Big Bio and Big Data to Converge at the 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum

The 7th annual BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) Forum will be held virtually again in 2021 with a small change. This year the Forum will be split between two half-days held on September 13th and 14th. With the theme of “Big Bio…Big Data…Converging”, the Forum will bring together the top biotech and life science executives and expert speakers from across the industry, academia, healthcare, government, finance, and real estate development, among others, to discuss this emerging space in BioHealth. 

Every year, the top thought leaders and subject matter experts from the BioHealth Capital Region and beyond, are brought together to discuss industry growth in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia, as well as the goal of becoming a top-three U.S. biotech cluster by 2023. With the success of holding the Forum Virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, event planners opted to do it again with the only change being a split from one day to two half-days. The aim is to bring the Forum back to live in-person in 2022 with the possibility of also live-streaming panel sessions. 

“AstraZeneca has been a proud sponsor of the BioHealth Capital Region Forum for many years and is looking forward to this year’s agenda. Information science and digital technology capabilities promise to remodel our approach to discovery, development, and delivery of life-changing health-related solutions’, said Joe Sanchez, Director of R&D Science Engagement.  “Our attendees are excited to expand their networks by meeting many of the newer companies that have arrived in the region and cultivate partnerships that invariably stem from this annual event.  The major businesses and their supporting talent that have been attracted to the area is impressive, and adds to an already rich ecosystem to help drive business and science forward.”

This year the BioHealth Capital Region announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be sitting down for a “Fireside Chat” with Rich Bendis, President, and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. 

“The BioHealth Capital Region has experienced big wins over the last year with significant investments in life science R&D, new companies relocating to our region, and start-ups launched from innovative IP licensed from our universities,” said Amy Adams, “It is exciting to see the new investments in commercial laboratory space such as the Northern Virginia Bioscience Center, Virginia Bio Accelerator, JLabs at Washington DC, and Progress Labs at Riverside I (Frederick, Maryland) as well as programs to support entrepreneurship, commercialization, and a diverse, competitive workforce.”

Day 1:

State of the Union Address and Intro

Leaders from the BioHealth Capital Region welcome the over 1,000 registrants to the 7th Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum. In addition Rich Bendis, President, and CEO of BioHealth Innovation gives his annual State of the Union for the BioHealth Capital Region. In spite of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the Region has seen record growth in 2020/2021 and is well on its way to being a Top 3 BioCluster by 2023.

GEN Top 10 BioPharma Clusters Update

Alex Philippidis, Senior Business Editor of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News will return to the Forum to give his annual update on the GEN rankings of the Top 10 Bio Clusters in the United States. The BioHealth Capital Region is currently ranked #4 with a goal to be Top 3 by 2023, and Alex will discuss each of the 10 top clusters and discuss how they have performed during the Pandemic. He will also mention the Up and Coming Regions of the Country.

Pete Briskman, Executive Managing Director and Co-Lead for JLL’s Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences Practice, will follow Alex and do a deep dive into specifically the BioHealth Capital Region’s outstanding performance over the last year.

Keynote – Chris Monroe

Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland, introduces Chris Monroe, CEO, and Co-Founder of IonQ, a recent University of Maryland spinout.

After 25 years of research, IonQ was founded in 2015 with a license of their core technology from the University of Maryland and Duke University with a goal of taking trapped ion quantum technology out of the lab and into the market. With venture capital funding from NEA and others, they built two of the world’s most accurate quantum computers. In 2021 IonQ became the first publicly traded Pure-Play Quantum Computing Company valued at over $2 Billion.

Biomedical Big Data: How to Get Real Smarts in a World Full of Artificial Intelligence

With a world awash in growing volumes of biomedical data, new sensors, and promises that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to transform the medical industry, the questions of whether, where, when, and how to jump in need answers. This panel explores important fundamentals for success in today’s rapidly evolving big data and AI environment, beginning with AI basics, commenting on hope and hype, and culminating with valuable insights from those leaders who have taken the plunge and started new ventures that are quickly becoming success stories.

Ranging from medical diagnostics improving detection of disease to accelerating the development of new treatments, the panelists bring a breadth of first-hand experience in starting local and aiming global to deliver value to the medical community with their innovations that bring together biomedical data, AI, and an unflappable entrepreneurial spirit.

IP Analysis and Protection

Providing the depth and experience of large and heavily resourced IP firms, as well as deep technology experience from boutique and in house academic professionals, we will discuss topics that shed light on the key issues to consider while growing a technology business

Federal Bio Research Funding for the DC/Va/Md Region: What’s New? And What’s On Tap?

Opportunities for applied research project funding have never been greater for the BioHealth Capital Region. From NIH creating innovation pathways, to the stand up of BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, to new applied research funding coming from the Endless Frontier Act, now incorporated into the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the prospects have never been greater. Hear from some national experts on how our region can benefit.

Fireside Chat – John Newby, Eric Edwards, & B. Frank Gupton

The United States is investing in the domestic production of APIs to reduce foreign dependency and make life-saving drugs more readily available domestically.  Petersburg, Virginia’s Phlow Corporation, recipient of $354 million BARDA funding for the production of APIs for essential medicines, is at the leading edge of this effort. Hear from Phlow founders Eric Edwards, MD, and Frank Gupton, Ph.D.’s as they discuss their life-saving work and the use of data and analytics in Phlow’s cutting-edge advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Day 2:

Fireside Chat – Dr. Anthony Fauci & Rich Bendis 

Rich Bendis, President, and CEO of BioHealth Innovation will conduct a fireside chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984. Dr. Fauci oversees an annual budget of over $6 Billion and has advised 7 President’s on many domestic and global health issues. He has an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat many existing and emerging infectious diseases.

The fireside chat will include a discussion on Dr. Fauci’s personal background and interest in healthcare issues, his role at NIAID and serving the Administration, the importance of NIH to the Country and the BioHealth Capital Region, and career opportunities at NIAID and NIH. They will also discuss the Covid 19 Pandemic and recommendations to address proactive measures to reduce the impact of potential future pandemics.

Infectious Diseases and The Global Pandemic Center

Stu Solomon the CEO of Connected DMV, located in Washington D.C. will lead a stimulating panel discussion on the newly formed evidence-based Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center which will be headquartered in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The Center is a non-profit private/public/partnership formed to prevent and reduce the impact of potential future pandemics and partners with other global organizations including CEPI, WHO, Welcome Leap, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BIO, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, many U. S. Federal agencies, academic institutions, and industry BioHealth leaders.

The lead initiative, AHEAD 100, was conceived by panelist, Dr. James Crowe of Vanderbilt University, which will use monoclonal antibodies as a countermeasure to protect frontline workers and the exposed community while also reducing the critical time gap between disease outbreak and activated vaccines.

Developing and Retaining Talent – Keeping the Best and the Brightest in the BHCR

Data confirms that the BioHealth Capital Region is replete with the talent needed to support the growth of the biopharmaceutical industry, including the information science and digital technology capabilities that promise to remodel our approach to discovery, development, and delivery of life-changing health-related solutions. This panel discussion seeks to highlight the successful models being used in the region to cultivate this talent and connect it to the career opportunities that await.

Real Estate and Resources in the BHCR

New investments are being made throughout the region to support the growth of a thriving life science community. Learn about new commercial lab space on the horizon, research parks and innovation districts that are building collaborative environments, and programs available to assist companies on their path to success.

Venture Capital Update

Joel Marcus is the Executive  Chairman of the Board of Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) which he co-founded in 1994. ARE now controls over 50,000,000 square feet of real estate, with the majority of space dedicated to the Life Science Industry located in the top 7 markets in the U.S. including Greater Boston, San Francisco, NYC, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle. In 1996 Mr. Marcus founded the company’s strategic venture capital arm, Alexandria Venture Investments which has been the most prolific Life Science venture investor for the last 3 years and has approximately $2 Billion of assets under management.

Mr. Marcus will discuss the vibrant BioHealth investment market and the tremendous growth it has experienced over the last few years in spite of the Pandemic. He will also discuss some of the hottest technologies and market segments for investment and the ARE investment philosophy. ARE continues to grow its presence in the BioHealth Capital Region and has increased its investment portfolio here.

This year’s event will also include the 6th annual Crab Trap Competition where startups will compete to win $10K and be named the BioHealth Startup with the Most Commercial Potential. Selected Finalists will present during the BioHealth Capital Region Investors Conference on September 29th. Registrants for the Forum on September 13th and 14th will have access to view the Crab Trap.

White House OSTP Discussion on ARPA-H

Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Biomedical Science Initiatives, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will join BHI’s Rich Bendis to discuss the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

How ARPA-H would accelerate biomedical innovation and adoption of technologies and approaches to revolutionize healthcare and medicine. Put forth as a distinct division within NIH, ARPA-H would focus on time-limited projects with goals, benchmarks, and accountability to revolutionize how we prevent, treat, or cure a range of diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and others.

“Virginia is proud to be part of the BioHealth Capital Region collaborative and proud to participate in this year’s Forum.  Our region’s collective federal and local assets and geographic proximity to federal decision-makers make the BHCR the best destination for biotechnology companies and supportive capital,” said John Newby, Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Bio. “With intraregional partnerships such as the partnership between Virginia Tech and DC’s Childrens’ National Hospital and JLABS@Washington DC to address pediatric health needs, Virginia continues to benefit from the regionality encouraged and supported by this Forum.  We look forward to continuing to support our collective mission to be a Top 3 biohealth cluster by 2023!”

To register for the FREE and VIRTUAL BHCR forum on September 13th-14th, click here.