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VABIO E-News: April 28, 2016 Edition

Focus Around Virginia 
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

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.

For complete article click here

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In this issue
focus around Virginia
VABIO Articles
VABIO Community News
VABIO Anniversaries
VABIO Calendar


VT gets school of neuroscience
Merck expands VA operations

turning Plant oils into jet fuel
Cadence celebrates 20 years
HemoShear Gets NORD Grant
cbs feature focused ultrasound
VT professor helps NIH

New ip policy for higher ed
Regional brand introduced Indivior launches new app
Thermal Gradient get prototype

volunteer on  virginia bio boarD
Nutriati competes in launch tn
help aperiomics identify disease
Be a biotech workshop leader       WELCOME ivwatch
WELCOME thermal gradient
VABIO Community News 
VABIO Member Anniversaries 

VABIO Events
Virginia Bio Calendar




Virginia Tech Gains School of Neuroscience and "Destination Areas"

The Virginia Tech School of Neurosciences has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) for Virginia and will go into effect this upcoming fall. It will be housed in the Virginia Tech College of Science and headed by neuroscientist Harald Sontheimer.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Tech wants to change the way students experience college. The school plans to put an initial $2.6 million into five “destination areas”. The university will offer a voluntary educational path in which students can take core classes but also pursue multiple, cross-disciplinary opportunities.

For complete article click here.

Merck Expanding in Rockingham County

Merck will invest $168 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Rockingham County. Governor McAuliffe approved a $1.3 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee retraining activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

For complete article click here.

Tyton BioEnergy Systems Develops New Method for Turning Plant Oils into Jet Fuel

Tyton BioEnergy Systems announced a major technological advancement in the production of sustainable jet fuel. Tyton filed a patent application for a new method and system of converting oil extracted from plant biomass or seeds directly into jet fuel using its proprietary processing technology. Tyton's approach is an improvement over state-of-the-art methods of producing non-fossil jet fuels from plant oils, which involve costly and time-intensive pretreatment and processing steps. Tyton aims to scale-up and commercialize its modular, low-cost plant-to-jet-fuel technology after completing several more development steps.

For complete article click here.

Cadence Celebrates 20-Year Community Partnership & First Quarter Results

There is a long history between Cadence and Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) located in Weyers Cave, Va.  This year marks the 20th anniversary that Cadence began its endowment with the school, helping to provide technologies for the Technical Studies/Manufacturing Engineering program that includes Mechatronics.  

For complete article click here.


In the first quarter of 2016, Cadence, Inc. had an 11% increase in revenue compared to $23 million in 2015. Earnings per share declined 1% over prior year to $.80 per share.  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up 3% to $3.8 million. 

For complete article click here.

HemoShear to Present at Annual Meeting & Receives NORD Grant

HemoShear Therapeutics announced that it will present data that demonstrates recreation of propionic acidemia, a rare children's metabolic disorder, using HemoShear's REVEAL-TX™ drug discovery platform.  The data will be presented in three sessions at the annual meeting of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, the world's leading gathering of clinicians and researchers for study of inborn errors of metabolism. 

For complete article click here.

The Organic Acidemia Association, together with HemoShear Therapeutics and Children's National Medical Center, has received a grant from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) to begin natural history studies for organic acidemias, which are genetic metabolic diseases with life-threatening consequences.  The grant from NORD is supported in part by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Organic acidemias affect only a small number of children.  There is often little information available regarding the course of the diseases and there are few, if any, therapeutic options.

For complete article click here.

Focused Ultrasound Makes it to CBS This Morning

John Grisham was featured on CBS This Morning discussing his free book called The Tumor, a fictional account of how a real medical technology could impact the future of medicine. The short book is about focused ultrasound, a revolutionary non-invasive therapy with the potential to transform the treatment of a variety of serious medical disorders.

For complete article click here

The ivWatch Model 400 Now Available to Continuously Monitor IVs


Medical device manufacturer ivWatch announced the availability of the ivWatch Model 400, a device that continuously monitors a patient’s IV for the early detection of infiltrations – when medication or fluid leaks outside the vein into the surrounding tissue.  Peripheral IVs (PIVs) are one of the most common invasive medical procedures performed with over 150 million IV catheters placed in the U.S. annually.  Yet, current medical reports peg the failure rate of IVs in excess of 20% due to infiltrations.  The ivWatch Model 400 was developed to address this unmet need in health care. 

For complete article click here.

Register Now for the Virginia BrainRx

The Virginia BrainRx will bring researchers of brain diseases from Virginia universities, institutes and pharmaceutical companies together to highlight the challenges and opportunities for drug discovery in the Commonwealth for targeting brain disease.

This two-day event includes panel discussions, poster sessions and speakers, including, Todd Sherer, CEO of Michael J. Fox Foundation, Craig Lindsley, Co-director, Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery and many more!

For more information and to register, click here.

Virginia Tech Professor to Serve as Member of NIH Study Section

Maria Belen Cassera, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been appointed to the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review in recognition of her scientific status and research contributions. Cassera will serve as a member of the Pathogenic Eukaryotes Study Section, which reviews applications involving protozoal, helminthic, and fungal pathogens in animal and human models.

For complete article click here.

Legislation Promotes Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization on College Campuses

Governor McAuliffe signed into law legislation that directs the Boards of Visitors of public colleges and universities to adopt intellectual property (IP) policies that are supportive of students. “This legislation encourages a campus culture that supports entrepreneurship and motivates Virginia’s universities to be hubs of creativity and innovation with the potential to drive regional economic growth” said McAuliffe.

For complete article click here.

Have You Heard of the BioHealth Capital Region?
That's how MedImmune and a regional stakeholders say Greater Washington should brand itself to better promote its biotech and life sciences industry. The name was introduced as part of the BioHealth Capital Region forum at MedImmune headquarters in Gaithersburg. "This is a critical need for the industry. We don't do a good enough job talking about the strengths and the benefits of our region," said Jarrod Borkat, MedImmune's senior director of external collaborations. "When you look at other places like Silicon Valley or Research Triangle Park in North Carolina or the Fashion Capital of the World, they all have names that are associated with them. When you hear them, you know exactly what they are talking about." Greater Washington has no such strong regional identity that could help attract key talent and venture capital, he said.

For complete article click here

Thermal Gradient Testing Commercial Prototype

Thermal Gradient has received the first commercial prototypes of its FlashDirect nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) testing instrument. The basic FlashDirect platform is idyllically suited for the point-of-care market and will be available in three variants.

For complete article click here

Indivior Launches App for Patients
Pharmaceutical company Indivior has introduced a free mobile app to assist in the management of patients receiving Suboxone film for opioid addiction, with versions for both patients and health professionals. It can help physicians address and engage in the management of some of the challenging aspects of this chronic condition. The Suboxone Sublingual Film Mobile Health Library was developed with input from patients and prescribers, and includes features such as dosing reminders, symptom tracking, and access to the SUBOXONE Film savings card. Features for physicians include information on access and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies.

For complete article click here

Interested in Making a Bigger Impact with Virginia Bio?

Virginia Bio is beginning its search for our upcoming vacated board seats! We are looking for several passionate and experienced people to fill board vacancies effective January, 1 2017. The Board meets three or four times per year, at various locations around the state. Serving on the board of Virginia Bio means you’re directly impacting the biosciences in Virginia. You work with a great group of leaders from across the state, working to make the organization even better. If you are interested or know someone that would make a great addition, please email Caron Trumbo.

Nutriati Makes it to Launch Tennessee’s 36|86 Conference
Nutriati has won a spot in Launch Tennessee’s 36|86 conference where it will have the chance to win $50,000 while being exposed to at least 45 capital firms. The company won its spot after competing in Launch Tennessee’s 36|86 Southern Series event in Raleigh-Durham.

For complete article click here

Aperiomics Offering the Public a Chance to Help with Lyme Disease

Aperiomics has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support an adaptation of their technology to develop a faster and more accurate test for Lyme Disease than any currently available.  Existing tests for this disease have up to a 70% diagnostic failure rate, a major problem considering that there are over 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease in this country alone, with many patients suffering from chronic infection. 

For complete article click here.


Hosts Needed for Biotechnology Educators Workshops

Do you like working with students? Speaking about Biotechnology? The Virginia Tech Fralin Life Sciences Institute and Biocomplexity Institute are looking for leaders to host a workshop for the 2016 Biotechnology Educators Conference at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, July 27-Friday, July 29, 2016. Attendees of the conference include high school and community college educators. During the conference participants will attend 2 lectures and select from a host of hands-on workshops.

For more information and to register, click here.

Welcome New Member: ivWatch
ivWatch, is a medical device manufacturer focused on improving the safety and effectiveness of intravenous (IV) therapy. Their technology provides an aid to clinicians through monitoring a patient’s IV. Non-invasive sensor technology aids in the early detection of IV infiltrations, which can help reduce potentially serious medication dosing errors and associated patient harm. A continuously monitored peripheral IV also offers an alternative to more intrusive vascular access devices when medically indicated.

For more information please visit their website

Welcome New Member: Thermal Gradient

Thermal Gradient develops devices and systems based on its proprietary technology for performing very rapid PCR. PCR is virtually the heart of every nucleic acid test (DNA) performed. Their technology is applicable to an extremely broad spectrum of products and applications; ranging from portable systems for the field detection of bio-threats to high throughput multi-test clinical laboratory diagnostic analyzers.

For more information please visit their website.
VABIO Community News TO TOP

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has recruited Tim Meakem, MD, to serve as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Meakem will help cultivate relationships with key physicians and health system leaders as well as oversee the growing number of research projects the Foundation is supporting at leading academic research institutions around the world.

Harold “Skip” Garner joined the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine as a Professor of Biomedicine and Executive Director of the Primary Care Research Network and the Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics.  Skip maintains his position as the Executive Director, Office of Medical Informatics, Translation, Training and Ethics (MITTE). 

Virginia Biotechnology Research Park’s Joy Edgett’s son Zachary, will graduate from US Coastguard Boatswains Mate “A” School on May 12th and will then depart to serve aboard the USCGC Bertholf stationed in Alameda, CA.

VABIO Member Anniversaries TO TOP

Virginia Bio would like to thank our long term members who have recently celebrated their membership anniversaries:


Virginia Bio would also like to thank our members renewing for the first time:



MAY 4-6
Event: MDMA 2016 Annual Meeting
Where: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
When: Wednesday, May 4-Friday, May 6
Details: Annual Meeting will cover key issues impacting the United States' leadership position in med tech innovation, and how we can all help shape the regulatory and legislative agendas. This year's meeting will provide the latest on regulatory, reimbursement, compliance and international trends, as well as share powerful stories of how med tech is improving patient care.

Registration: Click here for additional information and to register.

MAY 10
Spring into Motion: Charlottesville Biotech & Beer
Where: iLab at UV, Charlottesville, VA
When: Tuesday, May 10, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Details: Enjoy an evening with food, fun and lively conversation at Biotech and Beer. Meet old friends and new colleagues in the life science community. Complimentary admission for any bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration.
Registration: Click here to register.

Cherry Bekaert, CSC Leasing and Wells Fargo

MAY 12
Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - May 2016
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, May 12, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Frontiers in Neuroscience Research-Read Montague
Montague's work centers broadly on human social cognition, decision-making, and willful choice with a goal of understanding the computational and neurobiological basis of these functions in health and disease. Montague's work particularly focuses on computational neuroscience - the connection between physical mechanisms present in real neural tissue and the computational functions that these mechanisms embody.
Registration: Click here for additional information and to register.

Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

MAY 23
VirginiaBrainRx: A Symposium on Drug Discovery for the Brain
Where: The Omni Richmond Hotel, Richmond, VA
When: Monday, May 23rd-Tuesday May 24th
Details: VirginiaBrainRx will bring together researchers on brain diseases from Virginia universities, research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies to highlight the challenges and opportunities for drug discovery in the Commonwealth for targeting brain diseases.
Click here to register.

MAY 25
Event: IP Webinar
When: Wednesday, May 25, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Details: Webinar discussing the impact of the first-inventor-to-file system on public (and private) disclosures 
Registration: Coming Soon

Event: Charlottesville Biotech & Beer
Where:  iLab at UV, Charlottesville, VA
When: Monday, June 6-Thursday, June 9
Details: Enjoy an evening with food, fun and lively conversation at Biotech and Beer. Meet old friends and new colleagues in the life science community. Complimentary admission for any bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration.

Cherry Bekaert, CSC Leasing, and Wells Fargo

Event: Roanoke Biotech & Beer 
Where: Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
When: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Enjoy an evening with food, fun and lively conversation at Biotech and Beer. Meet old friends and new colleagues in the life science community. Complimentary admission for any bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration.

5th International Symposium on Focus Ultrasound 2016
Where: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Bethesda MD
When: Sunday, August 28 - Thursday, September 1
Details: Attend the world's leading forum for sharing the latest translational and clinical advances in focused ultrasound – a groundbreaking non-invasive therapeutic technology. Targeted to scientists, clinicians, and other stakeholders, the conference will offer a multifaceted exploration of this emerging field and feature plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations and technical exhibits.
Registration: Click here for additional information.

Event: Virginia Women Building Bio: The XX Factor
Where: Northern Virginia
When: TBD
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. Breakouts, panel discussions, structured breaks and a capstone networking reception will provide generous opportunity to make new acquaintances, explore collaborations and renew existing ties.
Sponsorships are now available. Contact Sherri Halloran for more information.


Virginia Bio, was formed in 1992 and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a non-profit association. The purpose of the Association is to promote the biotechnology industry in Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of Virginia's businesses concerning biotechnology through seminars, educational publications and other means, to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in Virginia and the scientific, economic and other benefits it provides, and to represent the interests of the biotechnology industry in Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators.  We provide a forum for members and their guests to get to know each other and the many bioscience companies operating today in Virginia and serving our biotech community. We coordinate information among the many agencies and organizations interested in biotechnology.

To learn more about Virginia Bio and how you can get involved, Click Here


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