This University Startup Found Strong Support and Space Without Leaving Town

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Biomedical innovations can take a decade or more of ongoing research and development before they are ready to be used to treat patients. Even with funding and expert scientists, the most promising technologies can fail to go to market if entrepreneurs don’t have the experience or support to navigate the long and tedious drug development process.
A local resource is helping university-founded startups find success.
From a small lab space within the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Distinguished University Professor Vincent C.O. Njar, Ph.D., made an incredible discovery. Through his research, he developed novel small molecules with the potential to inhibit the growth of and treat breast cancer, with possible applications in dermatology and other types of cancer. Dr. Njar’s discovery could offer better outcomes for a range of patients.
To help clear the path to market, University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) New Ventures team worked with Dr. Njar to establish his startup, Isoprene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The New Ventures program, run by a team with

Context Therapeutics Doses First Patient in Breast Cancer Trial

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Coming off a $28.75 million initial public offering last week, Context Therapeutics dosed its first patient in a mid-stage breast cancer study assessing the combination of the progesterone receptor ONA-XR in combination with an estrogen receptor antagonist.

In Conversation: John Mumm, Chief Executive Officer, Deka Biosciences

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John Mumm is a serial biotechnology entrepreneur who, as a young researcher, demonstrated the importance of the cytokine, interleukin -10 (IL-10), in activating the immune system to destroy tumors. That research led to the use of Pegylated IL-10 to treat patients with pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors through his work at ARMO Biosciences, a company he founded and was later acquired by Eli Lilly in 2018.

Three New Members with Ties to Johns Hopkins Appointed to National Cancer Advisory Board by President Biden

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WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced the appointment of seven distinguished clinicians and researchers to the National Cancer Advisory Board, which plays an important role in guiding the Director of the National Cancer Institute in setting the course for the national cancer research program. President Biden is committed to ending cancer as we know it – including by making sure his Administration is investing in research and development that will help advance breakthroughs to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like cancer. The National Cancer Advisory Board will compliment the Administration’s efforts to build on the spirit and learnings of the Cancer Moonshot, which President Biden led in the Obama-Biden Administration.

Philadelphia biopharm firm Context Therapeutics files plans for IPO

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Another local life sciences company is looking to go public.
Context Therapeutics, a Philadelphia biopharmaceutical company focused on women’s cancers, is seeking to raise about $20 million through its IPO.
In documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Context states it intends to sell 1.5 shares million of its common stock to the public at $12 to $14 per share.
The company is poised to become the fifth Philadelphia-area life sciences to complete an IPO this year. That distinction, however, could go to Castle Creek Biosciences, a cell and gene therapy company based in Exton that filed plans to go public through a $100 million IPO in July. Neither company has set a specific date for their public offering.
Context plans to list its stock on Nasdaq under the symbol “CNTX.”

2021 Technology Showcase

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Hear from inventors from the National Cancer Institute and the Frederick National Laboratory about technologies primed for commercialization and/or collaboration; great opportunity for biotech stakeholders and companies of all sizes, [….]

Context Therapeutics® and Tyligand Bioscience Reach ONA-XR Manufacturing Optimization Milestone

advance medicines for female cancers
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Context Therapeutics Inc., a women’s oncology company developing advanced small molecule and immunotherapy treatments to transform care for hormone-driven breast and gynecological cancers, and Tyligand Bioscience, Ltd., a leader in small molecule drug discovery and development, today announced the successful completion of ONA-XR (onapristone extended release) manufacturing process optimization pursuant to the collaboration agreement entered into between the parties in March 2020.

Immunomic Therapeutics Announces License Agreement With Lineage Cell Therapeutics for Cancer Immunotherapy

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Partnership Leverages Lineage’s Investigational VAC Allogeneic Cancer Vaccine Platform and Immunomic’s Proprietary Tumor Associated Antigen to Generate a Novel Oncology Product Candidate

Bethesda’s Gain Therapeutics Announces Multi-Target Drug Discovery Collaboration Agreement with Zentalis Pharmaceuticals

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Collaboration to use Gain’s proprietary Site-Directed Enzyme Enhancement Therapy (SEE-Tx™) computational platform technology to identify new and previously difficult-to-drug oncology targets