Maryland Awards $1 Million to Five Biotech Small Businesses

In effort to spur commercialization and advance treatments for cancer and other diseases, the Maryland Biotechnology Center (MBC) announced earlier this month that it awarded a total of $1 million to five promising life sciences companies through its Biotechnology Commercialization Awards and Translational Research awards. The companies, which received up to $200,000 each, will use the funding to advance cancer therapies, ensure food safety, more quickly detect infectious disease and develop more efficient cardiac repair.

Now in their third year, the awards have assisted 13 Maryland life sciences companies and three university research projects with nearly $3.1 million in funding and are a key component of Governor Martin O’Malley’s Bio 2020 initiative.

Applications for the next round of FY2012 awards are due February 15, 2012. The Maryland Biotechnology Center is part of the State’s business and economic development agency, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

The Translational Research Award seeks to stimulate the movement of early stage bioscience research into the development of viable products or services. Companies receiving awards this round include two from Gaithersburg focused on cancer therapies, NexImmune and BetaCat; and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University spin-out GrayBug for its Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) therapy.

The Biotechnology Commercialization Award provides funding for companies that have successfully reached milestones toward product commercialization. Two Baltimore based companies received these awards: Harpoon, a University of Maryland spin-out focused on mitral valve heart repair; and PathSensors, an environmental and food testing company, to extend its biosensor product line to include Campylobacter detection.

Companies and institutions with promising technologies under development are encouraged to apply for the next round of awards at www.marylandbiocenter.org.

More information can be found here and here.

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