CEO Letters

May 2021

Members and Friends,

Happy Memorial Day! We hope you are able to take a little breather over the next few months and enjoy our collective reemergence from pandemic restrictions. Our biotechnology community has made this happen; from ever-more accessible and accurate diagnostics, to life-saving therapies to our vaccines, we continue to pursue our mutual objective: to improve health for all. The Virginia Bio team will be here throughout the summer to assist you in any way we can.

It’s Not Too Late! Register for the 5th Annual Symposium (Virtual) of the Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium: “VirginiaDrugDiscoveryRX: Coronavius Therapeutics, Present and Future” May 26-27, 2021. With two days of informative discussion about groundbreaking research and discoveries, and a 40+ competitor poster competition, this year’s Symposium is slated to be one of the best yet. The Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium is a collective of preeminent drug discovery scientists from Virginia’s universities and research institutions, which strives to foster inter-institutional and private sector collaboration and enhance Virginia’s attractiveness to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Keynotes for this year’s symposium include:

• Secretary of Health and Human Services Daniel Carey, M.D.
• Dr. Paul Marik, EVMS
• Dr. Sumit Chanda, Sanford Burham
• Dr. Kris White, Icahn School of Medicine
• Dr. Pamela Bjorkman, CalTech
• Sally Allain, Johnson & Johnson JLABS@Washington D.C.
• Dr. Rick Sciotti, NAID/NIH

Please join us for networking, education and dialogue at this exciting symposium! Click here for registration and sponsorship opportunities.

2021 BioGenius Winners.
 Virginia Bio and the Virginia Bioscience Foundation have named Albemarle High School’s, Meenakshi “Meena” Ambati, as the winner of the 2021 Virginia BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in the biotechnology field. Meena’s project was titled “Identification of Fluoxetine as a direct NLRP3 inhibitor to treat atrophic macular degeneration: Molecular modeling, Mechanism, Morphometry, and Meta-analysis (Year 2)“. The project was selected by an independent panel of volunteer judges representing the Virginia Bio membership, Sharon Krueger, Kevin Leslie, William McPheat, and Carl Sahi.

New Website Coming Next Month!
 As an Association, one of our primary purposes is to communicate to policymakers, citizens and the world the dynamism of our ecosystem. To that end, the Virginia Bio team has for the past several months worked with an outside vendor to perform a complete refresh of, as well as integrating our website with new association management software. Launching next month, the website will provide streamlined member access, simplified navigation and a format more conducive of telling the story of our ecosystem. A very hearty “thanks” to our VP of Operations Caron Trumbo for leading the charge on these major improvements!

Upcoming Events:

Please click here to see the most current information and registration links for all of Virginia Bio’s and our industry’s events. Here is a brief summary of upcoming events, as of this writing:

• May 26-27, 2021: Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium Virtual Annual Conference: “VirginiaDrugDiscoveryRX: Coronavius Therapeutics, Present and Future.”

• June 2, 2021: Roundtable with Congressman Ben Cline

• June 8, 2021: Association of University Research Parks BIO Health Caucus Showcase of State Bio Economies: How States, Industry, Universities, and Research Parks Are Working To Build Communities of Bio Innovation. Virginia Bio will represent Virginia and speak our Virginia Bio Connect partnership.

• June 21, 2021: KPMG Federal and Virginia R&D Tax Credit Webinar: 2020 and 2021 have been unforgettable in many ways, including significant developments regarding research and development (R&D) tax credits and various other new incentives created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• June 24, 2021: Southeast Life Science Women & SE Color PitchRounds, June 24 (Virtual). From the announcement: “Women@SLS and SE Color are combining forces for a day of innovative pitches, leadership development, and thought-provoking content from industry experts from across the country. On Thursday, June 24, we will kick off the day with the SE Color PitchRounds at 9:00 am. This will feature presentations from leading minority-led life science companies from around the region. Companies will compete for a $10,000 prize!”

 September 13-14, 2021: BioHealth Capital Region Virtual Forum, September 13-14. For the 7th straight year Virginia Bio is co-hosting this regional event. More importantly, Virginia is taking a leading role in forming and placing Virginia companies on several panels under the theme “BigBio…Big Data..Converging.” Last year’s event saw over 1000 registered.

• September 30, 2021: Women Building Bio 2022! Join us on September 30th for the 6th year of Women Building Bio.We are planning a “hybrid virtual” event; affording an opportunity for attendees to gather in small groups across the Commonwealth if desired. We are looking for your interests, experiences, speaker ideas as we create the program for another “can’t miss” event.

• October 19-21, 2021: George Mason University’s Accelerate 2022 Pitch Competition. From the website: “The competition fuels innovation-based business growth by showcasing the best and brightest new business concepts to potential investors to foster their development within Metro DC. The competition targets entrepreneurs with early- to mid-seed-stage businesses[.]”

• October 27-29, 2021: Southeast Life Sciences AdvanSE Annual Conference and PitchRounds, October 27-29, Charleston, SC. This is the southeast’s main event for the biopharma, medtech, diagnostic, and digital health industries wishing to do business in the region. It will also include PitchRounds, Southeast Life Sciences’ annual small company pitch presentation. We encourage our members to attend the AdvanSE and PitchRounds.

Your Ideas. Virginia Bio wants to hear from you! Contact us at 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!


More letters from our CEO


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