Pioneer retains ties with Genetic Therapy
W. French Anderson, who pioneered the use of genes to treat illness, has agreed to continue his close relationship with Genetic Therapy Inc.
The Gaithersburg company was formed primarily on Dr. Anderson's research. And when he decided to leave the National Institutes of Health this summer so his wife could become chief surgeon at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, there was speculation that the firm would suffer.
But Dr. Anderson and his new employer, the University of Southern California School of Medicine, recently signed collaborative agreements with the company.
Under the deal, Dr. Anderson will be the principal investigator for gene therapy research funded by GTI at the university. He also will serve as chairman of GTI's Scientific Advisory Board and as its consultant.
GTI will receive exclusive worldwide rights to sell and market products that result from the work and the company will make royalty payments to USC.
Dr. Anderson was chief of the Molecular Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and is considered one of the nation's leading surgeons using gene therapy.
GTI makes vectors -- viruses cleansed of the material that makes you sick. Because viruses are good at getting into the DNA of a cell, doctors have begun using them as a transportation system for sending genes into the body.
Dr. Anderson inserts genes into cells in a patient's body. Those ++ genes usually produce a protein to treat a medical condition.
Grant to Cryomedical for blood substitute
Rockville-based Cryomedical Sciences Inc. has received a $50,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a blood substitute solution designed to protect the body when it is exposed to extreme cold as part of a medical treatment.
The company, which has 54 employees, specializes in making medical devices that use low temperatures to treat cancer. One of their devices, the AccuProbe, kills a tumor by freezing it.
The blood substitute could be used during surgery on trauma patients or during heart surgery, when a patient's temperature is lowered.
The grant was awarded as part of a program to help small businesses continue research related to product development.
The company can apply for $500,000 in a second phase of the program.
Gaudreau to assist in planning by NIH
It may not be Gaudreau Inc.'s biggest contract and it won't get the Baltimore architectural firm a building to design, but the firm's officials are excited nonetheless.
The firm is part of a group chosen to help the National Institutes of Health prepare its 20-year master plan, according to William A. L. Gaudreau, the senior vice president in charge of research facility planning.
Over the two-year contract, the firm's architects will interview scientists to find out what their work is expected to be like over the next two decades and what kind of space they will need.
Gaudreau Inc. is part of a team headed by Oudens & Knoop Architects and Keyes Condon Florance Eichbaum Esocoff Kin Architects, the lead firm, in Washington.
Gaudreau, a 30-member firm that has done work for life sciences companies, including Crop Genetics International, will be the biotech and biomedical team specialist. Like other architectural firms in Baltimore, Gaudreau is building a practice in the medical and biotechnology industry.
NIH, the world's leading medical research institution, has several campuses outside its Bethesda headquarters and at least 80 buildings. The Bethesda campus alone has 7 million square feet of research space.
High-tech partners sought by Wallonia
Wallonians were in Baltimore last week looking for business partners for their tiny high-tech companies.
It's too soon to tell whether any business relationships will evolve, said Karen J. Russell, who manages the Alpha Center, a home for small businesses at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Research Campus. But she hopes that one of the center's companies will become a distributor for a Wallonian company.
"It fulfills the goals I have because it begins to focus the Alpha Center internationally," she said.
The Walloon region of Belgium has some of the same economic woes as Baltimore: aging steel mills and a declining manufacturing base. And like Baltimore, it has decided to remake its economy with high-technology companies. Because of a sister city relationship with Baltimore, the Wallonians have decided to focus their international economic development efforts on Baltimore among six other foreign cities.
Biotechnology article leaves out the city
If biotech is booming in Baltimore, it's a well-kept secret.
Business Week's Oct. 19 cover story focuses on the nation's new growth regions, but the city doesn't get a spot on the accompanying map.
Hunt Valley, meanwhile, is dubbed "Silicon Strip," with companies there focused on software and medical technology. As examples, the story mentions Microprose Inc. and Integrated Health Services Inc.
As hot biotech areas, the story touts "Medical Mile," outside Philadelphia, and "Medical Alley" in Minneapolis.
Also missing from the list: the Boston suburbs and North Carolina's Research Triangle.