Tag: Allakos


Good News: February 2018

Good News: February 2018

Startup News

    • Shortly after raising $11 million in series B funding, Protenus CEO Nick Culbertson announced that the Baltimore startup plans to nearly double the size of its team. Culbertson said the 30 hires will likely be sourced locally. The FastForward startup analyzes and protects health care data for health systems across the country and saw its revenue grow twentyfold in 2017. Technical.ly


    • The Maryland Tech Council named two FastForward companies among the finalists for its annual Industry Awards Celebration. Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) is vying to be named Life Science Company of the Year, and its CEO Doug Ward is up for Chief Executive Officer of the Year. Protenus is a finalist for the Emerging Company of the Year award. The Maryland Tech Council will announce the winners on May 17. Maryland Tech Council


    • According to a synopsis from Protenus, health care organizations reported 477 data breaches to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the media. These breaches affected 5.6 million patient records. Healthcare Informatics


    • Inspired by his mother’s experience managing multiple chronic conditions, Sathya Elumalai is developing a portable, handheld device that records key vital signs in just 30 seconds. Elumalai is commercializing the technology through his FastForward startup Multisensor Diagnostics. TMC News


    • BurnAlong, a fitness startup that participated in the M-1 Ventures accelerator, announced that it raised $1 million in an oversubscribed round. Based in Owings Mills, MD, BurnAlong offers streaming fitness classes through partnerships with fitness instructors and gyms. Technical.ly


    • Emocha Mobile Health, a tenant in FastForward 1812, hired Thomas A. Carroll as its chief operating officer. Carroll, who co-founded RuxtonPark Healthcare Capital, will help the company expand into new markets among other duties. MobiHealthNews,Technical.ly


    • Fast Company named emocha Mobile Health one of its 10 most innovative businesses in the health sector, citing its technology that makes “medication management mobile-friendly.” Other brands ranked alongside emocha include CVS Health and 23andMe. Fast Company


    • Sunrise Health and b.well are two of 24 digital health startups participating in the Texas Medical Center Accelerator. Founded by Johns Hopkins students and a member of the Social Innovation Lab’s 2016-2017 cohort, Sunrise provides text-based group support for behavioral health patients that utilizes artificial intelligence tools. One of two winners of $25,000 at the M-1 Ventures accelerator, b.well aggregates patient health care data by providing incentivized care coordination, along with concierge and matching services. MedCity News


    • The St. Louis-based accelerator program Capital Innovators selected FastForward startup Vision Interchange as one of six startups in its spring investment round. The 12-week program will provide the e-commerce company that lets consumers trade eyewear with a $100,000 investment. KMOX

Social Ventures

    • Alex Riehm has taken over as the director of SIL. Formerly a deputy director with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Riehm assumed the SIL leadership role in November and aims to build a “continuum of service for anyone with a good idea in Baltimore.” Technical.ly


    • Baltimore Magazine’s list of 30 visionaries who are shaping the city’s future. The publication recognized FactoryFour CEO Param Shah for his work to bring manufacturing into the digital age. Shantell Roberts received recognition for her work through Touching Young Lives which provides safe sleeping spaces for babies. Baltimore Magazine


    • A member of the 2017-2018 SIL cohort, Mera Kitchen Collective has pop-up dinners, offers catering and hosts other food-focused events as a means of empowering Baltimore’s refugee and immigrant community. In a podcast, the Mera Kitchen Collective team explains Baltimore’s long-time role as a haven for refugees, the state of the city’s refugee community and how its efforts will help this population overcome barriers. Cureate


    • A member of this year’s SIL cohort, Hosts for Humanity matches volunteer hosts with patient families seeking a place to stay while loved ones receive care at local medical institutions. Since January 6, the venture has placed four people with hosts for a total of 40 days, saving the families over $5,600. Baltimore Business Journal (subscription required)

Innovation News

    • A single experimental blood test called CancerSEEK could one day enable clinicians to simultaneously screen for multiple early stage tumors. The test detected 98 percent of ovarian and liver tumors. Joshua Cohen, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine student, says the test will need to be validated in a more real-world setting. BioWorld Today


    • A technology that focuses ultrasound waves could be tomorrow’s solution for treating brain tumors. A group of entrepreneurs from Johns Hopkins are looking to build on the Hopkins-born idea, which would serve as an alternative to invasive surgery. The group has received $250,000 in grant funding from TEDCO and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.
      Baltimore Business Journal

Johns Hopkins News

    • A $50 million gift from the United Arab Emirates has enabled Johns Hopkins to establish a new institute for stroke research and clinical care. The Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute in Baltimore will use engineering skills, artificial intelligence and precision medicine to improve diagnoses, treatments and restorative functions for stroke patients. Baltimore Business Journal


    • A private developer will receive $800,000 in state grants to help complete 15,000 square feet of retail space at the new Marriott Residence Inn on Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus. This is the latest investment in the East Baltimore Development Inc.’s redevelopment of the Eager Park community. Baltimore Business Journal


    • To kick off the spring semester, four dozen Johns Hopkins underclassmen visited workplaces across Baltimore to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work in city government, health care and other industries. The tour included a visit to a FastForward U innovation hub, which provides space and co-working opportunities for student innovators and entrepreneurs. The Hub

Baltimore News

    • Southwest: The Magazine hailed Baltimore as “the city you’re missing” and “the most underrated city in America” in its issue released on February 1. The magazine’s editorial director touted the city’s strong entrepreneurial spirit, hip workspaces, burgeoning arts scene, friendliness and foodie scene. Baltimore Sun


    • The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would incentivize making early-stage investments into local startups by offering angel investors tax credits. Del. Brooke Lierman, the bill’s lead sponsor, says, “We want to make sure we can capitalize on (Maryland’s growing number of startups) and on the growing entrepreneurial spirit in Maryland.” Baltimore Business Journal, Technical.ly


    • Eight startups will compete for $100,000 in prizes at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Up/Start Venture Competition. The third annual event was open to class of 2018 MICA students and alumni from the class of 2017. SIL’s Alex Riehm was one of the judges who selected the finalists. The finale will occur on April 4. Baltimore Business Journal


    • A new innovation space in Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood has begun growing a number of businesses in Baltimore. The CO-OP at Maryland Ave. opened in 2017 and already has a number of tenants, including a steel and metal broker, a carpet installer and a nonprofit. Technical.ly



Allakos Expands License Agreement with The Johns Hopkins University…

Allakos, Inc. today announced the expansion of a license agreement with The Johns Hopkins University relating to the intellectual property of Siglec-8, a potential therapeutic target for a variety of diseases related to inflammation and fibrosis, and antibodies to Siglec-8. Under the expanded agreement, Allakos has exclusive rights to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine patents and intellectual property covering antibodies to Siglec-8 for therapeutic or diagnostic use.

“Siglec-8 is an inhibitory receptor present exclusively on mast cells, eosinophils and basophils,” said Bruce Bochner, MD, the Samuel M. Feinberg Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University. “Antibodies to this receptor have potential for use in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of inflammatory and allergic diseases in which Siglec-8 expressing cells play a role in the biology of the disease.” Dr. Bochner is a co-inventor of the licensed technology and co-founder of Allakos, and is also formerly Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Allakos has made rapid progress in developing therapeutic antibodies targeting Siglec-8,” commented Dr. Robert Schleimer, the Roy and Elaine Patterson Professor and Chief of Allergy and Immunology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and formerly Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The company has demonstrated activity of these antibodies in a number of preclinical models, and is currently conducting clinical studies with these antibodies in indications where mast cells or eosinophils are known to play a role in the disease.” Professor Schleimer is also a co-inventor of the licensed technology and co-founder of Allakos.

Christopher Bebbington, Chief Executive Officer of Allakos, said, “We are delighted to expand our license agreement with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We continue to strengthen our intellectual property position relating to antibodies to Siglec-8 for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, including our lead antibody candidates AK001 and AK002, both of which target the Siglec-8 receptor.”


About Allakos

Allakos, a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company, is a scientific leader in the field of mast cell and eosinophil biology focusing on the central role these immune system cells play in the pathology of severe inflammatory, fibrotic and proliferative diseases. The company is developing therapeutic antibodies that target a key receptor, Siglec-8, on the surface of mast cells and eosinophils and selectively inhibit the cells’ activity or deplete them from blood and tissues. Antibodies against Siglec-8 offer potential for the development of a broad range of proprietary first-in-class treatments for both serious illnesses affecting large patient populations and rare diseases for which no effective treatments exist. The company currently has two drug candidates in clinical development. AK001 is in a Phase 2 trial for patients with moderate to severe nasal polyposis (with or without asthma). AK002 is in Phase 1 trials in healthy volunteers and in patients with systemic mastocytosis. The company also has a third program focused on development of antibodies that target a novel checkpoint inhibitor for immuno-oncology applications. For further information, please visit http://www.allakos.com.



Allakos Contact
Simon Greenwood, 650-597-5002
Chief Business Officer
Media Contacts
Nicole Litchfield
Joan Kureczka

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