Showing posts with label biotech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biotech. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Trammell Crow to develop The Labs at Belward life sciences center in Rockville


Developer Trammell Crow announced it plans to build a 757,000 square foot life sciences center on the former Belward Farm property in Rockville. The Labs at Belward will be on the Belward Campus of Johns Hopkins University, and initially include three buildings of trophy laboratory and research space. Future additions will expand that to 1.6 million square feet across seven buildings.

Trammell Crow said it expects to break ground on the project in June of 2023. An early 2025 delivery is anticipated. 

On the professional scientific side, the project facilities will support BSL Category-2 laboratory functions, and have 18-foot deck-to-deck ceiling heights on both the basement and ground floors, with 16-foot heights on all other floors. There will be outdoor terraces and balconies on each building, and a variety of amenities and "supporting retail" for tenants, Trammell Crow said in a press release.

For the public at large, there will be a six-acre public park with an amphitheater, recreational fields, two retail pavilions totaling approximately 6,000 square feet, large wooded buffer areas, several miles of bike and walking trails, and an effort to preserve the site’s natural elements. Preservation of as much of the farmland as possible was the stated goal of the family who sold it to JHU, a decision that led to much controversy in the years after the sale over whether Elizabeth Beall Banks' wishes were being honored by the university.

“We eagerly await the realization of The Labs at Belward as an integral component of the overall vision for the Belward Camus of The Johns Hopkins University,” Mitch Bonanno, Chief Real Estate Officer for The Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Mitch Bonnano said in a statement. 

Trammell Crow officials are optimistic they can finally deliver a major piece of what had long been expected to be the core of the 2010 Great Seneca Science Corridor master plan. “The Labs at Belward is a first-of-its-kind innovation ecosystem within a campus environment akin to a collegiate setting,” Eric Fischer, Managing Director TCC’s MidAtlantic offices said in a statement. "Most importantly, we appreciate the opportunity to work in close alignment with both The Johns Hopkins University and with Montgomery County to activate this critically important site in a manner that advances the University’s and the County’s shared life sciences vision.”

Clark Construction will be the construction contractor for the project. Gensler is the architectural firm, and OJB will design the landscape architecture.

Rendering courtesy Gensler

Friday, April 29, 2022

Horizon Therapeutics-leased life sciences building under construction in Rockville (Photos)


A new 10-story, 200,000 square foot life sciences facility called Alexandria Center is now under construction at 9810 Darnestown Road in Rockville. Delivery of the building is expected in 2023. Horizon Therapeutics, an Irish biotech firm, has signed a full-building lease for the property. It plans to use the new space as its primary U.S. East Coast research & development and technical operations hub. Interior fit-out for Horizon will begin once the building is ready for occupancy next year. 


“I am thrilled that Horizon Therapeutics has decided to call Montgomery County home for their East Coast research and development hub,” Montgomery County Executive, Marc Elrich said in a statement released by Horizon. “The mission and work of Horizon make them a natural fit for Montgomery County, and we stand ready to make them feel welcome in Rockville. Horizon’s move to the county is another point to show that Montgomery County is the home for life sciences in the region, and we are excited to continue our work to bring more companies of Horizon’s caliber to the region.”




Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Rockville biotech firms partner to advance biologic product development, manufacturing


Rockville-based Hibiscus BioVentures has partnered with Chinese firm Innoforce to enhance both companies' development of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), biologics derived from cells, tissue or genes. Innoforce, which is headquartered in Hangzhou but also has offices in Rockville, uses partnerships as a business model. It opened a new Advanced Cell and Gene Therapy Development Facility in Hangzhou last year, and will cut the ribbon on a new manufacturing facility there this summer.

Hibiscus focuses its efforts on identifying unmet needs of patients to develop novel therapies that are commercially viable. "We are excited to partner with Hibiscus, which brings a highly experienced team and unique model to develop new technolgoies that address important unmet medical needs," Innoforce CEO and co-founder Yuling Li Ph.D. said in a statement this morning. "The partnership will leverage our drug development experience with Hibiscus' pipeline initiatives in alignment with Innoforce's mission to enable global development of novel, advanced biotherapeutics." Hibiscus is located at 2277 Research Boulevard in Rockville.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Rockville biotech receives patent for tech that can identify patients at-risk of opioid addiction

HSR.health CEO Ajay Gupta

Rockville-based HSR.health announced this morning that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent for the firm's novel use of geospatial tech, advanced AI models, and sets of social determinants of health data to identify patients at risk of opioid addiction. The technology also can identify patients at risk of having an overdose in the next 12 months. Overall, the purpose is to mitigate these negative outcomes before they happen, the company said.

HSR.health CEO Ajay Gupta said this morning that the issuing of the patent "is an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of our health-focused spatial data infrastructure." The now-patented tech can also be applied to pre-diabetic patients. Other areas of focus for the firm are reducing hospital readmissions, and assisting countries with pandemic response efforts.

Six additional HSR.health patent applications are now before the USPTO, related to geospatial tech, data and AI models. Montgomery County's biotech sector continues to be the bright spot amid an otherwise-moribund county economy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Rockville-based Supernus to acquire Adamas Pharmaceuticals


Rockville-based Supernus Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it is acquiring Adamas Pharmaceuticals, adding to its portfolio of Parkinson's disease treatments. The deal will bring Adamas' GOCOVRI (amantadine) extended release capsules, the first and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for the treatment of both OFF and dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease who are receiving levodopa-based therapy; and Osmolex ER® (amantadine) extended release tablets, which is FDA-approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions in adults.

The deal is a financial win for Adamas stockholders, and will expand the revenue base and cash flow of Supernus. “This acquisition represents a significant step to further build a strong and diverse Parkinson’s disease portfolio, and aligns with our focus of acquiring value-enhancing, clinically-differentiated medicines to treat CNS diseases,” Jack Khattar, President and CEO of Supernus Pharmaceuticals said in a statement. “We have a proven track record of strong commercial execution, and look forward to building on GOCOVRI’s growth momentum so that more patients can benefit from access to Adamas’ innovative neurological therapies."

Once again, biotech - along with residential housing construction - remain the only bright spots in an otherwise moribund and stagnant Montgomery County economy. This is largely because the smart decisions that led to the growth of Montgomery's biotech sector were made before those who wrecked the County's economy took office in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Supernus is located at 9715 Key West Avenue in Rockville.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Inotiv to lease space in Rockville after acquiring Biolreliance genetic toxicology unit


Inotiv
, an Indiana-based non-clinical contract research organization, has acquired the genetic toxicology unit of MilliporeSigma’s BioReliance portfolio. While MilliporeSigma 's parent Merck is headquartered in Germany, it has a Bioreliance facility at 14920 Broschart Road in Rockville. As a result, Inotiv announced plans today to lease space in Rockville near that Bioreliance facility "to help boost its new buy," Fierce Biotech's Ben Adams reported this morning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Pence visits U.S. Public Health Service headquarters in Rockville

Vice-President Mike Pence donned a mask to visit the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Rockville yesterday. He was joined by members of the Trump administration's Coronavirus Task Force, including U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Dr. Stephan Hahn of the Food and Drug Administration.

Pence said "it is a particular honor to be here at the headquarters of the United States Public Health Service," and thanked "the women and men who wear the blue uniforms across the country and have served our nation with such distinction and compassion over the past four months." He reported that 28 states currently have rising numbers of coronavirus cases or rising percentages of positive Covid-19 tests. 12 states have both, he added. And four states currently account for half of the total cases in America at the moment.

Admiral Giroir said that self-administered home nasal swab test kits will be the next leap in testing across the country. He predicted that up to 50 million tests will be available by September.

Hahn described himself as "cautiously optimistic" about the timetable for making a Covid-19 vaccine available to the public. Almost all of the speakers stressed the importance of wearing masks until such a vaccine is widely available. 

"If you want the return of college football this year, wear a face covering.  If you want a chance at prom next spring, wear a face covering," urged Dr. Adams, who couldn't resist playing to the home crowd in Rockville - at least to those who remember the pre-Big-10 days of local college basketball. "I had an interview earlier with a North Carolina radio station...if you want to see North Carolina beat Duke in person this year, wear a face covering. And I grew up in Maryland and in Indiana, so, sorry, Duke, but I...as long as somebody beats you, I’m okay with that," he said to laughter from attendees.

Photos via Office of the Vice-President

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gilead's Remdesivir effective in Rockville study of monkeys with coronavirus covid-19

A study at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases {(NIAID) in Rockville has shown that pharmaceutical firm Gilead's experimental Remdesivir anti-viral treatment slowed the progression of the covid-19 coronavirus in monkeys infected with the virus. It also reduced lung damage.

Early administration of the drug made it more effective, according to a report on the study by HospiMedica.com. The drug did not reduce the monkey's shedding of the virus while infected, however, which means they would remain contagious even while on Remdesivir, if this study's finding holds in further clinical testing.

The NIAID is at 5601 Fishers Lane in the Twinbrook area of Rockville.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Rockville biotech firm begins COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine test

BIOQUAL, a Rockville-based biotech firm, announced Tuesday that it has begun in-vivo testing of coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines. The company, founded in 1981, said that it has been developing animal models for a vaccine since February in partnership with Dr. Dan Barouch at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Ragon Institute, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

BIOQUAL has previously been active in vaccine development against AIDS, Hepatitis, Zika, and Chikungunya, to name a few. The firm is located at 9600 Medical Center Drive.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Montgomery County fumbles Eli Lilly factory to North Carolina

Indianapolis residents now know what it feels like to live in Montgomery County. Just as moribund MoCo can't get one of its few remaining major companies - Lockheed - to locate its manufacturing facilities here, neither could Indy get hometown pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to build its new manufacturing facility in the Hoosier capital. Lilly is looking south instead, choosing Durham County, North Carolina's booming Research Triangle Park.

"We continue to grow North Carolina into a worldwide hub for the biotechnology industry," a jubilant North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said in a statement Tuesday.

Biotech and hospitality are the only two economic sectors in Montgomery County that even have a pulse these days, thanks to decisions made by wiser County leaders prior to the Montgomery County political cartel's seizure of the County Council in 2002 (today, the cartel controls all nine Council seats). But just days after the Washington Post reported once again that Montgomery County has fallen behind Prince George's County in job creation (while failing to report MoCo was also behind every other county in the region over the last decade in that department), Montgomery County's elected officials weren't able to score the biggest biotech get of the year so far - the Eli Lilly factory.

Not only did the County Council and economic development officials make no public campaign to attract Lilly, but their fumble also emphasizes how our inept leaders are squandering the biotech advantages their smarter, less corrupt predecessors left them at the turn of the century. North Carolina is catching up, as is Virginia. As MoCo officials continue to drop balls left and right, those and other states will soon surpass us.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland correctly noted Tuesday that, "North Carolina is one of the nation’s leading centers for innovation in the life sciences." They also have two other things we don't: A friendly business climate, and superior infrastructure.

The Tar Heel state has the Research Triangle Park. Montgomery County was supposed to have a "Science City" in the I-270 corridor. Remember that?

Montgomery County elected officials couldn't even get that done. Of course, they never intended to. "Science City" was a total ruse perpetrated by the Council, and their developer sugar daddies, a decade ago. Sold to you as something like North Carolina's biotech park, that fakeout was merely a Trojan horse for more residential development.

Remember how Clarksburg, Germantown and Shady Grove were going to be booming job centers, with a Corridor Cities Transitway and expanded MARC service? None of that ever happened.

But - the housing all got built.

Jobs continued to divert to Northern Virginia, and I-270 just got more congested with all of the new housing approved by the Council without any new transportation infrastructure to support it. Heckuva job, Brownie!

Now, standing amidst the ashes of a "Science City" ghost town surrounded by stack-and-pack Soviet-style apartment blocs, the Council is saying the whole problem is...there wasn't enough housing built. LOL. [Insert cuckoo clock sound here].

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

What did we lose this week as a result?

462 new pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs, with an average salary above $72,000. 462 jobs are just a drop in the bucket given how stagnant and shrinking Montgomery County's economy is, but we're not in a position to pass any up in such a crisis. We should be, but are not, actively pursuing aerospace, biotech, and defense corporate headquarters, and their related research and manufacturing facilities.

North Carolina's Research Triangle Park's motto is, "Inspiring Bold Ideas."

The Montgomery County Council's is, "Lining our pockets with developer cash."

Our County's should be, "The Bedroom Community for the Booming Job Centers Elsewhere in Our Region."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Rockville firm to employ AI in partnership with major German cosmetics firm

Insilico Medicine, a Rockville biotech firm specializing in artificial intelligence, is going to put AI to work in the skincare field. German cosmetics firm Beiersdorf announced this morning it has entered a partnership with Insilico to apply AI to the search for new active ingredients for skincare products. Beiersdorf owns major brands like Nivea and La Prairie.

In a statement released by Beiersdorf, Insilico CEO Alex Zhavoronkov said the company is "delighted at the chance to prove AI’s potential in the skincare industry moving forward." Beiersdorf’s Senior Corporate VP for Research and Development May Shana called Insilico "the undisputed expert in the field of artificial intelligence." Insilico is located at 9601 Medical Center Drive in Rockville.

Logo courtesy Insilico Medicine

Friday, December 20, 2019

Rockville biotech firm wins $29 million contract from U.S. Army

Rockville biotech firm Cellphire has been awarded a $29,252,092 contract to develop cryopreserved platelets for the U.S. Army. The contract runs through 2026. Cellphire is located at 9430 Key West Avenue. Another reminder that when you are searching in vain for any positive business news in the moribund Montgomery County economy, check the biotech sector, one of the few bright spots in MoCo's last-in-the-region economy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Rockville's Supernus Pharmaceuticals announces record quarter and full-year financial results

Despite a December stock drop, Rockville's Supernus Pharmaceuticals found 2018 overall to be the best year in the company's history. Supernus announced Tuesday that it had its best full-year financial results ever, and 2018 also saw the firm's most successful single quarter results in history, as well.

For the year of 2018, Supernus enjoyed $408.9 million in total revenue, and full-year operating earnings of $144.4 million. Their record 4th quarter reported $115.9 million in total revenue, and operating earnings of $39.9 million. Last month, the company capped off the hot streak with their launch of Oxtellar XR, a partial seizure therapy product.

Biotech continues to be the rare exception in an overall moribund Montgomery County economy. Firms like Supernus and Silver Spring's United Therapeutics - which is completing an ambitious Unisphere campus expansion - have been the only bright spots as Northern Virginia continues to deliver a bruising beatdown in the competition for major corporate headquarters, of which Montgomery County has attracted none in two decades. Until voters force a change in the County's leadership direction on economic development, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope one of these smaller firms can make the leap to the Fortune 500.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Rockville biotech firm's stock soars after successful study results

Rockville biotech firm MacroGenics enjoyed a spike of over 100% in its stock price yesterday, after it received positive test results for its Margetuximab antibody treatment for breast cancer. The Phase-3 clinical study, code-named SOPHIA, found the antibody was 24% more effective than trastuzumab in progression-free survival of test participants. 85% of those in the study had a factor that had not responded to other antibody treatments prior to Margetuximab, MacroGenics reported in a press release Wednesday.

The company believes the antibody also has potential to be effective against gastroesophageal cancer. “We are pleased with the SOPHIA clinical results and are especially grateful to the patients, their caregivers, trial investigators and site personnel who participated in the study. I would also like to thank the entire MacroGenics team and our business partners who worked diligently to bring margetuximab to the clinic and execute the SOPHIA study,” said Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., MacroGenics’ President and CEO.

In moribund Montgomery County, biotech is the only real economic bright spot. With Fortune 500 and other major firms showing no interest in locating in Montgomery, our only hope at this point - barring an election defeat for our corrupt political cartel - is for an existing company like this to someday achieve such status. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rockville biotech firm gets green light for testing of treatment for high-risk skin cancers

Rockville biotech firm NeoImmuneTech has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the effectiveness of a new combination treatment for high-risk skin cancers. With partner Genexine, NeoImmuneTech will try the combination of Hyleukin-7 (IL-7-hyFc) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq ® ) to tackle these cancer cases.

Hyleukin-7 is NeoImmuneTech's flagship product. The multi-center, open-label trial will be conducted in the United States, the company announced yesterday.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Rockville biotech firm partners with Chinese firm on cancer drugs

Rockville's Ascentage Pharma has entered into a partnership with Chinese firm Genor Biopharma to research if combinations of their cancer inhibitor drugs would be more effective than as standalone products. The proposed research and therapies would target solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Ascentage itself is a Chinese firm with its U.S. office in Rockville, and is a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Rockville biotech firm stock drops despite positive drug trial results

Rockville-based Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. had a good news-bad news Thursday. The company received the key positive results they had hoped for from two trials of their SPN-812 drug, designed to treat ADHD in children. Study results showed that the Supernus formula acts faster and has fewer side effects than the existing generic options.

But industry analysts declared the drug was still not superior enough to the two generics on the market to differentiate itself, and shares in Supernus fell almost 16% yesterday. The company says it remains optimistic that the small number of treatment options available still gives their product a niche in the market. “We believe these data from the two pivotal Phase III studies, which are consistent with the Phase IIb data, demonstrate that SPN-812 is a well-differentiated novel non-stimulant treatment option for many children with ADHD," Supernus CEO Jack Khattar said Thursday.

Friday, November 23, 2018

GSK Biopharm seeking "best and brightest" for its Rockville expansion

Rockville pharmaceutical manufacturer GSK Biopharm is recruiting new employees for its expanded facility. The firm held an informational reception for potential employees at True Respite Brewery last week. Biotech is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise-moribund Montgomery County economy, and GSK is in the process of a $139 million expansion.

“Working at GSK Rockville has been an extremely rewarding experience for me," GSK Supply Chain Logistics Specialist Andrew Buscemi told BioBuzz, an online publication about the regional biotech industry. "The work we do here is very engaging and truly makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Buscemi, "The opportunity to provide life-changing medicines to people is further enhanced by the people and positive culture here at Rockville.  Site leaders are very purposeful in cultivating a sustainable work-life integration, which is one reason I hope to stay with GSK for a long time to come.”

Prospective employees can fill out a Recruitment Survey form online.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Rockville biotech firm partners with Michael J. Fox Foundation on Parkinson's research effort

Vigene Biosciences, a biotech firm based in Rockville, has partnered with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to further research on Parkinson's disease treatment. The partnership will make viral vectors that target alpha-synuclein, a substance that clumps in the brains of Parkinson's patients, more readily available to researchers in 2018.

"We are pleased to have taken this step to make critical Parkinson's disease research tools more accessible to the wider research community," Dr. Zairen Sun, Vigene's CEO, said in a statement. "We believe that a key way to accelerate therapeutic development for Parkinson's patients is to provide validated viral vectors, that will enable researchers to obtain quality data, so that they focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Washington Property Co. acquires 2nd I-270 corridor office building, as CubeSmart opens (Photos)

Washington Property Company announced yesterday that it has acquired a second office building in the same I-270 corridor office park where it has just converted another one into a self-storage facility. That facility, under the CubeSmart brand, has just opened at 4 Research Place in Rockville.

WPC is more bullish on office space with the second building, 1 Research Court, which it and partner Alex. Brown Realty, Inc. plan to continue to operate as an office property. The partners acquired it for about $17 million. Built in 2001, the office building is 89% occupied by 14 tenants. WPC plans to upgrade the building's lobby, elevators, bathrooms and fitness center, to maintain its competitive edge in the market.

“We believe that our planned value-add improvements, along with a dearth of new supply, will increase this property’s appeal to small- and medium-sized businesses, including those in the life sciences," WPC principal Andrew Eshelman said in a statement yesterday. Life sciences and biotech are two bright spots in the moribund Montgomery County private sector economy, and the 270 corridor is the place to be for those industries.

CubeSmart is one of the top four self-storage brands in America, and space can be rented now either online, or by visiting the site in-person. If you've driven past on 270 recently, you've probably noticed the new building facade that faces the highway. The building has 715 climate-controlled storage units, and indoor, air-conditioned corridors to reach them.

Photos courtesy Washington Property Company