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The Legislative Reception is your opportunity to meet, network, share your views and learn from members of the Maine State Legislature. Come speak face-to-face with Legislators, hear about BAM's policy priorities, and learn about the major topics for the 2016 legislative session. Issues like tax policy, economic development incentives, higher education, workforce and transportation are important to your bottom line. Legislators need to hear from the life science business community. Be part of this conversation and RSVP today.
Scientists at Maine Medical Center Research Institute led by Dr. Leif Oxburgh succedeed at growing a tiny piece of kidney in their lab, a scientific achievement that could change the way the world treats kidney disease. This technology could potentially eliminate, or greatly reduce the need for kidney transplants. The minuscule components Oxburgh has grown – held together with silk – could eventually lead to full laboratory-grown organs. Currently the average wait time for those hoping for an organ transplant in the U.S. is 3.6 years. “Some people can’t tolerate the immune therapy, the anti-rejection drugs. This could open up transplants to a huge group of patients who could never get one” said Dr. Oxburgh. Read full story here
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland is receiving a $6.5 million grant from NASA to create a new educational program focused on science knowledge and problem-solving related to climate change. The new educational content will be delivered to 10,000 5th and 6th graders from Maine who visit GMRI each year. Work at GMRI will begin immediately, and new programming content is expected to be available for the 2018-2019 school year. Read full story
The federal government is giving more than $3.3 million in grants for biomedical research and medical device manufacturing to Jackson Lab and the town of Presque Isle. The Economic Development Administration is giving more than $1.8 million to Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor to help build a biomedical facility. It is also giving more than $1.5 million to the city of Presque Isle to develop a city-owned industrial building to accommodate the expansion of an orthodontic and medical device manufacturer Acme Monaco. The grants may help create more than 400 new jobs in the area. Read full story here
A new marine business and research incubator called the New England Ocean Cluster House is being developed on Portland’s waterfront that is modeled after a similar incubator in Reykavik, Iceland. University of New England is co-sponsoring this project, led by Patrick Arnold, the majority owner of the Ocean House. In a written statement, UNE President said "With this new strategic vision at the Marine Science Center, our students focus on the integration of science with the changing nature of coastal tourism, marine policy, aquaculture, fisheries, and entrepreneurship. Experiences afforded them by the New England Ocean Cluster House in research, policy and product development will further them along their career paths and will contribute to the economic vitality of the state and the nation." Read full story
A new program is being launched in Bangor, Maine, to help early stage companies test, improve and figure out how to commercialize their ideas in a short time frame. Scratchpad is a seed accelerator that will allow entrepreneurs fully commit to developing their business fast and with no distractions. The applicants need to have a team of 2-3 people working on their startup full time for a period of 3 months and need to be in Bangor for that time. The awarded will be given funding, daily access to coaches, problem solvers and mentors. The program starts the week of August 31 and the application deadline is August 28. The Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute. To learn on the application process, please go here. If you are part of an established company and interested in becoming a mentor, please go here.
Seth Berry, a former Maine Legislator and majority leader is transitioning into private sector with Kennebec River Biosciences, Mainebiz reports. Mr. Berry served in the Maine Legislature for eight years (2006–14). In January, Berry was hired by Richmond-based Kennebec River Biosciences as vice president for international business development. "It's really an exciting space, the innovation that's happening in Maine, just as it is in Silicon Valley or the beltway in Boston. Maine is clearly doing some great things" said Mr. Berry. Read full story here
Available through the U.S Department of Labor, the Make It In America Grant provides funds for incumbent workers' training for biotech companies in 8 Maine counties: York, Sagadahoc, Kennebec, Cumberland, Lincoln, Androscoggin, Waldo and Knox. Training must result in an industry-recognized credential within the industry sector for the employee.
The House passed legislation Friday that aims to speed the development of new drugs and medical devices by increasing health research funding and streamlining the approval process for new treatments. The bill, called 21st Century Cures, was cheered by rare across-the-aisle support from politicians, with 230 co-sponsors nearly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. The pharmaceutical industry, Biotechnology Industry Organization, patient advocacy groups, and medical organizations also support the bill, which calls for an additional $8.75 billion for the National Institutes of Health. Now the debate on whether the benefits of this legislation are worth its risks moves to the Senate. Read full story
Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor is receiving a $392,463 federal grant to support research for treatment of various diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. "This funding will support the laboratory as it strives to develop medications and treatments for diseases affecting countless Americans and their families every day." U.S. Sens. Suzan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement. Read full story
Bioscience Association of Maine (BAM), in collaboration with Bioscience Industry Organization (BIO) is proud to announce that 2 new partners have been added to its cost savings program. The new offerings include savings on executive liability insurance through AON Risk Solutions, and environmental waste services through Clean Harbors. BAM members will now be able to obtain significant discounts on services. Read full story
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) approved four new awards from its Cluster Initiative Program (CIP) for collaborative projects that boost Maine’s high-potential technology-intensive clusters. The awards were given to TechPlace at Brunswick Landing, the University of Southern Maine Cybersecurity Cluster, the Composites Engineering and Research Lab at Southern Maine Community College and the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute at the University of Maine at Orono. “These projects will enhance collaboration and innovation between public and private sector entities and will lead to the development of new businesses, products, processes, skilled workforce, and jobs.” Said Brian Whitney, MTI’s president. Read full story
The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), commended the House of Representatives for passing legislation to repeal the medical device excise tax. The legislation, H.R. 160 "The Protect Medical Innovation Act," passed with a vote of 280 to 140 on Thursday, June 18. "For far too long, the medical device tax has stymied advancements in patient care and destroyed high tech manufacturing jobs. Repealing this policy will provide an immediate boost for medical technology innovators to continue solving the pressing challenges in the health care ecosystem. MDMA and the broad coalition of stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to repeal the medical device tax will not rest until we get this accomplished once and for all." said Mark Leahey, President and CEO of MDMA. Read full story here
The Bioscience Association of Maine strongly opposes LD 1422, “An Act To Allow Maine Residents To Personally Import Medications as Permitted under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act”. This legislation, if passed, will present a great risk to the public health of Maine residents and will also open the State of Maine to additional costly and unnecessary litigation. BAM is of the opinion that the legislation outlined in LD 1422 is misguided and we feel inappropriately addresses the issue it purportedly seeks to remedy. Read full statement here
Maine Medical Research Center in Scarborough has attracted acclaimed scientists lately, some bringing grants with them, MaineBiz reports. One scientist is Dr. Peter Brooks, who after years of research on cell and cancer growth at prestigious research institutes around the US, decided to go back to his Maine roots in 2007 and continues his work at MMRCI as a senior researcher and lab head. "I always wanted to do research here in Maine. The biomedical research environment here is growing now. Some 10 to 15 years ago I questioned it,” said Dr. Brooks. Another top class researcher who is joining MMRCI this September is a Harvard Medical School postdoctoral candidate, Dr. Michaela Reagan, whose work focuses on multiple myeloma. Dr. Reagan t, who had never been to Maine prior to accepting the position, is bringing grant money with her which is great news for MMCRI’s PI’s who must raise all of the money to run labs. Read full story
The new business incubator TechPlace is already home to 15 tenants, one day before its Grand Opening on May 28 and 5 months into operations, MaineBiz says. TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator, features 50,000 square foot manufacturing space (enough for 25 companies) and 20,000 square foot office space (room for 23 companies).. The incubator is designed for startups in the aerospace, aviation, biotechnology, renewable energy, composites and advanced materials and IT sectors. Kristine Schuman, business development coordinator for Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said that “most of the tenants have one-year leases, but they're able to leave at any time with a month's notice and without financial penalty. The benefit is aimed to give startups and early-stage companies a little leeway if things don't go as planned.” Read full story
Three bioscience-focused non-profits collaborate to stimulate Maine’s biotech industry, MaineBiz reports. The new collaborative, known as Life Sciences Group (LSG), includes MDI Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay and the Foundation for Blood Research in Scarborough. The idea behind LSG is to attract outside investment and entrepreneurial spirit to Maine. Jane Sheehan, President and CEO of the Foundation for Blood Research, says "The three institutions want to convert science to more of a commercial purpose, keep it in the state and work together as a catalyst for economic growth". Read Full Story
Members of the Bioscience Association of Maine who may need support in a variety of core research areas will find that they do not need to travel out of state to access world-class scientists at very competitive pricing. Todd Keiller, Director of Technology Transfer at MMCRI and Claire Deselle, Executive Director of BAM, discussed the advantages and the opportunity in the following interview.
Maine International Trade Center (MITC)
511 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101