Vital Signs: The Weekly Roundup

Here's your weekly dose of Washington area biotech and health care news, by biotech reporter Kendra Marr:

*CEL-SCI Corp. of Vienna opened its $22 million manufacturing facility on Oct. 8. The new facility, located in Elkridge, will make the company's lead drug Multikine, which harnesses the body's immune system to fight cancer. The company is also working with the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center to examine molecular changes to tumors treated with Multikine.

*Bethesda's Chindex International opened its newest clinic, the Guangzhou United Family Health Center, in southern China. The company aims to reinforce its brand and build a patient population to prepare for its Guangzhou United Family Hospital, which opens in 2010 to target China's upper and middle classes.

*The National Institutes of Health launched a new Web site to educate parents and health care providers about children's medical research. The Web site explains these how clinical trials are conducted in youth. It also details the rewards and challenges of participating in experimental studies.

*MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals of Germantown hired eight new members to its management team. Last month shareholders installed two former executives from Adams Respiratory Therapeutics to the helm of the company. John S. Thievon, the new chief executive, and David Becker, the new chief financial officer, were tasked with building a commercially-focused team to market Moxatag, MiddleBrook's novel strep throat treatment. Seven out of these eight new hires previously worked at Adams. Read about them here.

*Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, working with the county's department of economic development, formed the new 34-member Montgomery County Biosciences Task Force. Chaired by David Mott, former MedImmune chief executive and now a general partner with New Enterprise Associates, the task force will help build public and private partnerships, as well as attract new companies to the region. Last year, the life sciences industry in the county generated $2.42 billion in revenues and employed about 60,000 workers. Read about the task force's goals and members here.

*Bridge Laboratories in Gaithersburg was awarded a five-year, $4.1 million contract by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to do toxicological evaluation for potential medications used to treat drug abuse.

*The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded Integrated BioTherapeutics, headquartered in Germantown, a contract for up to $65.2 million to develop a vaccine against the Ebola and Marburg viruses.

*Inova Health System has partnered with the Department of Defense to train military spouses interested in health-care careers. According to the department, about 675,000 military spouses are married to active-duty military personnel. Of these, 77 percent said they want or need to work.

By Dan Beyers  |  October 10, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  | Category:  Vital Signs
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