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Weekly Quick Hits (BioHealth Capital Region) – Week of March 13, 2023

Funding and Collaborations

American Urological Association Announces Innovation Nexus Showcase Selections

The American Urological Association (AUA), based in Baltimore, announced 10 companies were chosen thfor the inaugural Innovation Nexus Showcase. The Showcase gives investigators, startups and mid-size companies the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of individuals and corporations looking to invest in urology. Innovation Nexus is a long-term commitment by the AUA to sustain a urology incubator to advance discoveries with key stakeholders for the benefit of urologic patient care. A list of the selected companies can be found here.

In the Clinic

HanAll Biopharma Opens Applications for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program

HanAll BioPharma Co., Ltd., which has its U.S. headquarters in Rockville, is accepting applications for the 2023 pharmaceutical industry fellowship program through April 15, 2023. The program is open to physicians trained in Indonesia, who have a strong interest in working for a global biopharma company. Participants rotate among four main arenas of drug development including clinical development and project management, operations and regulatory affairs, preclinical development and CMC, and business development.

Ascentage Pharma to Present Three Preclinical Studies at AACR

Rockville-based Ascentage Pharma announced results from three preclinical studies of the company’s novel third-generation BCR-ABL inhibitor olverembatinib and two key assets of Ascentage Pharma’s apoptosis-targeting pipeline, the Bcl-2 inhibitor lisaftoclax (APG-2575) and the MDM2-p53 inhibitor alrizomadlin (APG-115), have been selected for presentations at the 2023 American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting. These results provide key findings that will support continued advances in the development of innovative therapeutics. 

ivWatch Awarded Sole Source Agreement with the KIINDO Pediatric Collaborative

Virginia-based ivWatch, LLC, developer of the first continuous IV infiltration detection technology, has been awarded a sole source group purchasing agreement with Premier, Inc. through its KIINDO pediatric performance group and collaborative. The new agreement allows Premier members to take advantage of special pricing and terms. The new multi-year agreement connects ivWatch directly with top children’s hospitals so the facilities can easily implement IV patient monitoring systems to help improve patient outcomes.   

Research Roundup

A Novel Test Could Benefit Newborns With a Serious Genetic Disease

Scientists developed a test that could improve quality of life for infants with homocystinuria (HCU), a congenital disease that can cause serious complications if not treated early. HCU hinders an infant’s ability to metabolize the amino acid methionine, which is a component of many proteins, such as those found in breastmilk. A group of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a newborn screening test for HCU that works by measuring homocysteine levels. Research demonstrating the efficacy of this test was published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal.

People on the Move

Mona Suliman, PhD Takes On New Role as Business Strategist at BioHealth Innovation

Suliman will evaluate the commercial potential of clients’ emerging technologies and assist start-ups with their go-to-market strategies. Her work will also focus on helping biohealth companies to secure non-dilutive funding. She has been a consultant in the business and science sectors for over eight years.

54gene Announces Leadership Changes

54gene, Inc. a health data technology company transforming racial disparity in genomics research data, shared several leadership changes, including Ron Chiarello, PhD taking the helm as CEO and several other changemakers being appointed to the board.

Clinical Geneticist Reed Pyeritz Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Clinical geneticist Reed Pyeritz is the recipient of the 2023 ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine’s David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics. Pyeritz, the William Smilow Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a founder of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), is being recognized for his decades of pioneering work on Marfan Syndrome. Over the course of his career, Pyeritz led many of the seminal studies and clinical trials responsible for extending the lifespan of people with Marfan Syndrome from 40 to 70 years. He has published more than 700 research articles and reviews, helped found the Marfan Foundation, and is the co-editor of the standard textbook in medical genetics, Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics and Genomics.