APRIL 2021

Posted By: Caron Trumbo CEO Letters,

Posted By Caron Trumbo, Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Members and Friends,

We hope that you have made it safely through Spring break and have your eyes on a long-awaited and well-deserved summer escape! Our members continue to be busy delivering life-saving biotechnology as we “round the corner” in our collective fight against the pandemic and other illnesses. The Virginia Bio team stands ready to inform, support and connect you as you pursue our mutual objective: to improve health for all.

Speaking of informing Virginians about life-saving biotechnology…

It’s Finally Here! The 5th Annual Symposium (Virtual) of the Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium:

“VirginiaDrugDiscoveryRX: Coronavius Therapeutics, Present and Future” May 26-27, 2021.

Virginia is extremely fortunate to have nationally recognized scientists and thought leaders in drug discovery. At no time has this become clearer than during this current pandemic, with several vitally important drug discoveries for SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases being led by Virginia institutions. The Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium is a collective of preeminent drug discovery scientists from Virginia’s universities and research institutions, which strives to foster inter-institutional and private sector collaboration and enhance Virginia’s attractiveness to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Virginia Bio is once again a proud sponsor of VADDC’s vitally important symposium, which will have scientists and researchers from Virginia and beyond showcase their latest breakthroughs and successes. The symposium also serves as a medium to network and build entrepreneurial activities that may eventually lead to company formation. There will be four sessions each headed by a Keynote Address, several invited talks and short virtual poster presentations by students/postdocs. Please click here for registration and sponsorship opportunities.

Virginia Bio Advocacy for the Industry: Virginia Chamber of Commerce Blueprint 2030—Take the Survey and Be Heard!

Our ecosystem is growing by leaps and bounds, and our Commonwealth policy leaders must continue supporting biotechnology innovation. Every four years, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce develops a state-wide strategic plan—a Blueprint—to steer the growth of Virginia’s varied industries. For the first time, Virginia Bio is on the Executive Committee for the Virginia Chamber’s Blueprint Virginia process. Blueprint Virginia 2030 will be presented to Virginia’s incoming Governor-elect at the Chamber’s Economic Summit in December 2021. The Chamber will collect input by bringing together leaders in business, economic development, workforce, education, housing, and other community representatives to ensure statewide representation of priorities for Virginia’s economic prosperity. Virginia Bio’s work on the Innovation and Technology Committee will help us create focus on the biotechnology industry specifically, including Virginia’s opportunity to become the national leader in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing. Biotechnology as an industry has heretofore not been emphasized in prior Blueprints.

We ask that you lend your voice to this process. From May 5 to August 11, the Chamber will host a series of regional virtual meetings, in partnership with its network of local, regional, and other chambers of commerce. Please participate in this Virtual Regional Tour and Survey to have our industry’s voice heard as this Blueprint is drafted.

2021 State Science and Engineering Fair Winners.

Earlier this month, Virginia Bio participated in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, sponsored by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, by presenting the Mark Licata Award for Biotechnology. The first-place project was titled "Study on the Application of 3D Artificial Skin Structure to induce Immune Response to Blood Cells of Allergens" the second-place winner was titled "The Battle of the Agents: The Effect of Different EDTA Chelating Agents on the Antimicrobial Activity present within a Bacterial Growth Medium" and the third-place winner was titled “SeizureSeeker: A Novel Approach to Epileptic Seizure Detection Using Machine Learning”. This would not have been possible without our helpful volunteers from member, kaleo. Special thanks to Mike Roe, Breanne Gjurich, Zach Klein, Emily Rafferty and Rachael Griffiths.

Women Building Bio 2021 is Just Around the Corner…

Save the date for September 30th to join our 6th year of Women Building Bio. This year's event will focus on connection and collaboration, and will feature exciting new ways to communicate with each other during the event! We are planning a "hybrid virtual" event; affording an opportunity for attendees to gather in small groups across the Commonwealth if desired. We are looking for your interests, experiences, speaker ideas as we create the program for another “can’t miss” event. Please contact Amy Rose at rose.amy@vabio.org if you would like to contribute your ideas, and Frank Wilton at wilton.frank@vabio.org to sponsor this event.

Upcoming Events:

Please click here to see the most current information and registration links for all of Virginia Bio’s and our industry’s events. Here is a brief summary of upcoming events, as of this writing:

  • May 26-27, 2021: Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium Virtual Annual Conference: “VirginiaDrugDiscoveryRX: Coronavius Therapeutics, Present and Future.” Once again sponsored by Virginia Bio, this annual conference will bring together keynote speakers from across the ecosystem to discuss drug discovery breakthroughs in SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases.

  • June 8, 2021: Association of University Research Parks BIO Health Caucus Showcase of State Bio Economies: How States, Industry, Universities, and Research Parks Are Working To Build Communities of Bio Innovation. Virginia Bio will represent Virginia and speak our Virginia Bio Connect partnership.

  • June 24, 2021: Southeast Life Science Women & SE Color PitchRounds, June 24 (Virtual). From the announcement: “Women@SLS and SE Color are combining forces for a day of innovative pitches, leadership development, and thought-provoking content from industry experts from across the country. On Thursday, June 24, we will kick off the day with the SE Color PitchRounds at 9:00 am. This will feature presentations from leading minority-led life science companies from around the region. Companies will compete for a $10,000 prize!”

  • September 13-14, 2021: BioHealth Capital Region Virtual Forum, September 13-14. For the 7th straight year Virginia Bio is co-hosting this regional event. More importantly, Virginia is taking a leading role in forming and placing Virginia companies on several panels under the theme “BigBio…Big Data..Converging.” Last year’s event saw over 1000 registered.

  • September 30, 2021: Women Building Bio 2021! Save the date for September 30th for this annual event!

  • October 27-29, 2021: Southeast Life Sciences AdvanSE Annual Conference and PitchRounds, October 27-29, Charleston, SC. This is the southeast’s main event for the biopharma, medtech, diagnostic, and digital health industries wishing to do business in the region. It will also include PitchRounds, Southeast Life Sciences’ annual small company pitch presentation. We encourage our members to attend the AdvanSE and PitchRounds.

Your Ideas.

Virginia Bio wants to hear from you! Contact us at questions@vabio.org with your ideas, comments, suggestions and advice regarding how Virginia Bio can best support you and our biotechnology ecosystem.

Please stay safe and let us know how we can help you. Thank you for all that you do to make Virginia’s life science ecosystem stronger!


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