Second Annual Regional BioTech Forum Brings Industry, Academia, Government Together to Raise Region's Prominence as Top Biotech Hub

Gaithersburg, Md., April 18, 2016 – More than 700 leaders from life science companies, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, investment funds and government entities across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. (MD-VA-DC) will convene today and tomorrow for the second annual Regional BioTech Forum. The event will showcase the region’s biotechnology accomplishments and its commitment to advancing cutting-edge research in the MD-VA-DC corridor. Notable speakers will include: Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Congressman John Delaney.

The Forum, hosted by AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, in partnership with BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), the Tech Council of Maryland, Inc. (TCM), GlycoMimetics, Inc. and Virginia Bio, will be held at MedImmune’s corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg. The program will build on a collective effort established last year to grow the region’s biotech ecosystem and help it to become one of the top three biotech hubs in the nation by 2023.

The two-day event will explore the region’s progress toward the 2023 top biotech hub vision, examine local efforts to boost the life science industry, discuss effective models for driving innovation and highlight successful public-private partnerships, focused on addressing unmet patient needs. It will also feature panel sessions on four areas critical to the biotech industry’s growth and success – the National Institutes of Health and allied foundations; academic research and scientific initiatives; our regional talent; and investment from the financial sector.

  • Other key participants include:
  • Dr. Stephanie Devaney, Project Manager, Precision Medicine Initiative, Office of the Chief of Staff at the White House
  • Six university presidents representing Johns Hopkins, the University System of Maryland, Virginia Tech, The George Washington University and George Mason
  • Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune
  • Dr. Vikram Bajaj, Chief Scientific Officer, Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences)
  • Dr. Ray Johnson, Business and Technology Executive; Former Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Lockheed Martin

“This year’s Forum builds upon the collaborative energy between industry leaders and scientists in the MD-VA-DC region to foster local growth of a diverse biotech sector dedicated to developing medicines and technologies that improve people’s health and lives,” said Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune. “World-class research, academic and life science organizations in our region bring the critical mass of talent and technology that will make the MD-VA-DC corridor one of the country’s top three biotech clusters by 2023.”

A new addition to the Forum is the Crab Trap Competition, MD-VA-DC’s version of the popular Shark Tank entrepreneurship competition. Five finalists have been selected to present in front of a panel of prominent industry funding experts and executives during the Forum on April 19 to win a $10,000 grand prize. Additionally, the 50 young visionaries of the Leaders of Tomorrow – within life science, medicine, law, policy, healthcare and business ­– will join the Forum to help shape the Mid-Atlantic’s bioeconomy with innovative ideas for change, as well help the region become a top three biotech hub.

Currently, the MD-VA-DC biotechnology cluster is home to more than 800 life science companies, 70 federal labs and multiple world-class academic and research institutions, and consistently ranks among the top seven biotech hubs in the U.S. As a result, the biotech community has been a significant economic driver for the region over the past decade, accounting for a third of all job growth in Maryland and spurring innovation within the industry.

For more information, visit www.regionalbiotechforum.com.  

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas – respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune disease (RIA), cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) and oncology – as well as in infection and neuroscience. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com.

About MedImmune

MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers, with additional sites in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, CA. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland’s life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland’s bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

About the Tech Council of Maryland, Inc.

The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) is the largest technology trade group serving the advanced technology, biotechnology and life sciences communities of Maryland. TCM’s mission is to advocate for the interests of the technology and life sciences community, further the role of technology and life sciences in the Maryland economy, and nurture an environment where technology and life sciences companies can collaborate, grow and succeed. For more information, visit www.techcouncilmd.com.

About GlycoMimetics, Inc.

GlycoMimetics is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel glycomimetic drugs to address unmet medical needs resulting from diseases in which carbohydrate biology plays a key role. GlycoMimetics entered into an exclusive license agreement with Pfizer for rivipansel in October 2011. Under the license agreement, Pfizer is responsible for the clinical development, regulatory approval and potential commercialization of rivipansel, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 study for treatment of vaso-occlusive crisis of sickle cell disease.

GlycoMimetics's wholly-owned drug candidate (GMI-1271) for acute myeloid leukemia and other blood disorders is also in clinical trials. GlycoMimetics is developing a pipeline of glycomimetic drug candidates that inhibit disease-related functions of carbohydrates, such as the roles they play in inflammation, cancer and infection. Learn more at www.glycomimetics.com.

About Virginia Bio

Virginia Bio is the premier statewide non-profit trade association for life sciences, promoting the considerable scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia Bio is an advocate for the biopharmaceutical and device industries among federal, state and local policy-makers. Virginia Bio is the official state affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), AdvaMed and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) and also collaborates closely with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). To learn more, visit www.vabio.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
rossint@medimmune.com

(301) 398-1468

Rich Bendis, BioHealth Innovation
rbendis@biohealthinnovation.org

(301) 637-6439

Brad Wills, Tech Council of Maryland
bwills@wills-pr.com

(240) 752-7171

Jamie Lacey-Moreira, GlycoMimetics
jamielacey@presscommpr.com

(410) 299-3310

Caron Trumbo, Virginia Bio
trumbo.caron@vabio.org

(804) 643-6360