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VABIO E-News November 19, 2015
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VABIO E-News: November 19, 2015 Edition

Focus Around Virginia 
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

Members and friends of Virginia Bio,

It was a family fund that fifteen years ago provided my startup specialty pharma company with its first capital. The scion of a wealthy East Coast family some years prior had received an experimental drug in a clinical trial that halted the progression of a deadly disease after approved therapeutics had not. From then on a percent of the fund’s investments were directed to bioscience startups with a compelling business plan to provide new treatments and cures. The investment had a financial objective, to be sure. But the investor was focused on the clinical outcome as well, and his board designee was patient and helpful in many ways as we ran the crooked road of drug discovery, development and commercialization.

Today, family funds – sometimes called “family offices”, or “home offices”, or “high net worth (HNW) individuals” worldwide are increasingly a significant direct source of funding for startups, emerging and mature bioscience companies, bypassing traditional private equity funds and snapping up opportunities left by the great VC migration. The number of funds and the dollars at their disposal are staggering.

Last Thursday we brought together experts deeply engaged in the family fund sector at our monthly Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Panel Series. If you missed this eye-opening discussion, remember we livestream these events and archive the video for Virginia Bio members to watch at their convenience at the News and Events, Video Library section of our website.

For complete article click here.

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


WELCOME NEXT Bio-Research Services 
VABIO Community News 
VABIO Member Anniversaries 

VABIO Events
Virginia Bio Calendar




New Seed Fund to Speed UVA Innovation and Research to the Market

Starting in 2016, the University of Virginia will be propelling entrepreneurship into the market like never before. The University’s new Seed Fund will deploy $10 million over 10 years to help commercialize UVA technologies and opportunities.

For complete article click here.

CIT Releases FY2015 Annual Report and Appoints New Board Members

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) released the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) annual report for FY2015, which tracks investments in high-potential technology development and commercialization initiatives throughout Virginia.

For complete article click here.

CIT has also appointed new members to the CIT Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of its parent authority, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (IEIA). 

For complete article click here.

NASA Offers Licenses of Patented Technologies to Start-Up Companies

NASA has unveiled a new opportunity for start-up companies to license patented NASA technology with no up-front payment. The Startup NASA initiative addresses two common problems start-ups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights.

Aimed at encouraging the growth of high-tech businesses and advancing American innovation, NASA's Technology Transfer Program within the Office of the Chief Technologist designed this initiative to allow start-up companies to choose from a diverse portfolio of more than 1,200 patented NASA technologies that range from materials and coatings to sensors, aeronautics technologies, instrumentation and more.

For complete article click here.

VCU Receives $5 Million Grant for Brain Study

The National Institutes of Health awarded a $5 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University to take part in a landmark study on substance use and adolescent brain development. NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study is the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study of human brain development ever launched.

For complete article click here.

FDA Approves Upgraded FUS Fibroid System

The FDA has approved broadened treatment options available to the millions of women who suffer from uterine fibroids. First, the FDA approved a more advanced next generation ExAblate system for fibroids. In addition, the FDA removed the “family complete” requirement, confirming that women who want to maintain their fertility can use FUS to treat their fibroids.

For complete article click here.

NIH Invests $85 Million for BRAIN Initiative Research

The National Institutes of Health is offering a second wave of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, bringing the NIH investment to $85 million in fiscal year 2015.

For complete article click here.

IALR Receives VDACS Research Grant

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) received a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) grant to promote and enhance the competitiveness of Virginia’s specialty crops and create more economic development opportunities across the Commonwealth according a release from Governor Terry McAuliffe.

For complete article
click here.

Tranlin Breaks Ground on $2B Virginia Project


Tranlin, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of a leading Chinese pulp and paper company, officially broke ground on its first U.S. operation, a $2 billion advanced manufacturing facility. Tranlin’s investment is located in Chesterfield, Virginia and will generate more than 2,000 direct jobs in Virginia by 2020.

For complete article click here.

CEL-SCI Closes Public Offering and has RA Vaccine Selected by NIH

CEL-SCI Corporation has closed a best efforts offering of 17,223,248 shares of common stock and 17,223,248 warrants to purchase shares of common stock. The common stock and warrants were sold at a combined price of $0.67 per unit and resulted in aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $11.5 million, prior to deducting placement agent commissions and offering expenses, and excluding the exercise of any warrants. The common stock and warrants will separate immediately. The warrants are immediately exercisable, expire October 28, 2020 and have an exercise price of $0.67 per share.

For complete article click here.

Also, CEL-SCI's LEAPS rheumatoid arthritis vaccine candidate has been accepted for a new program of technology commercialization and niche analysis managed by Foresight Science & Technology for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). CEL-SCI’s selection into this commercialization program, including market entry strategy and launch tactics, is an extension of the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $225,000 awarded to CEL-SCI in July 2014 from the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

For complete article click here.

Virginia Tech Study of Basic Cell Processes May Inform Health, Synthetic Biology Efforts

Everyone who has played in a band or orchestra knows that playing in time creates music, while playing out of time creates cacophony. In an orchestra, each player may be out of tune when warming up, but eventually, all players must reach the same pitch, rhythm, and timing to produce a viable piece of music.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Bio Working Nationwide in Support of Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is an alliance of American farmers, concerned parents, food producers and consumers who support a national, science-based labeling standard for all products containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

Virginia Bio along with other organizations across the country are working in support of federal legislation that will enact labeling standards overseen by the FDA.

For complete article click here.

PeopleSolutions Partners with Companies to Give Back
With the season of giving upon us, PeopleSolutions is expanding their philanthropic giving partnership program: PeopleSolutions Gives Back.

PeopleSolutions is seeking to build business and philanthropic relationships with companies who use professional contract staff in the focus areas (science, information technology, engineering, and finance), and who have an interest in giving back to our community and charitable organizations. This unique business relationship provides an exciting partnership and opportunity for to give back together.

For complete article click here.

RIVANNA Commences Sales of Accuro
Rivanna Medical has begun selling its Accuro device to anesthesia providers as a result of a successful product launch at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in San Diego last week. The company is also continuing discussions with three potential corporate partners.

For complete article click here.

Prince William to Hold Panel on Science Accelerator
Prince William County is providing a catalyst for faster growth and commercialization of life sciences.

On Wednesday, December 10, 2015, a panel discussion will be held featuring the area’s foremost leaders of science, innovation and higher education for an update on what is occurring in Prince William County’s expanding life sciences community.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Health-Care Claim Data Expected to Reveal Treatment Effectiveness
As reported on, the idea behind collecting huge piles of data is that, if you can sort it the right way, you’ll learn something. Now that option is available to anyone with a stake in Virginia’s health-care sector, from providers to employers to consumers.

For complete article click here.

Ceres Nanosciences Publishes Lyme Antigen Test Study Data
Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. (Ceres) has published a three year 300-person clinical study in the Journal of Translational Medicine. The study, titled: “Application of Nanotrap technology for high sensitivity measurement of urinary outer surface protein A carboxyl‑terminus domain in early stage Lyme borreliosis” documents the development and data behind Ceres’ groundbreaking test for Lyme disease. The clinical study was led by George Mason University in partnership with four patient clinics in northern VA and MD. The test is the first highly-sensitive urine based test capable of directly detecting the Lyme protein antigen in a patient at any stage of infection. It is now available across the United States for physician offices to order for their patients.

For complete article click here.

Kaine Introduces Bill to Help Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine recently introduced legislation to help prevent opioid overdose deaths by encouraging physicians to co-prescribe the life-saving drug naloxone alongside opioid prescriptions and by making naloxone more widely available in federal health settings. The Co-prescribing Saves Lives Act will enable more health professionals to get naloxone – a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses - into the homes of people who are at-risk of overdose.

For complete article click here.

Euclid Systems Receives 2015 Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Award

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) presented Euclid Systems Corporation the 2015 Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Award for Excellence in International Trade. The award was presented by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones at the Virginia Conference on World Trade in Norfolk. Euclid System Corporation, headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, manufactures specialty contact lenses for the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness).

For complete article click here.

Altria Invests Over $26K for Equipment at Virginia Biotechnology Research Park’s Shared Lab

Altria’s Center for Research and Technology made a significant donation valued at over $26,000 of lab equipment to the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park’s Shared Lab, investing in the biotechnology startups in the Park and the Richmond region. This follows on a previous donation to the Research Park by Altria allowing for the opening of the Shared Lab.

For complete article click here.

Cavion LLC Closes $5M Round of Convertible Debt

Cavion LLC, a pharmaceutical company developing T-type calcium channel inhibitors for the treatment of neurologic diseases and solid tumor cancers, has closed a $5 million private placement of convertible notes with new and existing investors. The proceeds will be used to expand Cavion’s platform of T-type calcium channel inhibitors through licensing and the development of new chemical entities and to support clinical trials in neurology and brain cancer. Cavion has raised over $18 million from private investors throughout the United States and received over $15 million in non-dilutive resources.

For complete article click here.

Welcome New Member: NEXT Bio-Research Services LLC
NEXT Bio-Research Services LLC launched on October 1 in Chester, VA. NEXT Bio continues a 23-year history of providing comprehensive integrated project support to investigators in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors and in providing medical testing services to physicians using state-of-the-art platforms. NEXT Bio was founded by three long-term friends and colleagues who collectively have more than 100 years’ experience in research and development activities. Initially, NEXT Bio will focus on providing pharmacogenomics molecular genetic testing, as well as certain cancer genetic and enzyme therapeutic assays. Each of these test platforms falls under the umbrella of personalized health, and are meant to help physicians guide their treatments based on an individual’s genetic make-up.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline is a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative products in three primary areas of Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare.

GlaxoSmithKline has a global presence with commercial operations in more than 150 countries, a network of 86 manufacturing sites in 36 countries and large R&D centers in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China.

On March 2, 2015 a 3-part transaction was completed with Novartis which reshapes the business. A new company is created through acquiring Novartis’s vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines) and combining with the existing Consumer Healthcare businesses. In addition, Novartis acquired the GlaxoSmithKline marketed Oncology portfolio.

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

The Virginia Bio website security is being improved to the benefit of making our member data more secure. This change will affect all of the major browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and may only affect a small number of members, but we want you to be aware. If a device (computer, tablet, laptop, etc) does not load the Virginia Bio website, follow these directions to make everything work again:
Go to the wrench icon > Internet Options > Advanced tab > scroll down to security and make sure the 3 check boxes next to TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 are all checked, and SSL 2.0 and 3.0 are unchecked. Then hit Apply and OK.

Aperiomics recently appointed Yuan Chen, PhD as the new VP for Research & Development. Dr. Chen is a Bioinformatics scientist with a strong interest in infectious disease. He received his PhD from the Chinese Academy of Science and recently completed a post-doctorate research fellowship at Duke University Health System. He has authored and co-authored 14 articles for professional journals and has a special interest in high-throughput automated Next- generation sequencing, data analysis, personalized medicine, disease related variants, machine learning and big data.

According to CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, “Dr. Chen brings an outstanding bioinformatics capability, pathogen knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit to Aperiomics. He complements our scientific team and adds a new level of enthusiasm for our technologies that are crucial for success as he leads our R&D efforts forward.”

HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, presented data from four separate programs that demonstrate the diverse drug discovery and safety applications of its REVEAL-Tx™ platform at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco, California. The study data illustrates their platform's ability to identify mechanisms of drug efficacy and toxicity that are currently not possible in other in vitro models.

"We are particularly excited about the data that Dr. Sanyal will be discussing at his oral presentation on the efficacy and safety of the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) drug, obeticholic acid, which were acquired using HemoShear's proprietary human liver tissue models, exposed to clinically relevant concentrations of the drug," said Brian Wamhoff, Ph.D., Head of R&D.

NASH is a common, often silent, liver disease with histological features of fatty liver, inflammation and fibrosis, which may progress to cirrhosis. These research studies were funded in part by the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Indoor Biotechnologies has 5,600sf of fully built out lab space available for lease in downtown Charlottesville. The space could be a great location to grow a biotech business. For more information, visit the InBio website.

NEXT Bio-Research Services, LLC., a Richmond-based biotechnology company, will have Dr. Dave Li, the Company’s Chief Medical Officer and Laboratory Director present a keynote talk at the SHIMADZU 5th Global Pharma Summit in Singapore on November 25th, 2015. The presentation is entitled “Face Regulatory Challenges with Confidence: A Precision Medicine Perspective”. Dr. Li’s talk will share his experiences and knowledge of medical device regulation based on his previous work as a medical officer at the FDA from the perspective of the new and evolving field of precision medicine.

PeopleSolutions recently hired a new team member, Kirsten Gaines. Kirsten comes to PeopleSolutions from Longwood University, where she graduated in 2015. She will be supporting their various Life Science clients as a Recruiter and she is already bringing energy and enthusiasm to the role.

The Virginia BIO Foundation would like to thank Afton Scientific, MediaTech, and Tyton BioEnergy Systems for hosting the October Beer and BioTeach. Their efforts to help educate teachers in our community was truly appreciated. One more way to better prepare Virginia's students for a career in bioscience.
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:



NOVEMBER 18 - 20
Event: TEDMEDLive Streaming
Where: Live Streaming
When: Wednesday, November 18 - Friday, November 20
Details: Due to an exciting partnership with TEDMED and Virginia Bio, TEDMED would like to invite you to join in on this year's event where we will Unlock Imagination in the service of Health and Medicine. We encourage you to convene and share in free online access to TEDMEDLive Streaming 2015, comprising of more than 70 talks from transformative thinkers in health and medicine.
Registration: Click here for additional information.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - December 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, December 10, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Inova Center for Personalized Health
The new Inova Center for Personalized Health (ICPH) is the latest example of Inova’s commitment to genomic research and personalized medicine. Soon to occupy ExxonMobil headquarters in Fairfax, Inova’s new campus comprises 117 acres, four buildings, six towers, 1 million square feet of parking, and 1.3 million square feet of office space. It will be a one-of-a-kind, internationally prominent center for genomic research, personalized healthcare and associated life science commercial development. Inova has set its sights on becoming the world’s epicenter for translational cancer research and patient care based on genomic science, as well as a magnet for the world’s best biotech researchers. The work performed at the new campus will help stimulate the collaboration of high technology life science companies with world-class researchers, leading to the expansion of the life science related economic sector in Virginia and the Greater Washington region.
Registration: Click here to register.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: Toast of the Town Holiday Party
Where: UVA Licensing and Ventures Group, Charlottesville, VA
When: Thursday, December, 17
Details: Information and Registration coming soon.

Event: Virginia Reception in San Francisco
Where: Clift Hotel, Velvet Room, San Francisco, CA
When: Sunday, January 10, 5:00pm -7:00pm
Details: Join us at this inaugural Virginia Reception on the eve of JPMorgan Health Care week, gathering Darden’s extensive network of alumni in health care and biotech, and leaders of Virginia bioscience companies and translational research centers. Rekindle relationships, make important new contacts and help yourself with a great start to the industry's premier capital formation and strategic partnering event. Let's accelerate bioscience commercialization across Virginia and the world.
Registration: Click here to register.

JANUARY 11 - 13
Event: Biotech Showcase 2016
Where: Parc 55 - A Hilton Hotel, 55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA
When: Monday, January 11 - Wednesday, January 13
Details: Virginia Bio Members get $200 off Biotech Showcase. Please contact Liz Kelly for the discount codes.

Event: RESI San Francisco 2016
Where: Marine's Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA
When: Tuesday, January 12, 7:00am - 8:00pm
Details: Virginia Bio Members get $100 off RESI. Please contact Liz Kelly for the discount codes.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - January 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, January 14, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Coming soon.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

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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