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VABIO E-News June 30, 2015
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VABIO E-News: June 30, 2016 Edition

Focus Around Virginia 
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

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.

For complete article click here.

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


USda offering $21 million
new Thermal Gradient Platform

Drug development success rates
VWR discount extended to 2023
Brain Institute Coming to UVA
McAuliffe bio governor of year
CRCF Funding $3.4 Million 

Systaaq Diagnostic Joins Contraline begins tests in rats Medical Technique Gets Upgrade
Improving Cancer Tumor Models
Sanyal moves to Virginia BEACH
Haymore Appointed Secretary
Iggbo Closes $13M funding round
IBM Watson to Improve Care
Perthera closes $8M round
Available NCATS Funding
Welcome RioGin
WELCOME accell clinical
WELCOME empriza biotech
VABIO Community News 
VABIO Member Anniversaries 

VABIO Events
Virginia Bio Calendar




USDA Offering $21 million in AFRI Funding

The USDA announced the availability of $21 million in funding through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to support the development of regional systems in sustainable bioenergy and biobased products, as well as education and training for the next generation of scientists. The current round of funding is offered through the ARFI Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts challenge area, which creates or sustains jobs by enhancing existing food and fiber production systems, boosts ecosystems by reducing greenhouse gases and improving water and habitat quality, and providing renewable energy, chemical, and product options.

For complete article click here.

New Thermal Gradient Platform Makes Testing Faster

Thermal Gradient has demonstrated the ability to perform a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) test in just 13 minutes. Thermal Gradient’s FlashDirect platform is ideally suited for the point-of-care market and will be available in three variants, FlashAmp, FlashDirect-LC, and FlashDirect-HC.  All three are small, highly portable, battery powered if desired, and perform sample-to-answer nucleic acid tests in low cost disposable cartridges.

For complete article click here.

Oncology Drugs Approved the Fastest According to Largest Study on Clinical Development Success Rate

Amplion, Biomedtracker and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) have partnered to conduct the largest ever study of clinical development success rates. The study recorded and analyzed 9,985 clinical and regulatory phase transitions, across 1,103 companies. Using clinical trial data from the past decade, “Clinical Development Success Rates 2006-2015” compares groups of diseases, drug modalities and other attributes to generate the most comprehensive analysis, to date, of biopharmaceutical R&D success.

For complete article click here.

VWR Discount for Virginia Bio Members Extended until 2023

VWR has renewed the contract with BIO Business Solutions ensuring continuation of member discounts until 2023. Companies that are active members of Virginia Bio are eligible to participate in the program which provides significant savings on lab supplies, equipment, furniture and more. Participating Virginia Bio companies saved over $4 million just last year. The program combines the purchasing power of companies nationally to provide substantial savings on a wide variety of products.

For complete article click here.

Brain Institute Coming to University of Virginia

The University of Virginia has a new multi-disciplinary program: the UVA Brain Institute. The new institute will draw upon talented faculty and students and recent cluster hires in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Curry School of Education, the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Data Science Institute – to all work as colleagues on developing better methods for understanding the multi-faceted brain, to seek new ways to prevent, treat and cure brain diseases and injury, and to teach about what is learned.

For complete article click here.

McAuliffe Awarded BIO Governor of the Year

Governor Terry McAuliffe was presented with the 2016 Governor of the Year award from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), in recognition of his support of the bioscience industry within Virginia. The award was presented to Governor McAuliffe at the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, California

For complete article
click here.

CRCF $3.4 Million Investment Targets Research and Commercialization


The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) awards totaling $3.4 million will fund targeted areas of promising research commercialization, including cybersecurity, energy, data analytics, unmanned systems and life sciences. Specifically, 15 life science companies received funds and another 13 universities were awarded.

For complete article click here.

Systaaq Diagnostic Products Joins Prince William Science Accelerator

Systaaq Diagnostic Products Inc., a molecular diagnostics company that specializes in developing early diagnosis for infectious diseases, has joined the Prince William Science Accelerator in Innovation Park.

For complete article click here.

Contraline One Step Closer to Presenting to FDA

Contraline, a male contraceptive company founded by University of Virginia graduate Kevin Eisenfrats and UVa professor John Herr, raised $700,000 this spring to begin testing its product in rats, which will produce data it can present to the FDA.The FDA process, Eisenfrats said, likely will take four or five years, meaning Contraline might not be on the market until 2020.

For complete article click here.

Old School Medical Practice Gets Upgrade

While working on their doctorates in biomedical engineering at UVA, Will Mauldin and Kevin Owen, realized there needed to be an improvement in the needle placement for epidurals and spinal anesthesia. For years, anesthesiologist have relied solely on their sense of touch to identify the correct insertion point for this. Since every patient is not the same, often it would require multiple attempts for a successful insertion.

For complete article click here.

Collaboration to Improve Cancer Tumor Models

Under a new agreement, HemoShear Therapeutics and University of Virginia Health System will collaborate on developing and validating advanced cancer tumor models. HemoShear will transfer technology to UVA to continue validation of HemoShear's existing tumor models and develop new tumor models. HemoShear will also have options to license new discoveries by UVA researchers.

For complete article click here.

Sanyal Biotechnology Relocating to Virginia Beach

Sanyal Biotechnology, a Richmond-based company that provides small animal models, will relocate its headquarters to Virginia Beach in July 2016. The company will take over space at Tidewater Community College’s Wet Lab, pending approval from the Virginia Beach Development Authority, which will also vote on a $25,000 grant for Sanyal.

For complete article click here

Study Shows Merck’s Gardasil Leads to Major Decline of HPV

A new analysis, citing a decade’s worth of real-world data for Merck’s Gardasil, which is manufactured in Merck’s Elkton plant, shows a nearly 90% decrease in HPV incidence in countries with the highest vaccination rates against HPV. This study, led by the Royal Women’s Hospital at the University of Melbourne, Australia, looked at 58 studies in 9 countries over a nine-year span.

For complete article click here.

Todd Haymore Appointed Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore as the next Secretary of Commerce and Trade in Virginia, succeeding Secretary Maurice Jones as he assumes Chief Executive Officer of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in September.

For complete article click here.

Iggbo Closes $13 Million Series A Financing Round

Iggbo, a healthcare technology company focused on bringing personalized medicine to more people through on-demand blood draws and medical testing, has closed a $13 million Series A financing round. The financing was led by Heritage Group, a healthcare-exclusive, venture capital firm based in Nashville, TN. Iggbo, which currently operates in over 120 cities, will use the funds to offer on-demand blood collection services to diagnostic laboratories, health systems, providers, retailers, and payers.

For complete article click here.

IBM Watson Health Collaborates to Improve Personalized Care

IBM Watson Health has formed a medical imaging collaborative with more than 15 leading healthcare organizations. Members of this collective, including Eastern Virginia Medical School and Sentara Healthcare, aims to help doctors address breast, lung, and other cancers; diabetes; eye health; brain disease; and heart disease and related conditions, such as stroke.Watson will mine insights from what IBM calls previously invisible unstructured imaging data and combine it with a broad variety of data from other sources, such as data from electronic health records, radiology and pathology reports, lab results, doctors' progress notes, medical journals, clinical care guidelines and published outcomes studies.

For complete article click here.

Perthera Closes $8.7 Million Series A Financing Round

Perthera, Inc just completed a $8.7 Million Series A financing round. This round was led by Pilot Growth Equity, a technology growth equity firm with offices in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. Launched in 2013 by George Mason University researcher Emanuel Petricoin and venture capitalist Dendy Young, McLean, Virginia-based Perthera provides molecular profiling of cancer patients to help physicians guide their treatments.

For complete article click here.

Available NCATS Funding Opportunities

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has several open SBIR and STTR program funding opportunities designed to help advance and commercialize translational research technologies. NCATS encourages applications in the following research areas: drug discovery and development, diagnostics and devices, bioinformatics and information technology, and clinical research.

For complete article click here.

Welcome New Member: RioGin

RioGin is a biotechnology company located in Charlottesville that specializes in solving peptide pharmacokinetics in order to generate new therapeutics with low dosage requirements (weekly administration) and little to no side effects.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Accell Clinical Research
Accell Clinical Research is a result-oriented Contract Research Organization delivering high quality clinical trial services in Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe since 2007. Accell offers a full range of services in clinical study management for Phase I-IV studies. Services include, clinical monitoring, regulatory support, and turn-key clinical trial solutions.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Christopher Newport University
A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the Luter School of Business. Christopher Newport offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Empriza Biotech

Empriza Biotech is an OEM supplier for human and animal serum products, including Charcoal stripped FBS, Embryonic Stem Cell Qualified FBS, Low IgG FBS, Exosome Depleted FBS.

For more information please visit their website.

VABIO Community News TO TOP

David Barritt has joined PeopleSolutions as a Recruiter. David is a 2016 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Marketing. In his role, he will be responsible for recruiting Scientific, Engineering, Information Technology, and Finance professionals.

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:



Event: IP Webinar: Patent Portfolio Management
When: Wednesday, July 20, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Details: Join Aaron Parker from Finnegan and Andreas Baltatzis from Kramer Amado, in our fourth installment of the Intellectual Property webinar series.They will provide information on patent portfolio management. This will include an update on section 101 patentability and prosecution with an eye toward post-grant proceedings.
Registration: Click here to attend the webinar.

Event: Roanoke Biotech & Beer Beer
Where: Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
When: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:00pm-7:00pm
Details: Please join us to see old friends and meet new colleagues in the life science community. Complimentary admission for all bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration. All others may purchase tickets.
Registration: Click here for additional information and to register.

Event: IP Webinar: Licensing Do's and Don'ts
When: Wednesday, August 17, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Details: The fifth installment of our Intellectual Property webinar. This one will cover licensing, specifically to biotech agreements & IP licensing issues relating to University research and licensing opportunities.
Registration: Coming soon.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - September 8, 2016
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, September 8, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Coming Soon
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: Women Building Bio: The XX Factor (Registration Opening Soon)
Where: Inova Center for Personalized Health, Fairfax
When: Thursday, September 29
Details: 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. Click here for more information.

Inova, Pfizer, Darden Executive Education, MedImmune, Prince William Economic Development, Squire Patton Boggs, and Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.


Event: MDMA 2016 Medical Technology Executive Forum
Where: Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, California
When: Thursday, Septmember 29, 2016
Details: MDMA's 9th Annual Medical Technology Executive Forum is a unique event for CEO's and Senior Executives to meet and discuss critical issues that affect our industry and the challenges faced by medtech companies.Hear from some of the top industry experts and government officials who will address investment options, FDA reforms, reimbursement strategies and much more.
Registration: Click here for additional information and to register.

Event: Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum
Where: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, Florida
When: Tuesday, October 11- Wednesday, October 13, 2016
Details: More than 300 biotech and medtech investors, corporate executives, university representatives, entrepreneurs and service providers will attend the event this year. This is a rich opportunity to showcase your company at the most significant annual life science conference in the Southeast.

Click here for more information and to register.

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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