Print Page | Sign In | Join Today
VABIO E-News October 29, 2014
Share |
Email not looking beautiful? View it in your browser

Become a Member

VABIO E-News: October 29, 2014 Edition

Focus Around Virginia 
A Word from CEO Jeff Gallagher

Members and friends of Virginia Bio,

It’s 7th in the nation among its peers for awards of federal research dollars, and 6th in the nation for private/industry support. It’s focus is an industry which is, according to some measures, Virginia’s largest private industry. That would be the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech (CALS).

I had the privilege of visiting CALS last week with Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Carrie Chenery. The Assistant Secretary was moving ahead on Secretary Todd Haymore’s intention to prioritize support for the opportunities presented by biotechnology in the Ag sector. Secretary Haymore’s interest was formed when he accompanied Governor McAuliffe, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones and VEDP CEO Martin Briley to the BIO Convention in San Diego last summer and is driven by a recent announcement of an export deal between China and a Virginia ag bio company.

Our long time friends at Virginia Tech and leaders of the College arranged an all-day lightning round of presentations on research, commercialization and industrial collaborations, with a tour of the fascinating new Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1.

For complete article click here.

Thank you to our Premium Partners

Chairman's Circle:


Gold Partners:

Silver Partners:

Virginia Tech Fralin Life Science Institute            VWR

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


AXON DX joins with SRI 
VABIO Community News 
VABIO Member Anniversaries 

vAbio events
Virginia Bio Calendar


VCU Professor Awarded $500K NSF Research Grant

The National Science Foundation awarded Wei Zhang, Ph.D., professor in Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a half million dollar, three year research grant to further his inquiries into enhancing time predictability in Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based hard real-time systems—research that will have a big impact on how people work with high-throughput computers.

For complete article click here.

Virginia Bio Foundation Kicks-Off Inaugural BioTeach Event

On Thursday, October 9th, science teachers from public and private schools as well as community colleges across the Commonwealth of Virginia descended on local life science companies to learn first-hand how businesses use science to improve human health and open career possibilities for students. Held in conjunction with Virginia’s Science Festival week, the statewide BioTeach event promotes collaboration between Virginia educators and the bioscience business community to nurture student interest in bioscience and related technology, engineering and math (BioSTEM) careers.                                          

For complete article click here.

Cavion And Yale Enroll First Patient In Brain Cancer Clinical Trial

Cavion LLC, a pharmaceutical company developing T-type calcium channel inhibitors for the treatment of solid tumors and neuropathic pain, enrolled the first patient in a Phase 1b clinical trial with Yale University using the company’s T-type calcium channel drug mibefradil. The trial will introduce a new therapeutic approach to patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

For complete article click here.

HHMI Janelia’s Eric Betzig Shares 2014 Nobel Prize In Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Eric Betzig, a group leader at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus, Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and William Moerner of Stanford University for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. 

For complete article click here.

USDA Report Outlines Emerging Bioeconomy Opportunities

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore traveled with Governor Terry McAuliffe to San Diego in June 2014 to attend the BIO International Convention. With agriculture as Virginia’s largest industry and bio technology innovation increasingly driving the value and global competitiveness of the industry, the Secretary and Governor have identified ag biotech as a focus of support and opportunity for economic development.

The release of the USDA’s new report “Why Biobased?” that explores opportunities in the emerging bioeconomy gives further weight to the Governor’s focus.

For complete article click here.

HemoShear Cancer Drug Discovery Platform Milestone

HemoShear has completed the first phase of development of a novel cancer drug discovery platform that replicates human tumor biology and responds to clinically-relevant drug concentrations. Funded by a contract with the NCI, HemoShear is developing a series of tumor models that recreate a wide variety of cancers for discovery of new drugs.

For complete article click here.

Axon Dx Enters Cancer Diagnostics Agreement With SRI International

Axon Dx, LLC and SRI International have entered into an agreement that includes an SRI investment in Axon Dx and a non-exclusive license to certain SRI patents related to cancer diagnostics. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“The present agreement developed from a collaboration with SRI that began in 2012,” said Kent A. Murphy, Ph.D., president and CEO, Axon Dx. “We are excited to have the support of SRI International and its world-class biosciences research group.”

For complete article click here.

CRCF Annual Report Shows New Patent, Product And Innovation Growth

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) released the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) annual report for FY2014, showing growth in new patents, products and innovative companies.

Karen Jackson, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, said, “CRCF plays an important role in the acceleration of innovation in the Commonwealth by funding essential research and commercialization projects. The investments we make in research commercialization plant the seeds that are growing the New Virginia Economy.”

For complete article click here.>

NSF Grant Awarded To Rebecca L. Heise, Ph.D.
With her research in lung injury treatment gaining attention and momentum, Rebecca L. Heise, Ph.D., has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for her project, “Propagation of Lung Fibrosis through Mechanotransduction.”

The Faculty Early Career Development Program is a prestigious subset of the NSF that emphasizes the role of teacher-scholars who integrate education and outstanding research within the context of their scientific initiatives. Almost a half million in support has already been provided to Heise, assistant professor in the VCU Department of Biomedical Engineering, for her continued inquiry.

For complete article click here.

FDA Publishes The Purple Book Listing Biologics
Separate from the commonly known Orange Book, identifying drug products approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also published the “Purple Book”.

The Purple Book lists biological products, including any biosimilar and interchangeable biological products licensed by FDA under the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act). The lists include the date a biological product was licensed under 351(a) of the PHS Act and whether FDA evaluated the biological product for reference product exclusivity under section 351(k)(7) of the PHS Act. The Purple Book will also enable a user to see whether a biological product licensed under section 351(k) of the PHS Act has been determined by FDA to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with a reference biological product (an already-licensed FDA biological product).

For complete article click here.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceutical Rebrands Under Indivior PLC Following Demerger
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB), UK-based parent company to Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RBP), expects the proposed demerger of the RBP business to complete in 2014. Reckitt Benckiser originally announced plans to demerge the RBP business in late July 2014, and the operational and financial separations, appointment of the new Board and other activities associated with the demerger have been advanced substantially since that announcement.

For complete article click here.

BIO Survey On FDA/Sponsor Interactions During Drug Development
Biopharmaceutical Representatives are invited to participate in BIO’s first-of-its-kind survey tool on FDA/Sponsor Interactions During Drug Development.

Participants will be asked to provide responses about individual clinical programs for products that are currently at any point from the pre-clinical testing phase through the clinical testing phase, prior to submission of an initial NDA/BLA.

For complete article click here.

Welcome New Member: BioTherapeutics Inc.
BioTherapeutics Inc. (BTI) offers a variety of R&D services to help clients advance their products as well as their research goals, providing scalable, customizable solutions for both industry and academia. Client collaborations can vary in scope from one-off studies designed to address individual biological questions to long-term strategic partnerships. BTI is a pre-clinical stage company developing novel small-molecule drugs to treat inflammation associated with autoimmune related disorders and type 2 diabetes (T2D).

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Wiley Rein LLP

Wiley Rein LLP offers clients a unique integration of legal, regulatory and public policy expertise with an in-depth understanding of the business and technical underpinnings of the industries we serve. Wiley Rein employs an interdisciplinary approach that leverages the full breadth of talent and knowledge and provides counsel derived from aggressive advocacy and extensive subject matter knowledge.

For more information please visit their website.

Welcome New Member: Xenith Bank

Xenith Bank is strategically focused on the Virginia business, real estate and private banking communities, as well as select retail markets. Continued consolidation in the banking industry has left many customers in these segments underserved. Xenith’s new banking model combines the reliability and lending power of larger, traditional institutions with the technology, expertise and flexibility required in today’s dynamic market.

For more information please visit their website.

VABIO Community News TO TOP

Scott Blackwell, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at HDL, Inc. was the Richmond Heart Walk Chair this year, and HDL, Inc. was a proud sponsor. The 2014 Heart Walk, which was held on Saturday, October 11th , raised $900,000 thanks to the community’s support. This amount exceeds the previous year by $200,000. Scott Blackwell and HDL, Inc. are honored to have been part of this initiative to promote physical activity to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is pleased to welcome its newest Applied Research team member SatyaSagar Kadali as a Natural Products – Scientist II. Dr. Kadali is a graduate of Awadhesh Pratap Singh (APS) University with a Master of Science in Organic Chemistry and Andhra University with a PhD concentrating on identifying drug molecules from marine natural products, both located in India. He has a strong background in plant natural products and extensive industry experience. In addition, he has a background in chemical synthesis and analysis.

IALR scientists also recently received word that the proposal, titled “Beneficial Bacterial Endophytes Improve Grape Vine Growth and Cold Tolerance to Strengthen the Virginia Wine Industry,” for the amount of $39,798 was awarded from a competitive process established by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of the project is to work with the local grape industry to improve performance of the grapevine by increasing growth and cold tolerance by using a natural bacterial endophyte that resides in the plants.

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania will soon be home to PRA Health Sciences’ largest office worldwide. Employees are relocating from the Horsham and Fort Washington locations into a new facility at 721 Arbor Way. The final phase of the move is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2015. Once completed the new office in Blue Bell will house approximately 860 employees and include more than 148,000 square feet.

SphynKx Therapeutics is excited to announce the September 6th marriage of Brandon Thorpe, Ph.D. and Cathy Minichino. Brandon and Cathy recently moved to the Charlottesville area to join the growing biotech community here. Brandon, a Sr, Scientist, just opened SphynKx's new chemistry lab, and Cathy joined Indoor Biotechnologies as an Allergen Manufacturing Technician.
VABIO Member Anniversaries TO TOP

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



Event: Virginia Conference on World Trade
Where: Richmond Marriott, Richmond, VA
Details: Meet, develop and cultivate international partnerships with a network from around the world. When expanding your business globally, networking with the right people will set you up for success. Valuable connections that can take your international business to the next level are waiting to happen. Attend informative workshops, hear compelling speakers, and walk away with new ideas that puts global trade to work for your business.
puts global trade to work for your business.
Registration:  Click here to register.

Event: Big Healthy Data: Health IT Analytics Creating Opportunities and Saving Lives
Where: 1757 Golf Club, 45120 Waxpool Rd, Dulles, VA
When: Thursday, October 30, 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Details: Health data analytics -- and bioinformatics -- promise to revolutionize healthcare reporting, personalized medicine and patient care outcomes. Spotting trends, identifying origins, and tracking multitudes of data points requires collection, data center and computing systems that are ubiquitous, smart and lightening fast. Join us for this fascinating program and hear how our panel of experts -- from the Healthcare and Heath IT fields -- will bring it all together. Learn about the exciting new developments and about the challenges of collecting data, integrating disparate systems, managing data and creating actionable business intelligence.
Registration:  Complimentary admission for Virginia Bio Members. Click here to register.

Charlottesville Business Innovation Council Tech Nite Takeover
Where: The Haven, Charlottesville
When:  Thursday, 5:00-8:00 PM
DetailsSpace: the final frontier for entrepreneurial growth in Central Virginia featuring a debate with Tim Miano, a budding real estate entrepreneur; Carrie Roth, the new Executive Director of the Virginia Biosciences Research Park in Richmond; and House Democratic Leader and 57th District Delegate, David Toscano.
Registration:  Register here. VABIO Members receive discounted rate.

Event: Innovate 2014
Where: Center for Innovative Technology, Herndon, VA
Details: InNOVAte is a half-day conference exploring opportunities for change that enhance our region’s future. The InNOVAte Conference is the premier place to showcase innovation, the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels America’s financial markets and emerging technologies that may impact our daily lives.
Registration:  Click here to register.
Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon
Where: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, November 13, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Title: Things that go in the night: Risk management for the bioscience company
Registration:  Click here to register.
Sponsors: Data Blueprint, Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park 

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon
Where:  Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, December 11, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Title: 18 Month Report: Life science technologies, commercialization and industry partnerships from VCU Engineering School
Registration:  Click here to register.
Sponsors: Data Blueprint, Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon
Where:  Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, January 8, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Title: Licensing biomedical technology - dispatches from the dealmakers
Registration:  Click here to register.
Sponsors: Data Blueprint, Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Event: Virginia Bio Reception during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
Where:  Eno Wine Bar, San Francisco, CA
When: Sunday, January 11, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Details: Coming soon

Event: Virginia Bio Commercialization Luncheon
Where:  Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Richmond, VA
When: Thursday, February 12, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Title: Finding and Working with an Investment Banker (plus updates from January's 32nd Annual JP Morgan Health Care Conference).
Registration:  Click here to register
Sponsors: Data Blueprint, Greater Richmond Partnership, VCU Innovation Gateway, We Work For Health and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park 

Event: VABIO Biotech and Beer Legislative Reception
Where: kaléo, Inc., Richmond, VA
When: Wednesday, February 18, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Details: Join the lively conversation at Biotech and Beer. Meet old friends and new colleagues in the life science community, along with state officials. Complimentary admission for all bioscience company employees, and university students and researchers with advanced registration. All others may purchase tickets.
Registration: Click here to register.

Event: THRIVE - Creating the Future of Bioscience in Virginia
Where: Westfields Marriott, Chantilly, VA
When: Thursday, April 23
Details: Leaders from bioscience companies, research universities, government, the investment community, entrepreneurs and professional services firms will gather from across Virginia to achieve a forward looking focus for Virginia bioscience.
Additional Details coming soon.

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,  
This email was sent to '' from Virginia Bio. If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by clicking here.
 In order to continue receiving emails from Virginia Bio, please add to your safe sender list.

Our Premium Partners

Sign up for our newsletter
800 E. Leigh St.  |  Richmond, Va 23219-1534  |  PH: 804.643.6360  |  Email Us
Stay Connected