Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that the State, through the BioMaryland Center, has awarded nearly $1.5 million to seven innovative life sciences companies and one educational institution through its Biotechnology Development Awards program. The companies, which received up to $200,000 each, will use the funding to accelerate the commercialization of a wide range of treatments and technologies; including a device that detects concussions in youths engaged in sports; a tool that takes a minimally invasive approach to mitral valve repair; and a drug to reduce eye injections for macular degeneration. An award was also given to a Johns Hopkins University researcher who is developing a device to lessen certain risks involved with cardiac ablation.
“Because of the better choice to invest in initiatives that create jobs and support our growing Innovation Economy, Maryland is well positioned to expand our global leadership and competitiveness,” said Governor O’Malley. “These awards are critical to ensuring the groundbreaking research being done here in Maryland has the opportunity to move to the commercial marketplace.”
Since its inception in 2010, more than $6 million has been awarded through the program to 32 Maryland life science companies. It is a key component of Governor O’Malley’s Bio 2020 initiative. The BioMaryland Center is part of the State’s business and economic development agency, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).
“The program already has yielded multiple success stories. Three previous awardees—Gliknik, Telcare, and Unither Virology–collectively have raised more than $100 million after using their biotechnology development award funds to advance the early stages of their technology,” said Dr. Judith Britz, Executive Director of the BioMaryland Center. “We are proud of the work these innovators are doing and anticipate the Center’s investments will help them move their technologies from research to reality.”
Awardees this round include:
•AsclepiX Therapeutics, LLC (Baltimore) –a long-lasting drug which would reduce the number of eye injections for macular degeneration and improve patient vision.
•Brain Sentry, Inc. (Bethesda) – helmet mounted sensors which detect and count possible concussive injury hits for youth engaged in sports.
•Clear Guide Medical (Baltimore) – ultrasound guided technology to make needle biopsy more accurate, faster, and safer.
•Cordex Systems, Inc. (Annapolis) –an enhanced blood pressure cuff to measure endothelial dysfunction, the earliest indicator of atherosclerosis.
•Harpoon Medical Inc. (Stevensville) – a surgical tool which will enable surgeons to reliably repair the mitral valve using a minimally invasive beating-heart approach.
•Otomagnetics (College Park) – a magnetic particle drug delivery system for treatment of sudden hearing loss and eventually common ear infections.
•Vasoptic Medical Inc. (Columbia) – a low-cost portable retinal imaging instrument for early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy affecting 1 in 3 diabetics.
•Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) – a system which assists with securing the puncture site during cardiac ablation therapy to compensate for the beating heart.