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VABIO E-News September 23, 2015
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VABIO E-News: September 23, 2015 Edition

Focus Around Virginia
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

Members and friends of Virginia Bio,

A sage cautioned “don’t confuse familiarity with understanding.”

Many of us are familiar with the research and commercialization parks and accelerators which are available for biotech commercialization around the state. But don’t blink, and don’t stop asking questions, because the facilities we know are evolving, and new resources are developing across the state to meet the great opportunity bioscience commercialization presents for the Commonwealth.

Let’s start with an update on the Prince William County Science Accelerator at Innovation Park. This space, opened in June 2014, offers leading life science and biotechnology companies 9 wet labs to grow their business at an intersection of university research and commercialization. This accelerator is the only public-private, commercially available wet laboratory space in Northern Virginia, located less than an hour away from key government buildings such as the National Institute of Health and the FDA.

Already, the accelerator is moving fast. ISOThrive LLC, a leader in nutritional ingredients that benefit the gut microbiome, expanded into larger lab space within the accelerator this past April. Since then, it has partnered with George Mason University’s MicroBiome Analysis Center to push along their research into the commercialization process. In addition to ISOThrive, two other companies, Ceres Nanosciences and Virongy, make use of the county’s accelerator. Ceres endeavors to seize the future of diagnostics by researching and commercializing novel sample processing techniques. Virongy, a virological reagent and tool company, provides cutting-edge services that catalyze scientific discoveries, enhance disease treatments, and more.

For complete article click here.

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


VABIO Community News
VABIO Member Anniversaries

VABIO Events
Virginia Bio Calendar




VBHRC/“the Catalyst” Offers New Grant Funding for Brain Research

The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC/“the Catalyst”) is now accepting applications/letters of interests (LOIs) for round five of grants to fund the development, validation and application of new approaches to diagnosing, preventing and treating brain injuries, brain developmental disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, neuropsychiatric and behavioral disorders and addiction and substance abuse. The awards, which range from $200,000 to $800,000, will accelerate translational research in the Commonwealth of Virginia through collaborations between industry and Virginia research universities.

For complete article click here.

Rivanna Commences Manufacturing of Its Accuro Device

Rivanna Medical has begun manufacturing its FDA-cleared Accuro™ device, a handheld and untethered smart-phone-sized device that is designed to guide spinal anesthesia with automated 3D navigation technology in addition to ultrasound imaging of abdominal, musculoskeletal, cardiac and peripheral vascular anatomies. The product will be launched at the ASA annual meeting in San Diego, Oct. 24-28, 2015.

For complete article click here.

FDA Draft Guidance Issued for Naming and Biological Products

In a recent FDA blog post, details were shared regarding the release of a draft guidance that details the FDA’s proposal on the nonproprietary naming of biological products.

The draft guidance proposes that reference products and biosimilars have nonproprietary names (also called proper names) that share a core drug substance name and, in order to better identify each product, an FDA-designated suffix that is unique for each product. This suffix would be composed of four lowercase letters, and not carry any meaning. For example, the nonproprietary name of a reference product could be replicamab-cznm, and a biosimilar to that product could be replicamab-hixf.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Velocity 2015 Winners Awarded

The inaugural Virginia Velocity business plan competition has concluded successfully! Four wonderful companies competed in the Final Round on Tuesday, September 8, and below are the results.

For complete article click here.

First U.S. Patients Treated with Focused Ultrasound for Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers at the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia have performed the first focused ultrasound treatments in the United States for dyskinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease.

For complete article click here.

VT Professor Receives Grant for Breast Cancer Study

A protein’s misstep in the complicated dance of cellular replication can lead to the uncontrollable chaos of cancer. Deborah Kelly, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, was recently awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, to develop an innovative technique to investigate what causes proteins to err.

For complete article
click here.

Gencia and Takeda Team to Discover and Develop Novel Class of Mitochondrial Therapeutics

Gencia LLC and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced today a partnership to develop a new class of small molecule drugs as potential treatments for hematological and inflammatory diseases. Called Mitochondrial Agonists of the Glucocorticoid Receptor (MAGR), such compounds may offer the therapeutic potential of conventional glucocorticoid drugs (steroids). However, MAGR are chemically distinct and may function differently than steroids.

For complete article click here.

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Sale Of HDL, Inc. To True Health Diagnostics, LLC

United States Bankruptcy Judge Kevin R. Huennekens today gave final approval for the $37.1 million sale of substantially all of the business assets of Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. (HDL, Inc.) to True Health Diagnostics, LLC. The two companies anticipate completing the transaction by the end of the month.

For complete article click here.

Tyton BioEnergy Systems Unveils Tobacco Extractor

Tyton BioEnergy Systems unveiled its patent-protected pilot-scale extractor located in the company’s Danville, VA, headquarters, marking a significant milestone in the company’s path to commercializing its tobacco-based green chemicals and agricultural products.

For complete article click here.

Aperiomics Receives SBIR Phase II Award, Nearly $1M in Grants for Year
Aperiomics has won its second award in a year through the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This new SBIR Phase II grant of nearly $737,000 follows earlier feasibility funding from the NSF through Phase I and Phase Ib grants intended to help early-stage companies fund research and development. With the new award, Aperiomics has received nearly $1 million in support from the NSF. The SBIR program aims to make entrepreneurial science companies more attractive to investors and to future strategic partners and customers by reducing risk.

For complete article click here.

Iggbo Revolutionizing the Way Blood Gets From Patients To Labs
Iggbo has launched a revolutionary way to connect laboratories, physicians, phlebotomists and patients to deliver high-quality blood-draw services any time, any place. Iggbo leverages the mobile, on-demand delivery approach, pioneered by companies like Uber, to organize, manage and deliver the entire laboratory test collection process – from the initial requisition to sample collection to shipping and tracking. The result saves time and costs while improving patient outcomes.

For complete article click here.

Welcome New Member: Ovastasis, Inc.
Ovastasis is developing non-steroidal female contraceptives termed ovastatins whose mechanism of drug action directly targets the developing oocyte [egg]. Ovastasis was created with technology developed at the University of Virginia where basic research begun in 1995 studying proteins found in ovulated eggs resulted in the discovery of molecules restricted to eggs and no other normal body tissues.

Welcome New Member: Ryuh Biomedical Research Foundation
The Ryuh Biomedical Research Foundation is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to better realize the return on America's world-leading investment in biomedical research. They work directly with federal and university technology transfer offices to in-license promising basic science technology.

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

Jerry Giles, retired Senior Vice President and Division Head of SunTrust/Crestar Bank, passed away on September 18, 2015. Among many of his positions, Jerry joined the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in 2001, where he served as Director of the Business Expansion Group. Jerry was an advocate and friend of the life sciences and biotechnology in Virginia. VBHRC Board of Directors have passed a resolution recognizing and honoring his service and contributions to Virginia and the Life Sciences. Jerry will be remembered for his integrity, determination, leadership and professionalism, but more importantly, his kind and generous spirit and his compassion for humanity.

VCU professor Peter Pidcoe, DPT, PhD, will showcase his device, the Self-initiated Prone Progressive Crawler, at the US Patent and Trademark Office Innovation Festival, September 26-27. The invention is one of 13 from companies, universities, government agencies and independent inventors selected by a juried panel to participate in the festival. The skateboard-like device assists developmentally delayed infants in crawling and exploring their environment, which enhances their cognitive and motor skills. VCU Innovation Gateway invites all to attend the festival, meet Dr. Pidcoe and see firsthand what innovation at VCU means.

Polymer Solutions’ CEO, Jim Rancourt, is on a 7-week sabbatical. As part of his sabbatical he is participating in a 400 mile bike ride across the state of Maine known as “Bike Maine.”

RW Malone MD, LLC has begun supporting Lumacyte with helping advance the development and application of their Radiance device. The device combines advanced features of flow cytometry, rapid digital image processing, and optical tweezer technologies. RW Malone is convinced that the Radiance device and the Lumacyte platform technology have a wide range of applications in cell biology/omics research, biologics manufacturing, and medical diagnostics. More information is available at and

The RW Malone MD team is also excited about having lead the capture, proposal development, negotiation and award of the NIDA SBIR contract just awarded to NJ - based What A Smoke LLC for "Development and Characterization, FDA-compliant Electronic Vapor-based Combination Product". "What A Smoke is a leading technology innovator in the fiercely competitive electronic cigarette business, and this contract will enable the firm to work closely with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop and test a standardized e-cig/e-liquid combination product for use by clinical investigators under FDA supervision."

On September 22, Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D, Founding Director, Virginia Teach Carilion Research Institute was honored at the 21st Annual Dinner of Champions by the National MS Society at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA. The Roanoke Dinner of Champions was established in 1991 and continues today as recognition for distinguished local corporations and their employees. Friends and colleagues of the honored guest come together for an evening to share experiences and stories of the honoree and raise funds for the National MS Society. To date, the Roanoke Dinner of Champions has raised more than $2.1 million to support local programs and fund MS research.
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: LifeNet Health Symposium 2015 - Regenerative Surgery: The Cutting Edge
Where: LifeNet Health, Virginia Beach, VA
When: Friday, September 25 - Saturday, September 26
Details: This specialized one and a half day symposium offers participants the opportunity to connect with highly respected providers and scientists from the fields of transformative therapies, technologies and tools in regenerative, reconstructive or restorative applications.
Registration: Virginia Bio members receive Virginia Bio members receive a $200 discount on registration. Please contact us for the discount code. Click here to register.

Event: MDMA's 8th Annual Medical Technology Executive Forum
Where: Crown Plaza Cabana, Palo Alto, CA
When: Friday, September 25
Details: This must-attend one day interactive forum will bring together more than 150 CEOs and senior executives to discuss the critical issues that affect product commercialization and the common challenges faced by med-tech companies today. Industry experts and government officials will address investment options, FDA reform, reimbursement challenges and much more.
Registration: Virginia Bio Members receive $100 off registration! Please contact us for discount details and click here for additional information.

Event: Charlottesville Biotech and Beer
Where: U.Va Licensing & Ventures Group, 722 Preston Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903 [Former Coca-Cola building]
When: Thursday, October 1, 5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Details: U.Va. Licensing and Ventures wants to show you their brand new offices, located in the newly renovated art deco style former Coca-Colo building. Please come to our first Biotech and Beer of the season to make new friends and reconnect with old colleagues.
Registration: Complimentary admission for all bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration. Click here for additional information.

Event: AdvaMed 2015
Where: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
When: Monday, October 5 - Wednesday, October 7
Details: AdvaMed 2015 is the leading MedTech Conference in North America, bringing more than 1,000 companies together in a uniquely multifaceted environment for business development, capital formation, innovative technology showcasing, world-class educational opportunities and networking. An event rich in international flavor and featuring a deep, diverse attendee list that includes influential policy-makers, business executives and media, AdvaMed 2015 seeks to advance industry discussion from key perspectives.
Registration:Click here for additional information.

Event: Big Data in Clinical Development
Where: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC
When: Wednesday, October 7 - Thursday, October 8
Details: The Big Data meeting for drug development budget holders - Transforming theory into action, value and competitive advantage - Capitalizing on the promise of real world evidence throughout the clinical development process In the wake of the highly successful launch of the Big Data Leaders Forum in October 2014, Phacilitate received extremely positive feedback that a specific focus on the application of Big Data-derived insights in translational and clinical R&D was a strong feature and differentiator of the event. In 2015, the event is renamed ‘Big Data in Clinical Development’ - a signal of intent to provide even more real-world examples of strategies improving decision-making during this most risky and expensive, but also potentially rewarding stage of the overall drug discovery, development and commercialization process. Attendees will receive unique insights into where the major industry players are placing their bets to ensure Big Data in drug development provides a critical source of competitive advantage for years to come. They will also discover the right questions to ask of Big Data throughout the product lifecycle in order to build a more comprehensive body of real world evidence, and a better prediction of value. Meet the senior leaders representing all of the functions that directly influence - and ultimately make- the decision of how individual pharma, CRO and biotech companies will harness the potential of Big Data to improve their clinical development strategies and results.
Registration: Virginia Bio Members receive 25%off registration! Please contact us for discount details and click here for additional information.

Event: JMU and Shenandoah Valley Biotech Showcase
Where: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
When: Monday, October 12, 10:30am
Details: Please join VirginiaBIO, James Madison University, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and public and private partners as we highlight education and industry innovations in the biotech arena in the Shenandoah Valley.

This event will bring together businesses engaged in the bio sector, regional research assets and academic partners, marketing and economic development professionals to highlight exciting bio innovations in the Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding region. Attendees will discuss current research and academic offerings related to bio at JMU, Blue Ridge Community College, and other workforce partners, and identify opportunities for networking, collaboration and business development. The day will end with a casual Beer & Biotech event in downtown Harrisonburg.

JMU offers the state’s only undergraduate biotechnology degree, and the Valley is home to leading bio companies making advancements in human and animal health, agricultural and industrial bio, health care delivery and manufacturing. Join us as we learn more about public and private university-based bio assets in this region.
Registration:Click here to register.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - October 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, October 15, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: The Catalyst: Raising Capital to Accelerate Commercialization of University Technologies through High-Powered Collaboration
The Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation (the “Catalyst”) is an innovative, non-profit entity, created by the Commonwealth to accelerate commercialization of breakthrough technologies from our research universities that improve human health and drive economic development in Virginia. 
Please join us in this panel discussion which will include significant participation from attendees. If you are a research scientist who wants to commercialize your technologies, an entrepreneur, venture capitalist or a public policy influencer or decision maker you should attend this session. This session is expected to sell out, so please register early.
Registration:Click here for additional information.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

OCTOBER 20 - 21
Event: Kayo Women’s Private Equity 3rd Annual Conference
Where: Four Seasons Georgetown, Washington, DC
When: Tuesday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 21
Details: Join us for this boutique event gathering the 200 leading women in private equity and venture capital. The event features exclusive networking and unique deal-flow for investors, M&A professionals and company executives.
Registration: Virginia Bio Members receive 10%off registration! Please contact us for discount details and click here to register.

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon - November 2015
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, November 12, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Details: Family Funds investing in innovative biomedical companies and nonprofits.
The family fund has emerged as an important new source of capital to propel bioscience innovation and commercialization. Using wealth accumulated for making big impact, family funds invest in small and emerging companies, and make venture philanthropy investment type donations to nonprofits doing important focused work.
Registration: Click here to register.
Sponsors: Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: TEDMEDLive Streaming
Where: Live Streaming
When: Wednesday, November 18
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 17, 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

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

This is the E-newsletter of Virginia Bio, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Life Sciences community in the Commonwealth of Virginia. New subscribers can join at our website,  

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