Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures Boosts Maryland’s Life Sciences BioBuzz
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) has had a significant impact on Maryland’s life science ecosystem since its founding in 2014, helping hundreds of licensed therapeutics in development and supporting nearly 200 startups that collectively have nearly $ 3 billion in venture capital, 30% of which remained as it was.
At the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board’s quarterly meeting in May, Christy Wyskiel, Executive Director of JHTV, described some of the ways the Johns Hopkins University division has supported startups and commercialization efforts. JHTV aims to help Johns Hopkins professors turn their discoveries into marketable products and services that can benefit society. This spirit of innovation creates a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem at Johns Hopkins which in turn helps the university attract and retain talent, Wyskiel said.
JHTV has three parts, each of which helps teachers market their work differently. Part focuses on corporate partnerships, helping faculty collaborate on research with companies such as AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Genentech, Takeda, Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen and Sanofi.
The other two divisions include Technology Transfer, which helps with licensing and patent protection, and the FastForward Accelerator, which provides startups with mentorship, workspace and professional services, as well as funding opportunities. Companies such as Sonavex, LifeSprout, Prosper, Protenus and Sonavi Labs received support from JHTV.
Sashank Reddy, Medical Director of JHTV, advises aspiring entrepreneurs and can personally talk about the benefits of working with the university’s commercialization arm, having co-founded LifeSprout, a regenerative medicine startup.
âWe are in the clinic with our first regenerative medicine programs. None of this would have been possible without JHTV, especially the FastForward mentors, âhe said.
JHTV was founded in response to an academic report on how it could strengthen its innovation ecosystem. The results were immediate and dramatic: Between 2010 and 2014, Johns Hopkins’ marketing efforts brought in about $ 500 million in Maryland, of which about 15% of revenue remained in the state, Wyskiel said.
From 2015 to 2021, JHTV helped raise $ 2.9 billion in venture capital funds, of which about 30% remained in the state. The funding has created more than 1,300 new jobs in Maryland. He has brought some of the leading life science and biotech venture capitalists to the state including 5 a.m., Blackstone, Deerfield, Flagship Pioneers, Orbimed, RA Capital, Foresite Capital and Pfizer Venture Investments. .
As funding has increased, Wyskiel said there are still significant needs to nurture a growing startup ecosystem, especially an urgent need for lab space in the Baltimore area.
âThere is little space left in Baltimore for these businesses to grow. It’s a real risk because companies could look out of state, âWyskiel said.
Another need is good leadership training programs. Reddy said small businesses struggle to attract C-level employees. Both Reddy and Wyskiel called for focusing on attracting and training top executives to retain them. Laying that foundation will only raise Maryland’s profile as a key life science center in the global economy, they said. Reddy said the Cambridge, Massachusetts Innovation District, which has become the biopharmaceutical hub for the East Coast, has been a potential model.
âKendall Square is considered the epicenter of pharmaceutical innovation. Twenty-five years ago, it was an industrial wasteland. There is no reason that a boom like this cannot happen here, âhe said.
Alex Keown is a freelance journalist who writes on a variety of topics including the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industries. Prior to becoming a freelance writer, Alex was a writer and editor for several publications.