Members and Friends,
Welcome to Spring! I hope that your NCAA basketball brackets remain somewhat intact and useable (which would be a better situation than mine…). The Virginia Bio team is extremely happy to be on the warmer side of things and looking forward to what we hope will be a very productive spring for our members and industry.
Ready, Set, Grow!
Virginia’s ecosystem has played a vital role over the past 12 months’ pandemic (yes, it has actually been that long!). Our members have engaged in game-changing research, provided medical devices and PPE to those on the front lines, delivered thousands of diagnostic tests related to the virus and, now, are producing and delivering life-saving therapeutics and vaccines. The pandemic has highlighted what we all know: our industry is nstrumental in ensuring our citizens and peoples of the world live better, healthier lives.
- Capital Infusions: And we are not only vital to our citizens’ physical health, but also play a major role in the Commonwealth’s fiscal health, accounting for $8 billion in economic impact and more than 23,000 jobs.. Thankfully, these contributions have continued and indeed grown over the last twelve months. Virginia’s biotech innovators have been in the spotlight recently, including but not limited to: HemoShear Therapeutics’ $40 million Series A capital raise; AgroSphere’s $8.8 million Series A raise; Ceres Nanosciences’ $6.5M NIH award for COVID-19 testing technology, Phlow’s recent $20 million raise; and Landos Pharma’s $100 million IPO.
- Our Companies are HIRING!: Hundreds of Jobs to Fill! All of this investment and other growth in our companies and life science entities is yielding a real opportunity for job seekers. In addition to many of the companies just mentioned, other Virginia biotech companies are looking for talent, including AMPAC Fine Chemicals in Petersburg, GlaxoSmithKline in Richmond, Cadence in Staunton, Vibrent Health in Fairfax, DrugViu in the greater DC/NoVa region, and ivWatch in Newport News. By our estimates, more than 500 biotech jobs are available right here in Virginia. If you are a job seeker, please see Who’s Hiring in this newsletter. If you are an employer, send us your job postings!
Growing the Ecosystem: Update on Virginia Bio-Connect.
In order to continue this kind of growth, we must invest in our ecosystem’s foundation: our small and growing companies. In December 2020 GO Virginia approved a competitive grant request to help fund Virginia Bio-Connect, a $3.2 million Statewide industry cluster scale up initiative. The project, directed by our Association, is a multi-regional collaboration designed to increase connectivity and awareness of the existing programs, resources, and communities in the Commonwealth that support the life sciences industry. Virginia Bio-Connect will be a central hub for the life science community to find relevant resources across the state, including commercialization and entrepreneurship programs, funding mechanisms, accelerators, job boards, internship programs, and core research equipment facilities. The program will provide the pathway for businesses to find the support, expertise, and workforce needed to grow and prosper in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- The current status of the grant: we will soon be posting job announcements for a program manager to support grant administration, and for four entrepreneurs-in-residence who will be available to the entire ecosystem (virtually). We hope to have these positions filled within the next three months. We are also selecting a vendor for development of a Virginia Bio-Connect web portal for information and best practice sharing and to be the backbone of our internship programs which will commence later this year. More to come!
Join Us for April 10’s Virtual Luncheon with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s mission is to accelerate the development and adoption of focused ultrasound, a breakthrough noninvasive therapeutic medical technology. Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive therapeutic technology with the potential to treat a wide range of serious medical disorders. FDA approvals for essential tremor, Parkinson’s tremor, prostate, osteoid osteoma, uterine fibroids and painful bone metastases have validated the technology as a tool for noninvasive, precise ablation and have given patients new treatment options. Come hear Jessica Foley, PhD, Focused Ultrasounds Chief Scientific Officer discuss this technology and her Foundation’s efforts to strengthen the focused ultrasound community to bring this technology to a wider patient base.
Virginia Bio wants to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas, comments, suggestions and advice regarding how Virginia Bio can best support you and our biotechnology ecosystem.
Please stay safe and let us know how we can help you. Thank you for all that you do to make Virginia’s life science ecosystem stronger!