21 Emerging Life Science Companies Fueling Maryland’s Biohealth Ecosystem

Maryland is the epicenter of biotech and life science innovation in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR). The state is home to a burgeoning life science ecosystem, including a rapidly growing cell and gene therapy industry, a robust and growing advanced biomanufacturing environment, and a deep network of leading research universities and critical government life science research entities.

What’s more, scores of Maryland life science companies are actively developing COVID-19 vaccines and still, others are positioned to support the manufacture and distribution of any SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that get approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While there are numerous large, well-established anchor companies like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Emergent Biosolutions, Kite Pharma and Thermo Fisher Scientific that have locations in Maryland, much of the state’s biotech innovation is occurring at smaller, emerging companies that might not yet be household names. 

These smaller but still critically important life science companies are doing some exciting work and are utterly critical to sustaining the BHCR’s growth. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on 21 Maryland emerging, Maryland life science companies that many people don’t know about but should.

Note: Company overviews and technology descriptions were pulled from the respective company websites and modified slightly in some cases.     

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. (APT)

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Greg Merril, CEO and Co-Founder
Dr. Carl R. Merril, CSO & Co-Founder
Stage:Clinical

Overview
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company founded to provide an effective therapeutic response to the global rise of multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria.

Technology
APT’s core asset is a large and continually expanding phage library (PhageBank®) deployed with a companion diagnostic to achieve rapid response and cost-effective therapy for otherwise recalcitrant bacterial infections. The technology was developed by the biodefense program of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). APT acquired the world-wide exclusive commercial rights in 2017. Under the FDA emergency Investigational New Drug (eIND) allowance, PhageBank therapy has been used to treat approximately 20 critically ill patients in which standard-of-care antibiotics have failed.

Recent Funding
Most recently, APT received $9.8M in funding from the DOD to develop a phage-based COVID-19 vaccine that is the only phage-based vaccine candidate that will enter Phase I trials in 2020., APT also recently secured $1.75M from the Mayo Clinic as part of a $7M convertible note financing round.  

Arcellx 

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Dr. David Hilbert, CEO and President
Stage:Clinical

Overview
Arcellx is an early-stage immuno-oncology company working to develop CAR T-Cell therapies to treat cancer and a broad spectrum of human diseases.  

Technology
Arcellx has developed Antigen Receptor Complex T cells (ARC-T) that are readily silenced, activated, and reprogrammed in vivo by administration of a tumor-targeting antigen protein called a sparX. The company’s unique platform technology that is designed to enhance the safety and efficacy of conventional CAR-T therapies.

Recent Funding
In October 2019, Arcellx announced that it had closed an $85M Series B financing round that will support clinical trials for the company’s Intelligent Cell Therapy Platform.   

American Gene Technologies (AGT)

Location:Rockville, Maryland
Founders:Jeff Galvin, CEO
Stage:Clinical – FDA approval for HIV Cure Program Phase I trials

Overview
AGT is a private biotechnology company pursuing cures and treatments for Infectious diseases, cancers and monogenic disorders. In August 2020, AGT received IND approval to begin Phase 1, the first human clinical trial for their lead HIV program. AGT will conduct its Phase 1 study at Washington Health Institute, University of Maryland, Institute of Human Virology and Georgetown University as its initial clinical trial sites.

Using its platform and patented methods, AGT has built a rich product pipeline of genetic therapies for patients suffering from infectious disease, monogenic disorders, and cancer. In addition to its HIV program, its two additional lead programs for Liver Cancer and Phenylketonuria (PKU) are well into the laboratory phase and scheduled to move into the clinic.

Technology
AGT is a gene therapy company that is using a novel gene delivery platform to transform the way diseases are treated. It is using lentiviral vector technology to integrate genes into the patient cells, the nature of the vector allows it to be easily adapted to different diseases. This drug development platform will change the research timeline for new therapies from years to weeks, saving time and money and will ultimately reduce the cost of healthcare.

Recent Funding
American Gene Technologies completed a later stage VC (Series E1) funding round in January 2019.

Avidea Technologies

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Geoffrey M. Lynn, CEO, and Co-founder
Dr. Andrew Ishizuka, CSO and Co-founder
Stage:Development

Overview
Avidea Technologies is a leader in the development of polymer-drug conjugate technologies for immunotherapeutic applications. The company’s technology and team are building on more than two decades of pioneering work by world-class scientific founders and advisors from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Oxford and the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry. 

Baltimore’s Top 10 BioHealth Startup CEOs

Technology
Avidea’s SNAP Platform (Self-assembling Nanoparticles based on Amphiphilic Polymers) packages drug molecules into nanoparticles of uniform size that are designed to target specific tissues and cell populations. Packaging drug molecules into nanoparticles focuses drug molecules where activity is needed and prevents off-target side effects. Through precise control of pharmacokinetics, SNAP enables improved safety and efficacy as compared with unpackaged drugs.

Recent Funding
Avidea has received funding from Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures.

NexImmune

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Jonathan Schneck, M.D., Ph.D.
Mathias Oelke, Ph.D. of The Johns Hopkins University
Stage:Clinical – NEXI-001 for acute myeloid leukemia and NEXI-002 for multiple myeloma are Phase I/II clinical trials.

Overview
NexImmune is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing a new generation of immunotherapies based on its proprietary Artificial Immune Modulation (AIM) nanotechnology platform, originally developed at Johns Hopkins University by Dr. Mathias Oelke, the company’s current SVP of Preclinical and Platform Development, and Dr. Jonathan Schneck.

Technology
NexImmune’s AIM™ nanotechnology platform utilizes nanoparticles to act as synthetic dendritic cells to identify and activate natural T cells with all of the key underlying attributes that are critical to fighting cancer and other immune-related diseases. Non-engineered T cells have the potential to provide meaningful clinical benefit for patients by mimicking natural immune response that reduces toxicities and enhances safety.

Recent Funding
In November 2019 NexImmune completed a later stage VC (Series A3) round of $12M and has raised over $45M in total funding since its founding.

Neuraly

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Seulki Lee
Dr. Viktor Roschke, CSO, Head of R&D
Dr. Zoltan Mari, CMO
Dr. Ted Dawson
Stage:Clinical – NLYO1 (PD) and NLY01 (DLB/AD) are in Phase I trials currently

Overview
Neuraly is a clinical-stage company whose mission is to translate scientific discoveries in neurology into revolutionary new drugs that can radically improve and prolong the lives of people suffering from the devastating consequences of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and other neurodegenerative disorders. Neuraly was spun out of Johns Hopkins University in 2016. D & D Pharmatech, a Korean-based company, is Neuraly’s parent organization.

Technology
Neuraly’s approach is based on the research of Dr. Ted Dawson, Director of the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Neuraly’s program seeks to inhibit pathological glial activation in an effort to prevent neuronal cell death. This could potentially lead to highly efficient treatments for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Recent Funding
Neuraly and Theraly are two Johns Hopkins spin-out companies who were part of the $137.1mm Series B round raised in August by their parent company D&D Pharmatech. Allocation of the funds between its three subsidiaries was not specified but we felt that this deal warranted a first mention on the list because it impacted two early-stage biotechs growing in the region. Proceeds will support the advancement of Neuraly’s lead candidate NLY01 (a GLP-1R agonist) into Phase II in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

NeoImmune Tech

Location:Rockville, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Se Hwan Yang, President & Chief Executive Officer
Stage:Clinical – currently conducting multiple clinical trials.

Overview
NeoImmuneTech, Inc. (NIT) is a biotech company developing T cell-centered novel immunotherapeutics. Founded in 2014, as a spin-off company from Genexine, NIT is a clinical-stage T cell-focused biopharmaceutical company, dedicated to expanding the horizon of immuno-oncology and enhancing immunity to infectious diseases. NIT is led by the scientific founder and inventor of NT-I7 (efineptakin alfa) and complemented by a strong executive team with rich industry experience at companies such as Novartis, BMS, GSK, Pfizer, Amgen, Eli Lilly, MedImmune/AstraZeneca and PwC. NIT is expanding rapidly in personnel and operations, as well as partnering with industry and academic leaders to investigate NT-I7 as monotherapy and in combination with various immunotherapeutics.

Technology
NIT’s lead product is NT-I7 (efineptakin alfa), an engineered T cell amplifier designed to reconstitute and enhance antitumoral T cell immunity. NT-I7 consists of homodimeric Interleukin-7 (IL-7) molecules, which are homeostatic cytokines that enhance the number and function of T cells, biologically fused to IgD/IgG4 immunoglobulin domain (hyFc®) as a safe and effective long-acting carrier.

Recent Funding
No recent news

WindMIL Therapeutics

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Kimberly Noonan, CSO, and Ivan Borrello, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins University
Stage:Clinical – three ongoing trials in its pipeline.

Overview
WindMIL Therapeutics® translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into life-saving cell therapies for cancer patients. Founder Dr. Kimberly Noonan along with Dr. Ivan Borrello discovered marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes, or MILs while conducting research at Johns Hopkins University in 2004. MILs became the foundation for WindMIL’s approach to cancer treatment.

Technology
WindMIL’s ounders discovered that the bone marrow of cancer patients holds a natural reservoir of memory T cells that can recognize, find and eliminate cancer cells. The company’s technology collects, activates and expands these memory T cells into MILs, creating a flexible, scalable, wide-ranging, transformative platform for autologous cell therapy. Collecting bone marrow containing these memory T cells is straightforward and completed via a short outpatient procedure. From this, WindMIL uses a standardized, patent-protected activation and expansion process to create therapeutic MILs quickly and efficiently.

Recent Funding
The company has raised a total of $42 Million over two rounds, the latest being a $32 Million funding round in June 2018.

Thrive Earlier Detection

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Bert Vogelstein,
Dr. Kenneth W. Kinzler
Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos of the Johns Hopkins University
Stage:Clinical

Location

Baltimore, Maryland

Overview
Thrive Earlier Detection has developed a test designed to find multiple cancer types from a single blood draw — including many cancers that lack effective screening tools such as ovarian, pancreatic, liver cancers, and others. More details on the recent DETECT-A study can be found here.

Technology
The company’s lead product, CancerSEEK, is a blood test (also called a liquid biopsy) designed to detect multiple types of cancer at the earliest stages possible before noticeable symptoms occur. CancerSEEK is being developed to combine cutting-edge liquid biopsy technology with a machine learning engine, which will enable the test to improve with every person that is screened. It is designed to be integrated into your routine medical care, alongside other existing cancer screening tools.

Recent Funding
In July 2020, the company raised $257M in Series B financing.  Thrive launched in May 2019 raising $110 million in Series A funding for its cancer-detecting blood test. This was the largest seed round ever raised by a Hopkins-licensed technology, and one of the largest raised by any firm out of the Baltimore area.

Cartesian Therapeutics

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Murat Kalayoglu MD, Ph.D., CEO
Dr. Michael Singer MD, Ph.D., CSO  
Stage:Clinical – view full pipeline here.

Overview
Cartesian Therapeutics is a fully integrated, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell and gene immunotherapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Technology
Cartesian is developing potent yet safer cell and gene therapies designed to benefit the broadest range of patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Unlike conventional CAR-T cells, which have the potential for uncontrolled proliferation and ensuing severe toxicity, Cartesian’s Descartes CAR T-cells are engineered to have a defined and predictable half-life, enabling repeat dosing to maximize potency while minimizing risk of toxicity. The products’ enhanced safety features are intended to enable convenient, outpatient treatment of potentially the widest range of diseases for any CAR-T therapy, from multiple myeloma (relapsed/refractory or early-stage disease), other cancers, and a spectrum of autoimmune conditions such as generalized myasthenia gravis. The First CAR T therapy for an autoimmune disease, Descartes-08, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials.

Recent Funding
Cartesian has raised $12.62 Million in equity funding over two rounds, the latest being a $7.12 M Series B in May 2019.

Remedy Plan Therapeutics

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Greg Crimmins, CEO
Stage:Preclinical – Multiple therapy candidates in early-stage development. 

Overview
Remedy Plan Therapeutics is developing the first drugs that halt tumor growth and disrupt the cancer stem cells that cause metastasis. 

Technology
The organization is developing drugs that target cancer stem cells to inhibit tumor growth and proliferation. With our proprietary drug screening platform, we are able to quickly screen and identify panels of drug candidates that disrupt cancer stem cells. Remedy Plan’s drugs will be much more effective than traditional treatments in decreasing tumor growth, prolonging life, and preventing metastasis and recurrence. And because the reactivation of embryonic-like properties is a characteristic shared by many kinds of tumors, cancer containment therapy is expected to be effective on many different types of cancer, including cancer of the colon, stomach, prostate, testicles, breast, and blood.

Recent Funding
Remedy Plan Therapeutics has raised $10.1 Million in funding, the lastest being a $5.2M later stage VC round in December 2019.

Sirnaomics

Location:Gaithersburg, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Patrick Lu, President & CEO
Stage:Clinical – View their entire pipeline here.

Overview
Sirnaomics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging an outstanding level of knowledge and experience in RNA interference (RNAi) technology to forge a path to high-value creation through discovery and development of therapeutics for human disorders with unmet medical needs.

Technology
The core of Sirnaomics’ technology is centered on the use of RNA interference (RNAi) and a unique polypeptide nanoparticle (PNP) for delivery. RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) silence gene expression by degrading targeted mRNA molecules. Andrew Fire and Craig Mello shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of RNAi in worms, published in 1998. Since the discovery, evidence has been growing that RNAi promises to become a novel therapeutic modality. Twenty years later, this promise has been fulfilled – the first RNAi drug Onpattro was approved by the FDA in 2018. Sirnaomics develops novel drugs using chemically synthesized RNAi triggers (short interfering RNAs or siRNAs) delivered to the targeted cells within the body by proprietary peptide nanoparticle (PNP) formulations.

Recent Funding
In April 2019 Sirnaomics closed a $47M Series C round led by CR-CP Life Sciences Fund, a Hong Kong based joint venture established by China Resources Group and Charoen Pokphand Group, two Asian conglomerates. 

Asclepix Therapeutics

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Jordan Greene, Chief Technology Advisor
Dr. Aleksander S. Popel, Chief Scientific Advisor
Stage:Preclinical, close to Phase I. See full pipeline breakdown here.

Overview
AsclepiX Therapeutics is focused on transforming the treatment of ocular diseases and cancer through the rapid clinical development of groundbreaking therapies. The company is using computational biology to identify potent peptide regulators of vascular homeostasis that is disrupted in retinal and oncologic diseases. AXT107, an investigational product and the lead clinical candidate, is poised to enter the clinic in late 2020.

AsclepiX Therapeutics is led by a veteran biotech executive, Wendy Perrow as CEO, who won TEDCO’s 2017 ICE Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Technology
A fundamental principle of biology is homeostasis: the ability of the body to seek and maintain a condition of equilibrium or stability. Using computational biology to identify multiple families of peptides that are potent regulators of vascular homeostasis, the company’s clinical candidate peptides tap into these naturally existing self-regulating mechanisms that the body uses to maintain homeostasis and thus restore and maintain health.

AsclepiX’s clinical candidate peptides tap into these naturally existing self-regulating mechanisms that the body uses to maintain homeostasis and thus restore and maintain health.

Recent Funding
In June 2020, the company announced it had closed $35M in Series A financing.

Gemstone Biotherapeutics

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Sharon Gerecht 
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
Gemstone, founded in 2013, is a pre-clinical research and development company established with in-licensed technology from Johns Hopkins University. Gemstone is dedicated to the field of regenerative medicine and specializes in developing improved methods for advanced wound healing and tissue vascularization.

Technology
Gemstone is developing and a highly tunable, novel biosynthetic wound healing product. It will target the dermatology space first, specifically acute wound care resulting from abnormal mole removal, skin cancer surgery, and biopsies. Gemstone’s novel approach aims to return skin to normalcy faster, reducing the stress and shame that often accompanies such procedures executed in highly visible areas. Gemstone believes its technology will eventually replace the need for complex Dermatology closure procedures. Gemstone’s product will eventually be commercialized as a sterile patch that can be easily cut to size and will match the skin’s thickness. The material is applied into the void created by a burn or surgery. 

Recent Funding
Gemstone has raised $5.2M in funding over the course of five rounds, most recently being a $250K investment from the University of Maryland’s Momentum Fund in August 2019. In 2018 the company’s CEO, Emily English, also received a non-dilutive commercialization award of $299,998 from TEDCO’s Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF).

Glyscend

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Thomas H. Jozefiak, CSO
Dr. Ashish Nimgaonkar, President & CEO
Stage:Preclinical, with trials expected to begin in 2021.

Overview
Glyscend Therapeutics is a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company developing novel orally-delivered compounds that work on targets inside the GI tract to treat a variety of metabolic disorders, including T2D. Glyscend’s polymer technology platform evolved from research at Johns Hopkins University, where scientists were evaluating the mechanisms that result in significantly improved glucose and metabolic regulation following certain types of bariatric surgery. They discovered that specifically designed polymers, delivered orally, could mimic this post-surgical effect.

Glyscend Wins TEDCO’s ICE Awards for Innovation

Technology
Inspired by the remarkable efficacy of gastric bypass (bariatric) surgery in correcting the metabolic disorder associated with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), Glyscend is developing a patient-friendly therapy to mimic the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery to improve blood glucose and reduce body weight, while building upon the standard of care for T2D. Glyscend’s patient-friendly, orally-administered polymer therapy is being developed to modulate the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier in the GI tract and achieve the therapeutic benefits of duodenal exclusion without the need for an invasive procedure.

Recent Funding
Glyscend announced in June 2020 that it had closed a $20.5M Series A round. The company’s funding journey started in 2014 with a $100,00 grant from TEDCO’s MII program, which was the first of three Phases of MII grants totaling $265,000.

VerImmune

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Joshua Wang, President & CSO
Dr. John Troyer, COO
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
VerImmune is developing Anti-Tumor Immune Redirection (AIR): a breakthrough therapy that redirects immune memory against pathogens or childhood vaccines to target cancer. This strategy utilizes a proprietary tumor-specific, tumor type agnostic, virus-inspired platform termed Anti-tumor Immune Redirectors (AIRTM) that redirects pre-existing pathogenic or childhood vaccine immune memory towards tumors.

Technology
VerImmune is developing Anti-tumor Immune Redirection (AIR): a breakthrough therapy that redirects the pre-existing immune memory from childhood vaccines or infection to fight cancer. We have developed a papillomavirus-inspired nanoparticle conjugated with viral antigens. This has a strong fundamental composition IP with additional families covering mechanism, synthesis, and methods of treatment.

Recent Funding
No recent news

Sonoval

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. John (Jack) Murphy, CSO
Dr. William Bishai, Chairman
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
Sonoval is developing protein-based anticancer drug candidates including SON-211 and others, each engineered to minimize potential side-effects and manufactured using proprietary expression technology.

Technology
SON-211 is a protein-based anticancer agent comprising the cytokine human interleukin 2 (IL-2) fused to modified portions of diphtheria toxin. It binds to, and kills, T lymphocytes that bear the IL-2 receptor, CD25. These include certain T cell lymphomas as well as T regulatory cells (Tregs).

SON-211 is a second generation version of this class of drug that retains the same high potency as its predecessors, but is manufactured as a fully monomeric compound without aggregates and is genetically modified to substantially reduce the potential for vascular leak syndrome. Sonoval’s technology is targeting two specific types of cancer: subclasses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and solid tumors.

Recent Funding
Sonoval received grant funding from TEDCO’s MII program in 2019

Seraxis

Location:Germantown, Maryland
Founders:Dr. William Rust, CEO
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
The Seraxis team developed novel cell and encapsulation technologies. The company’s mission is to bring practical cell therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes to the clinic and provide a long term cure to patients that do not require the use of immuno-suppression.

Technology
Seraxis has novel technology for cell lines and within the device field for the treatment of Type I Diabetes.  In 2019 they were recognized as one of the Top Five Stem Cell Companies to Watch in the Biohealth Capital Region.

The scientists at Seraxis have developed a stem cell line and a differentiation protocol that reproducibly generates mature insulin-producing cells. The proprietary, clinically compliant (cGMP) stem cell line was generated from human pancreas cells using non-integrating induced pluripotent stem cell reprogramming (iPSC) technology. The advantages of these cells over others, such as embryonic stem cells, are that they are capable of generating highly pure populations of therapeutic cells and have a better safety profile. These cells are protected by a number of granted patents in the U.S. and abroad.

Saraxis scientists have also developed an implantable biocompatible device that protects the therapeutic cells from immune recognition for a clinically relevant period so that the patient doesn’t require immune suppression. A unique feature of the Seraxis device is that it encourages close association with the patients’ vasculature so that blood glucose can be precisely regulated, similar to the native pancreas.

Recent Funding
In May 2017 TEDCO awarded $299,000 in grants to SERAXIS to support some of the research work necessary to bring the therapy to the clinical stage. Previously the company had raised a Series A (2013) and Series B (2016) VC investment round.

Veralox Therapeutics

Location:Frederick, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Jeff Strovel, CEO
Dr. David J. Maloney, CSO
Matthew Boxer, Ph.D., COO
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
Veralox Therapeutics is a startup currently headquartered at the Frederick Innovation  Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI) in Frederick, Maryland. As a small molecule therapeutics company focused on developing medicines targeting the arachidonic acid pathway, they have two drug products in development for the treatment of a rare blood disorder known as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis and Type 1 Diabetes.

Technology
12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX) is an enzyme in the arachidonic acid (AA) pathway that oxidizes AA resulting in the production of 12-HETE. High 12-LOX activity and 12-HETE production have been linked to numerous syndromes and diseases, with elevated levels of serum 12-HETE having potential implications as a predictive biomarker for T1D. Following the discovery of selective 12-LOX inhibitors, Veralox is taking a novel approach to treat these diseases with an initial focus on heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), HIT with thrombosis (HITT), and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

Recent Funding
Veralox announced in 2019 that it had raised $5.4M in Seed round funding that included participation from the Maryland Momentum Fund and TEDCO.

Vita Therapeutics

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Douglas Falk, M.S., CEO
Peter Andersen, PhD., CSO
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
The company was founded in 2018 and spun out of Johns Hopkins University. The company is developing a cell-based therapy that has shown promising results for muscular dystrophy in preclinical studies. 

Technology
Vita has derived human satellite cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); these human satellite cells “have shown the ability to sustainably repair and replace muscle over time.” This approach also shows potential to treat other degenerative muscular diseases as well. Vita is preparing to submit its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its lead candidate at some point in 2022.

Recent Funding
In January 2020 Vita raised a $2M Seed round, and a follow along $300K grant from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund program in June.

Pathovax 

Location:Baltimore, Maryland
Founders:Dr. Joshua Wang, CEO
Stage:Preclinical

Overview
PathoVax LLC is a Johns Hopkins start-up biotechnology company. Founded in 2014, the company has been focused on different medical applications for its proprietary Papillomavirus Virus-like Particle (VLP) platform. The company recently created a new spin off company, Verimmune, which has also been profiled in this article.

Technology
Pathovax applies innovative engineering approaches that leverage the natural virology of Papillomaviruses, creating platform delivery medicines that possess unique mechanisms of action. Papillomavirus Virus-like Particles and their derivatives can act as broad platforms which can be utilized and applied in many ways. They have been demonstrated to be safe in humans and are highly immunogenic.

Recent Funding
Pathovax has raised $5.8M over 4 funding rounds, most recently being a $2.8M round in August 2018. The company also received $300K in SBIR Phase I funding in March 2019.

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Steven Surdez

Steven Surdez

Principal at StoryCore
Steve has over 20 years experience in copywriting, developing brand messaging and creating marketing strategies across a wide range of industries, including the biopharmaceutical, senior living, commercial real estate, IT and renewable energy sectors, among others. He is currently the Principal/Owner of StoryCore, a Frederick, Maryland-based content creation and execution consultancy focused on telling the unique stories of Maryland organizations.

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