CEO Letters

June 2024

Dear Members,

Happy Summer! If you’ve been following Virginia Bio on social media, you know that Team Virginia Bio is having a busy summer, and we look forward to continuing to see many of you as we crisscross the state. And we are not averse to being invited to see you! Now, for a brief review of items that have transpired since our last CEO Letter, as well as some upcoming events….

RESI South. In March, Virginia Bio joined forces with the other six states of the SE LifeSci Investor Coalition to bring RESI South to Atlanta, GA. Nearly 300 attended, including representation from Virginia companies and investors. The event saw a 1:1 ratio of investors to companies and saw a Virginia Bio member, Liquet Medical’s John Schindler, take 1st runner up in the company pitch competition. Other Virginia Bio members including Kinis AI, NIRSense, Jeeva Clinical Trials, and Owl Peak Technologies joined the Virginia delegation there. It is the intent of Virginia Bio and the Coalition to bring another investor conference to the Southeast in early 2025; we will keep you updated.

THRiVE 2024. We thank all our sponsors, partners, and attendees for the success of THRiVE 2024, held at the US Patent and Trademark Office in May. It was a welcome opportunity for networking and hearing from experts on artificial intelligence, standards and biologics, sustainability, intellectual property, and investment, and to hear spotlights on several Virginia success stories from the CEOs of Landos Pharmaceuticals, Revivicor, Embody, and BrainBox. The highlight was our recognition of Jeff Conroy, former CEO of Embody, Inc., and Jim Powers, former CEO of HemoShear as recipients of the 2024 Outstanding Contributions to Bioscience Award. We look forward to seeing you at THRiVE 2026!

BIO International 2024. For the first time since 2016, Virginia had a booth at the BIO International convention. It was only through the partnership of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, several regional economic development offices and corporate partners including Government Scientific Source and Activation Capital that we were able to have this impactful presence on the San Diego Convention Center floor. From June 3rd to 6th, scores of meetings and visits to the booth were held, giving our companies greater exposure and our economic developers the opportunity to promote Virginia as a great corporate destination. Virginia will return to BIO International when it lands in Boston in June 2025. Mark your calendars now to join us and, if you are a company, be sure to take advantage of a grant of up to $6000 to fund your travels (see Frank Wilton) for information about the VEDP-provided STEP grant). We’ll see you at BIO2025!

Final Wrap-up of General Assembly 2024. As you will recall from our March newsletter, we were still anxiously awaiting the final resolution on companion bills SB274 and HB570 that aimed to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Virginia. Governor Youngkin ultimately vetoed this legislation, which would have given authority to a group of government appointed persons, most without biotechnology industry experience, to establish artificial price caps on certain drugs with high patient out-of-pocket costs. The Governor also vetoed SB119, a bill that would have mandated that manufacturers provide 340B discounted drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies. While indeed victories for our industry, we must continue our vigilance against any future iteration of these ideas.

…. And More to Come! Please join us for Women Building Bio 2024 at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, on September 25. Expect enhanced networking, mentorship and great informational panels showcasing excellent women-led companies, interesting research and student poster presentations. Agenda to come, but, for now, please Save the Date! Also, join Virginia, Maryland and DC as we celebrate and host the 10th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum, September 17-18 at U.S. Pharmacopeia in Rockville, Maryland (registration opens soon). This 600-person event will showcase the assets, technologies and companies in Virginia and beyond that help rank our BioHealth Capital Region as the third top Biopharma cluster, as ranked by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. Note, if you are a company looking to get in front of investors, please attend the 9th Annual Crab Trap and Pitch Competition on September 19 (registration opens soon). Featuring partnering and panels, and a pitch competition recently dominated by Virginia companies (placing 2nd in the pitch competition in 2022 (Polaris Genomics) and 1st in 2023 (Luminoah). Please make plans to join us, network, and compete to help continue Virginia’s winning streak!

Accelerate 2024. Join George Mason University, Virginia Bio and our partners as we once again bring you the Accelerate Investor Conference, Oct 23-24. Agenda to come, but expect panels, networking and an investor pitch competition for life science companies and companies from other technology spaces. In 2023 this event saw over 400 attendees including investors, companies, government officials, researchers, students and others.

Thank you for your support of Virginia’s life science ecosystem! Please let us know your ideas about how we can continue to improve our service and support of all that you do. Have a great summer!


John Newby

More letters from our CEO


June 2024

Dear Members, Happy Summer! If you’ve been following Virginia Bio on social media, you know that Team Virginia Bio is having a busy summer, and we look forward to continuing to see many of you as we crisscross the state. And we are not averse to being invited to see you! Now, for a brief review of items


March 2024

Dear Members, Happy Spring! One of Virginia Bio’s fundamental mandates is to advocate on behalf of the industry for supportive policies, and against harmful ones, before federal and state policy makers. For instance, the Virginia R&D tax credit that is enjoyed by many of our members came about through Virginia Bio advocacy. The increases over the past decade


July 2023

Happy Summer, Virginia Bio! It’s been a very busy summer here at Virginia Bio, and we know you have been busy as well!  We see you out there on social media and other communication vehicles,and we were thrilled to have seen many of you “live and in person” at events and socials across the state.