Weekly Quick Hits (BioHealth Capital Region) – Week of June 12, 2023

By Mark Terry
June 16, 2023

Funding, Awards and Collaborations

OpGen Risks Delisting from Nasdaq

Rockville, Md.-based OpGen has fallen out of compliance with the Nasdaq Stock Market after its share price did not go over $1.00 per share for a 30-day period. The company’s 52-week high was $13.60 per share and its 52-week low is $0.55.

Johns Hopkins Hit by Cyberattack

Johns Hopkins University and Health reported it had been hit by a cyberattack. The data breach occurred on May 31 and primarily targeted “a widely used software tool that affected our networks.” The tool is MOVEit.

Virginia’s Advanced Pharma Manufacturing and R&D Cluster Receives $52.9 Million

Virginia’s Advanced Pharma Manufacturing and R&D Cluster received $52.9 million from part of a $1 billion federal government competition. Virginia is one of 21 winners from the Department of Education’s Economic Development Administration. Virginia is expected to use the funds to expand the domestic supply chain for drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Blue Venture, TEDCO Join $2.5 Million Seed Round for N5 Sensors

Vienna, Va.-based Blue Venture Investors and TEDCO, the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund and University of Maryland in College Park’s Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund participated in a $2.5 million seed round for Rockville, Md.-based N5 Sensors. N5 Sensors has developed technology capable of detecting chemicals.

Novavax Reschedules 2023 Annual Meeting to July 11

Gaithersburg, Md.-based Novavax announced it had adjourned its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, originally to be held June 15, to July 11, 2023, at 8:30 a.m., Eastern Time. There were not enough people present virtually or by proxy to constitute a quorum, so they will try again on July 11.

Sirnaomics Presented Developments on GalAhead Therapeutic Platform

Sirnaomics, based in Germantown, Md., Hong Kong and Suzhou Biobay, China, presented the latest developments on its GalAhead Therapeutic Platform. On June 13, it presented at the Precision in Drug Discovery & Preclinical Summit held in Boston. On June 15, it presented at the RNA Therapeutics USA meeting in San Diego. And on June 16, it presented at the 19th Drug Discovery Nexus in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

In the Clinic

Acumen to Present Topline Alzheimer’s Results

Acumen Pharmaceuticals, with locations in Charlottesville, Va. and Carmel, Ind., will present topline results from a Phase I trial of ACU193 in Alzheimer’s disease at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023 taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands and online from July 16-20, 2023. The therapeutic targets soluble amyloid beta oligomers.

New Products

Cerillo to Showcase 1st Wireless, Scalable, Off-the-Shelf Co-Culture Solution

Charlottesville, Va.-based Cerillo announced it will showcase demonstrations of its new co-culture duet system at ASM Microbe 2023 from June 16-18 in Houston, Texas. The co-culture system allows researchers to observe and study individual microbial populations in real-time and measure the growth of one microbial population alongside other populations.

Research Roundup

Indivior Announces 4 Abstracts Accepted for College on Problems of Drug Dependencies Meeting

Indivior, based in Richmond, Va., announced it had four abstracts accepted for the 85th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependencies. The meeting will be in Denver, Colorado from June 17-21, 2023.

Johns Hopkins Research: Psychedelic Drugs Reopen Critical Periods for Social Learning

Researchers with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published research offering a new explanation for how psychedelic drugs work and how they may have potential to treat conditions such as stroke and deafness, as well as depression, addiction and PTSD. The study suggests that these drugs are linked by their common ability to reopen critical periods in the brain, when mammals are more sensitive to signals from their surroundings.

Regulatory and Advocacy

NIH & FDA Call for More Research to Improve Drug-Checking Tools Over Overdose Epidemic

Leadership from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FDA published commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine calling for efforts to address current gaps in the research, development, and implementation of fentanyl test strips and other rapid drug-detecting tools that might help prevent deaths by overdose. The NIH welcomes research proposals on these topics.

People on the Move

Rima Franklin Named Interim Vice Provost of VCU Life Sciences

Rima Franklin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biology in Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Humanities and Sciences, was appointed interim Vice Provost of VCU Life Sciences, effective July 1. She will also continue to act as chair of the Department of Biology.