC and Maryland, drawing over 600 to familiarize and move ahead on strengthening the region. Virginia companies, universities and public officials were fully integrated into this year’s event.

Great new additions to Virginia Bio’s statewide Board of Directors to replace the spots of members who termed off or moved with a change in employment. Thanks to these women and men, past and present, who volunteer their time to grow the industry for the good of all our members, the Commonwealth and the patients and people we all labor to serve.

2017 – New opportunities to serve

Successful implementation and coordination of state public policies in support of R&D and commercialization is the focus this year. Easier said than done, but we won’t give up. We have been provided a historic opportunity, now let’s make the most of it for the industry and for the Commonwealth! We’ll be working with program administrators and members and staff of the General Assembly and Cabinet to make the most of these programs.

Mark your calendars! Every two years we have our statewide conference: THRiVE 2017 is schedule for April 6 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. We are putting together a terrific program so save the date! Then in the fall (mark it, too!) a repeat and expansion of Women Building BIO: the XX Factor at Inova Center for Personalized Health on September 20.

Continued networking at a second season of the Insights series in Charlottesville, another great year of the monthly Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Luncheons at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond livestreamed, and a significantly expanded professionals Webinar series throughout the year.

Expanded activity in support of capital formation statewide. We’re repeating and making even better the Virginia Reception in San Francisco on January 8 in San Francisco. Join leaders from the new private funds at Inova, Sentara and UVA, and Governor McAuliffe, with leaders of Virginia bioscience companies and investors at this elegant spot on the eve of JP Morgan Health Care Conference week. We’ve also improved the complimentary meeting space available to members for private investor meetings during the conference. Then, join us again at home in Virginia Beach at THRiVE 2017 where we plan to bring these new funding sources and others across and outside Virginia together to introduce their teams and meet Virginia companies and translational researchers. Later, in May, we’re helping to host the first appearance in the region of the Cavendish Global Forum on bioscience Impact Investing for family funds and offices in Washington DC.

We’ll continue or work through our Foundation to support and encourage STEM activities in our schools, and facilitating student internships in industry.

There are lots of ways to help, and there’s lots of help needed. If what’s ahead excites you and you want to be a part of working together for it, let us know.

Best wishes for a wonder-filled and blessed holiday season for you and your families, and a productive and happy New Year.





Tags:  #biotech #vabio #policychanges #webinars #biopurch 

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The Election is over, now what?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 17, 2016


Dear members and friends of Virginia Bio,

Phew! The federal election cycle is over. We congratulate all those who won elections, including President-elect Trump and Vice President- elect Pence. We also thank the candidates who were not successful in their bids for office for the enormous time and energy they put into elucidating the issues and providing a choice for the electorate, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and native son Senator Tim Kaine.

I recall words from the now-famous note left in the Oval Office on January 20, 1993 by George H W Bush for newly-inaugurated Bill Clinton: “You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success is now our country’s success. I am rooting for you.” Over the years candidates from both parties and for all offices who have come up short have echoed this sentiment in their own time and place, and with each such act of grace and political grit have strengthened our democratic republican system.

Virginia Bio is eager to work with all our elected officials and members of the Administration to develop our industry, to support the people, firms and organizations who are its face and hands, and thus to speed our work for the benefit of the people we seek to serve with treatments and cures, food and fuel.

But … curious about the impact of the Trump presidency and majority control of the US Senate and House by the Republicans? So am I. So, on Thursday, December 8, over the lunch hour, Jean Haggerty, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, BIO will share the latest news and her insights on what might happen in federal policy at our monthly Bioscience Commercialization luncheon series. The event is held in Richmond at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, but it is live streamed and archived on our website for those who can’t make it. Register now to join us in person, or join us by livestream at the time using this link.

Moving down ticket, our Congressional delegation post-election has a different look, due in part to redrawing district maps, retirements and the will of the people. Democrats increased their portion of the Commonwealth’s 11-member delegation to 4 from 3, with the Republicans dropping to 7. One first-time member won from each party. Our Representatives for the next two years will be: 1st Rob Wittman (R); 2nd Scott Taylor (R, first term); 3rd Bobby Scott (D); 4th Donald McEachin (D, first term); 5th Tom Garrett (R); 6th Bob Goodlatte (R); 7th Dave Brat (R); 8th Donald Beyer (D); 9th Morgan Griffith (R); 10th Barbara Comstock (R); and, 11th Gerald Connolly (D).

Let me pause here and ask your help. Representative Barbara Comstock has been a strong supporter of the tech and bio industry in Virginia since her days in the General Assembly and now as Chairwoman of Research and Technology Subcommittee for the House Committee on Science, Space, And Technology. She’s asked us to formulate ideas for subcommittee hearings to expose and explore important issues. I am talking with several you working to shape a hearing proposal on of the impact of reimbursement systems on innovation in bioscience and biomedicine. I would love to hear from any of you on this, or other important ideas. Call or email me at

Switching to the Commonwealth, with the Presidential election year behind us, the next 12 months will feature the campaigns for Virginia elected officials, including our three state wide officeholders, Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. We pledge to work with all the candidates to inform them of issues, to be a resource to them as they prepare their platforms, and to provide them contact with the women and men who comprise our industry.

Before election season, January will mark the beginning of our 45-day General Assembly Session. On December 6 or 7 (tbd soon) we’ll have a webinar over the lunch hour looking at the year ahead in the Virginia General Assembly. Please join us.

And mark your calendar to attend our annual legislative reception during the General Assembly, February 9, 2017.

Last year the Governor, Senate and House together strengthened and increased support for the bioscience economy. Since then, many hands from across the state have been busy building out two major new programs, the Virginia Research Investment Fund and GoVirginia. VBHRC was provided additional funding and an expanded mandate, and it has been moving ahead. Yet tax revenues beneath budget projections are causing the state to pull back from financial commitments it made in last year’s budget. We are working to spread the word about these policies, and help the build out of the new policies.

Among state policies which support the industry, tax credits are a significant tool. I hope you caught our recent webinar on state and federal R&D Tax Credits. In Virginia, the rules were changed this year expanding the scope and amounts of the exiting R&D tax credit, and a second and separate tax credit was established for companies who make large expenditures in the state on R&D. At the federal level, the credit was made permanent and modified in very significant and helpful ways. If you conduct R&D and are not up to date on these changes I urge you to get informed. Watch our webinar in our archives on the website here, or go to another of your favorite sources. But check it out.

On December 14, 23, we’ll finish our tax credit webinar series with a segment on state tax credits applicable to investors of bioscience companies in Virginia.

Finally, with all the statewide policy changes afoot, I want to highlight the role that economic development professionals play in support of our industry. These are the people who day by day help companies understand and make use of the various policies and tools at the local, regional and state level. Yesterday Virginia Bio mounted a day-long Bio Boot Camp attended by 25 Economic Development Professionals from across the state, in close cooperation with VEDP, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The goal was to help them go deeper into bioscience business across the state, with some key science and biobusiness concepts and terms, and to hear from the point of view of startups and growing bio companies. This is one more step toward our long-term goal to convince VEDP and our statewide economic development community to build domain expertise in commercial bioscience. This is necessary to successfully grow bioscience companies in and recruit companies to Virginia. Virginia Bio Members Rob Harris, CSO and COO, NEXT Bio-Research Services, Mike Grisham, CEO Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (the Catalyst) and Sharon Krueger, Director of Innovation Grants and Relationships, Dean's Office in the School of Medicine, UVA generously gave their time to describe the world from the startup and company point of view.

Many thanks to them, and all of you help us work for the industry and for our members day in and day out.



Best Regards,



Tags:  #biotech #vabio #policychanges #vedp #webinars #lu 

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Experiencing Extraordinary Science

Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,,

Sorry, you can’t have my job. I had another couple dream weeks mixing office work, visiting members and experiencing extraordinary depth and breadth of science and business activities over the state (and I’m not even including the smash hit Women Building Bio: the XX factor (just take a look at the photos).

Earlier this month I traveled to Virginia Tech Carillion Research Institute (bold indicates Virginia Bio Member) for the long planned three day Scandinavian / Virginia Conference on Precision Neuroscience. The gathering brought over a hundred researchers from overseas and across the state together to articulate the path to application of precision medicine principles in neurological and brain, and to explore new collaborations with one another and industry. This was the splendid handiwork of VTCRI Director, Michael Friedlander, and the culmination of many years of building relationships and focused work. I was able to check off a bucket list item Thursday evening - chatting with a Nobel Prize winner in plainly English over a glass of wine, then experiencing a dazzling Nobel worthy presentation. Eric Betzig gave a breathless (for the audience) eye-popping, brilliant/humble non-stop 45-minute account of his work at Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Va., with still and video images of objects smaller than a wavelength of light, which as the elders will recall was conclusively proven under the laws of physics to be impossible until Eric and his colleagues and collaborators did so. And to be expected, the images of where they’ve taken the technology recently. Sometimes you have to lean back and marvel at the beauty of creation.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday in DC at the 4th Annual Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium presented by the Sheikh Zayed Institute of Pediatric Surgical Innovation, part of the Children’s National Health System. The conference, entitled “Helping Kids and the Economy Grow Stronger through Innovation” was in part a national competition for $250K in grants to medical devices that address a significant yet unmet pediatric need, and in part a gathering of local, regional and national experts to discuss critical issues in bringing medical device innovation to children, including funding and private investment, economic development assistance and barriers, regulatory paths and roadblocks, and the practical considerations in getting funded, approved and reimbursable devices into hospitals and to the patients. A dozen finalists, out of over 90 national applicants, contested in the pitch competition, and included two Virginia companies. CareTaker Medical, Charlottesville, was represented by David Gerdt and Jeff Pompeo, and proposed the development of a prototype for smaller children of its FDA cleared device for continuous noninvasive (wireless) blood pressure and ECG monitoring, and extending to other pediatric vital signs. The second, Averia Health Solutions, Alexandria, was represented by 17-year-old Rohan Suri, senior at Thomas Jefferson Governor’s School, and inventor and entrepreneur of a relatively inexpensive, highly deployable concussion screening device leveraging a smartphones’ camera and processor to accurately measure and quantify various eye tracking metrics widely accepted for screening and contributing to diagnoses. As to Rohan’s presentation and performance in the shark tank, I will simply say this: if you ever find yourself on the same program as this young man, under no circumstances appear after him on the program - you will be invisibilized. This conference was terrific, and is growing and developing every year, just as the researchers and clinicians at the Sheikh Zayed Institute are developing more innovations and spin-out candidates every year.

Speaking of spinouts from Children’s National, at the Innovation Awards gala in Crystal City sponsored by Washington Business Journal and Cherry Bekaert leading innovators from all industries across the Washington region were honored. One of ten awardees was eKare, a young company dedicated to the design and development of wound assessment solutions using the latest computer-vision and mobile technology, spun out of CNMC and located in Virginia, thanks in part to support from the Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT). Another awardee was K2M, the fast growing Leesburg based public company, which makes spinal implant devices with highly advanced design and manufacturing technologies, including 3-D printing.

Last Friday, I attended the 5th Annual Biomedical Informatics Symposium at Georgetown University. The event, organized by Subha Madhaven, Director of the innovation Center for Biomedical informatics at Georgetown and Chief Data Officer of Perthera, brought national academic, health care and industry leaders together to scan the horizon of precision medicine initiatives (John Deeken from Inova Health System was a panelist), health data analytics, and path breaking initiatives such as the Genomic Data Commons (attempting not only to amass but harmonize genome libraries) and the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) Study (an FDA approved study to harness real world data). Quantitative science research by Georgetown researchers was featured as well. Data and bio are colliding all over the world, but I’m reminded again there is no reason the Virginia/DC/Maryland regional should not gather and promote its unique resources and assets and become preeminent.

Finally, at the end of last month I traveled to Virginia Beach and attended the health and biotechnology around of the statewide million-dollar business plan competition Virginia Velocity Tour, overseen by the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. The rains were well underway, and it’s nearly accurate to say for the first time ever I was wetter outside the water than in it at the beach. But hundreds showed up for a feisty competition at the Virginia Aquarium. Finalists included Attention Point,  Adartis Animal Health, Sanyal Biotechnology and GoGo Band, with Adartis getting the win. Gary Warren, President and CEO of ivWatch and last year’s first prize winner, was one of the judging panel.

Wow. Harnessing the explosion of knowledge and technology to bring healing and wellness to the world. Great work, all.


Best Regards,


Tags:  #biotech #vabio #vtcri #vavelocitytours #childrens 

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Beginning the Conversation

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

A: Next Thursday, September 29.

Q: What’s the nearest opportunity you have to take part in an event that will inspire and equip you to be better than ever before at what you do, and that will put you at the center of an enthusiastic network of talented and like-minded people who you can call on for years to come?

That’s because that’s the day you can Join hundreds of leaders and drivers of bioscience in Virginia, and the region for first of its kind Women Building Bio: the XX Factor, at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Falls Church, VA. Register right now!

At this day-long conference we’ll:

identify and spread awareness of women leaders and drivers of the bioscience research and commercialization field throughout Virginia and across the region;

gather these and other women and men in the field to create new relationships and plant the seed for productive collaborations;

provide thoughtful, inspiring, practical and world class leadership and professional development; and,

help one another build stronger and better research, products, companies, institutions, networks, teams and individuals, enabling us all to better help the people we serve.

• Participate in a small group meeting with a leader in the field, in our innovative TIES small group networking program. Once you’ve registered for the conference, sign up in advance to reserve your spot using this link.

• Meet and hear from women leading the bio field in Virginia and the region, including:

Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO, ALS Association (Ice Bucket Challenge)
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Chair, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, House Science Space and Technology Committee
Barbara Boyan, Dean, VCU Engineering School
Amy Caro, Sector VP & GM Health Division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems
Meeta Chatterjay, Head Business Strategy and Operations, Business Development and Licensing, Merck Research Laboratories
Rachel King, CEO, GlycoMimetics, past Chair, BIO
Theresa Mayer, VP Research and Innovation, Virginia Tech
Mindy Goldsborough, Chief Science and Technology Officer, ATCC

• Experience world class professional development sessions led by University of Virginia Darden School Foundation Executive Education professors, whose faculty is repeatedly ranked #1 in the world by the Financial Times.

• Network with hundreds of other women and men from around the state and region.

• Meet some young women in bioSTEM and learn about the programs that have helped them enter and excel in the field

• Get a good glimpse of the campus of the Inova Center for Personalized Health, and learn first hand from CEO Todd Stottlemyer about the vision.

See you there!

Register today!




PS – very special thanks to sponsors: Inova Center for Personalized Health, George Mason University, University of Virginia Darden School Foundation Executive Education, Greenberg Traurig, Squire Patton Boggs, PhRMA, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Xenith Bank, Pfizer, Virginia Tech Fralin Life Science Institute, Cherry Bekaert, AstraZeneca / MedImmune, Prince William County Economic Development, Loudon County Economic Development, Sliverline Communications, VWR, Euclid Systems, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Avison Young, Northrop Grumman, Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, James Madison University, Polymer Solutions, and Embody

Tags:  #biotech  #inova  #womenbuildingbio  #womenleaders  #xxfactor2016 

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Special Note from Newly Elected Virginia Bio Chairman, Crystal Icenhour

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 25, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

As I begin my term as Chairman, I would like to introduce myself. While I was formally trained as a medical research scientist, I have found that I am best suited for the business side of science. I have co-founded and lead two startup biotech companies in Virginia and have lived on the front lines of the entrepreneurial world for almost a decade now. I am committed to building the biotech ecosystem in Virginia.

My first interaction with Virginia Bio was with the VWR and Office Depot discount programs. As you know, every penny counts in a startup! I soon became involved on the Board of Directors under Mark Herzog’s leadership. I quickly realized how valuable Virginia Bio would be to my company, my career development, and to the Commonwealth of Virginia. I could see the potential of the organization and wanted to throw my hat in to be a part of the most exciting time in biotech!

In my time volunteering with Virginia Bio, I have pushed us to communicate and market our programs and potential in the best way possible. I have supported hire and retention of our brilliant CEO and dedicated staff. I have also been active in many discussions within the Commonwealth, educating and supporting the growth of biotech. I have enjoyed working with all of our wonderful board members, sponsors, and advisors. We have seen notable improvements in the biotech ecosystem over the past few years as a result of all of the efforts by us all!

I look forward to seeing Virginia Bio and the biotech ecosystem continuing to grow and mature over the next few years. Two areas that I seek to devote my time include capital formation and educating stakeholders about the benefits of a strong biotech ecosystem. Our work to help legislators understand these benefits is far from over. And I implore you all to invite your local and regional representatives and legislators to your facilities so that they can develop a stronger appreciation for our industry. With regard to capital formation, mark your calendars to join us during JP Morgan Healthcare conference. Exciting new opportunities are opening up – take advantage!

A special thank you goes out to Jeff Conroy, past Chairman of Virginia Bio. He has served as a strong leader and mentor for many of our members. We have amazing staff and volunteers that make our organization thrive – be sure to let them know how much you appreciate all they do for our industry! And don’t be shy about helping with initiatives that impact your business.

Here's to a fruitful year ahead.




Tags:  biotech ecosystem  jpmorgan  vabioboard  vwr  xxfactor2016 

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The Power of Summer Camps

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

Earlier this month I was surprised when I returned from lunch to discover my office had been "redecorated” with cardboard - over 50 large boxes stacked high and deep. (click here for picture).

Hmmm. A little trip round the corner to see Sherri and Caron and ask what’s going on revealed this. Lab supplies, thousands of dollars of lab supplies. Not for us, but a donation by VWR, facilitated by the Virginia Bio Foundation, for a summer STEM camp at George Mason University called FOCUS. They were selected by camp leaders from a master list from overstock at VWR, a close partner of Virginia Bio.

F.O.C.U.S. (Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM) is a week-long camp which exposes middle school girls to a variety of disciplines within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  The camp specifically targets girls in middle school because research shows that’s the age where early interest in STEM often declines, but it can be reversed by thoughtful intervention. The camp is fun, hands-on and intellectually stimulating to sustain and elevate the girls’ interests in STEM. 

There’s individual learning and collaborative projects. On day five, the participants present one of the topics from the week in a poster session with invited faculty, students, and family.   There’s a "Leadership and Entrepreneurship” component to F.O.C.U.S. which gives the students an opportunity to meet successful women who currently work for leading organizations and/or own their own businesses. 

Thanks to donations, this program grew from 19 girls and 4 counselors in 2014 to 100 girls and 22 counselors this summer. The Virginia Bio Foundation, thanks to contributions from member companies and individuals, was able to provide scholarships to 5 girls who otherwise would not have been able to enjoy this experience this summer.

Camps are part of the fabric of enrichment programs and regular school curriculum and activity that are vital in encouraging young students to follow a path in STEM. Thanks to companies like VWR, programs like this are more accessible. If you would like to make donations to help these programs and others like them, please donate to the Virginia Bio Foundation.

The Virginia Bio Foundation works in STEM in many other ways. Have you heard of Biotech in a Box? Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute makes available complete kits for bringing eight different and exciting biotechnology experiments to Virginia high school and community college classrooms. These kits contain all the equipment needed for the experiments, and the Institute pays round-trip shipping between Virginia Tech and the school. Thousands of classrooms in every district in the state over the years have enjoyed the use of these kits. In the last two years, many supplies in the kits have been provided by targeted donations from VWR.

Our thanks to VWR for its generous support of programs making STEM enrichment programs more accessible to young people. And for being a terrific business partner for our members. VWR is a cornerstone of our BioBusiness Solutions national group discount program, which enables every Virginia Bio member to receive significant savings on lab supplies, equipment, shipping, furniture and more.

Also our thanks to the dedicated volunteer leadership of the Foundation: Jim Powers, CEO of Hemoshear; Denise Toney, Director, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Virginia; Mark Herzog, VP Corporate Affairs, kaleo; and Eric Rhoades, Director, Office of Science and Health Education, Division of Instruction, Virginia Department of Education.


Best Regards,




Jeff Gallagher

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Where does the Virginia Bioscience Industry Stand?

Posted By Caron Trumbo, Thursday, June 30, 2016
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2016

Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the BIO International Convention in San Francisco and watch Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe receive the BIO Governor of the Year award. He received this award in recognition of his commitment to improve the bioscience industry in the state. He has shown a long term commitment, demonstrated accomplishments, including new programs and encouraged the state to invest more dollars in building the Virginia bioscience economy than ever before in history.

Virginia is on a promising trajectory to increase the number of bioscience companies and initiatives. Currently, where does the bioscience industry in Virginia stand? This is not an easy question to answer but Virginia Bio is making a new effort to work with others to find the best way to measure the state’s progress.

Luckily for us, the Bio Innovation Organization (BIO) and TEConomy, recently released their bi-annual report on this exact thing. This state by state industry assessment reports data on national, state, and bioscience industry employment and recent trends. The most recent report, two-year old back growth from 2012 to 2014 by the number of employees and companies, average wages, academic expenditures, venture capital investments, and patents.

In Virginia, there are just over 26,000 bioscience industry jobs that span 1,624 businesses. During this two-year study, Virginia saw a 2% decline in the bioscience industry overall but the medical device and bioscience distribution saw an addition of jobs. In fact, Virginia employment in medical devices increased 9% while national hiring remained unchanged during this period. The NIH granted $322 million in funding awards to our research institutions and venture capitalist invested $713 million.

This data gives us a metric to be proud of and improve upon. Without knowing our strengths and weakness, we wouldn’t know where to focus our attention.

Another good source of data is the Coalition of State Biosciences (CSBI) Workforce Trend Report, that Virginia is participating in this year. This report provides a national glimpse of the current and expected talent needs in the life science industry. The 2016 Workforce Trends report shows that Virginia experienced a dramatic increase in workforce demand in 2015. This is appropriate since the overall need found in this report was for critical talent with specific skills and training. The Executive Summary of the report is available to view or download now, and the full report will be available online approximately July 20.

Now we are looking for collaborators in state and private industry to determine the measures to best describe what we have, what we need, and future things we can do with real data. We all know we have a concentration of data, science, and people; lets get the hard data. Lets pull the data together and tell a story that cannot be denied. Help us on this journey. Please contact us if you have available resources that will assist us in this effort.


Best Regards,




Jeff Gallagher

Tags:  bioscience performance  csbi  Economic Development  governor of the year  medical device  statewide  virginia bioscience  workforce trends 

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Special Note from Virginia Bio Chairman, Jeff Conroy

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Dear Friends,

As I end my term as Chairman, I would like to thank our members, board members, executive committee members, our sponsors and, most importantly our excellent professional staff (Sherri, Liz, Caron and Stephone) and, of course, our CEO Jeff Gallagher. Virginia Bio is a thriving organization constantly seeking to expand the value we bring to the community.

Many of us can remember 2012 and the process of hiring Jeff Gallagher as CEO. I always like to highlight that in Jeff, we have a leader who as an entrepreneur was involved in funding, developing and licensing a product that won FDA approval. This brings a tremendous perspective to Jeff’s role as he works on our behalf. Over the past four years, Virginia Bio has become Jeff Gallagher’s organization. He is the respected face of life sciences in the Governor’s office, the General Assembly, the commercial community, the academic network and nationally. Jeff’s thoughtful and caring style complement a competitive spirit and drive to build Virginia Bio into a significant and respected organization. We are in good hands!

Briefly I want to celebrate our achievements over the last two years. Jeff’s leadership educating the Commonwealth’s leaders resulted in the largest budget expansion of Virginia investment in the life sciences. Our capital formation initiative has elevated the profile of Virginia companies during the JP Morgan Healthcare conference and we are expanding our capital formation efforts. We have created significant events for our community with the THRIVE conference and built a focus on more regional outreach. One of the special aspects of this community is the opportunity to build valuable relationships among peers.

As we look to the future, our work is just beginning. The coming year will see a significant Women in Bio conference, another bi-annual Thrive event and the development of the Insights Thought Leadership series. We depend on the participation of our board members in the annual planning activities and in stepping forward to shape the future of Virginia Bio and I applaud their level of commitment. I would like to ask for the community’s commitment to expand the resources available to the Virginia Bio Foundation.

I am proud to be a member of this community. Jeff and the team are working diligently to support our needs and position Virginia for the future. Please join me in welcoming Crystal Icenhour, PhD into her new role as Chairman effective July 1st. Crystal brings tremendous energy and commitment to Virginia Bio and supporting Jeff Gallagher’s leadership.

Remember, this is your organization and we need your help to make it stronger.

Thank you and my very best regards,

Jeff Conroy

Tags:  chairmansnote  jpmorgan  thrive  vabio  vabioboard  vabiofoundation  xxfactor 

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BioHealth Capital Region

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 28, 2016

Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and helping to moderate the second annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum at MedImmune’s beautiful and booming headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. Over 900 registered to attend, and for two days we heard leaders in science, business and policy from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.

The purpose was to showcase the region’s biotechnology accomplishments, create new collaborations, and explore ways to accelerate the region’s progress towards the goal of becoming "top 3 by 2023” among the biotech clusters in the US. Speakers and panels examined local and regional efforts to boost the life science industry, explored effective models for driving innovation and collaborating successfully, and spotlighted fields of special accomplishment and advantage in the region. Speakers included Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The conference frankly results from the leadership of MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, gathering a growing number of companies and industry organizations to develop a stronger, deeper, more interconnected region. By doing so we will help all our firms and research universities succeed and accelerate our contribution to discovery and development of treatments and cures for the world.

Virginia Bio was honored to be invited to participate on the planning committee along with BioHealth Innovation, Tech Council of Maryland, GlycoMimetics and of course MedImmune. Many more organizations and companies in the region supported the event financially - enabling us to offer it free of charge to attendees, and others by providing speakers and panelists. Together they comprised a program that was national in scope, experience and expertise.

I had the privilege of moderating a panel featuring a variety of foundations located in the region and examining their impact on research and commercialization. Panelists were leaders of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Foundation for the NIH, The Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, with a biotech company CEO and a foundation national strategy consultant. (A complete agenda can be found here).

A highlight of the conference was a big step taken toward creating a shared definition, profile, identity and brand for the region. Over six months, a group of more than 50 company and public sector leaders have met with branding specialists to explore this issue. At the conference they unveiled the name and tag line of choice “BioHealth Capital Region. Advancing Science / Accelerating Innovation.” You’ll see Virginia Bio incorporating it at the bottom of our emails and on our website. You and organizations and companies throughout the region are invited to do the same as appropriate. You can use this link to get the preferred style file. Soon we’ll be announcing an open competition to create an icon/logo, so be prepared to get creative!

At Virginia Bio we share this regional vision. Our colleagues in DC and Maryland are strategic assets to success in the global competition that every one of our companies, and every one of our research universities faces, and in the race for faster cures to people in need worldwide. As they succeed, we are strengthened, and vica versa. We can build collaborations within and across state lines to drive forward research and commercial success. We can share opportunities and insights with colleagues. We can encourage sound state and federal public policy. We can improve the ways in which we nurture and train talent by sharing a coherent and complementary strategy.

We can do all this and remain spot on with our mission to grow the bioscience industry in the Commonwealth. We’ll just be doing it a little smarter, and with teammates.

Best Regards,




Jeff Gallagher

Tags:  biohealth  biotechforum16  medimmune  top3by2023  vabio 

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Virginia Women Building Bio: The XX Factor

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 24, 2016
Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

Over the past several months a steering committee of women from across the state and across many sectors of the bio industry have been planning a first-ever statewide conference highlighting and building on the contributions of women to the biosciences in Virginia.

Virginia Women Building Bio - The XX Factor will be a day-long experience, filled with expert presentations, interactive discussions and networking aimed at building a stronger bioscience industry, stronger companies and institutions, stronger collaborations and stronger individuals.

We are soon to finalize the date and location in Northern Virginia for this terrific event.

The event promises to bring together leaders from life science companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, funders, professional firms and public policy makers, research institutions, health care systems and will provide information, advice and open discussion on important topics. Topics will include finding sources of investment, collaborations in research and commercialization, developing employees and leaders in the ever changing workforce, and networking.

Breakouts, panel discussions, structured breaks and a capstone networking reception will provide generous opportunity to make new acquaintances, explore collaborations and renew existing ties.

This will be the first time women in all sectors of bioscience have come together from across Virginia, to identify needs and opportunities, identify leaders across the state in all fields, make connections and learn from one another. We expect this to be the start of an annual event bringing women together.

Prominent leaders of the industry who have confirmed their intent to participate include US Representative Barbara Comstock, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, and Amy Caro Vice President and General Manager Health Division at Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

Watch for the announcement of date and place coming soon. Thanks to our Conference Committee and our sponsors who make it all possible. If you would like to help plan and prepare this terrific conference, let us know.

Best Regards,



 Jeff Gallagher

Tags:  conferernce  thexxfactor  vabio  virginia bioscience  vwbb 

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