Welcome to the latest edition of the BioLines Weekender...

BioNJ continues to lead the way in delivering the New Jersey life sciences message to our policymakers in Washington and Trenton. Last week, President and CEO Debbie Hart issued a statement on the misguided "Most-Favored Nation" rule related to reference pricing for Medicare Part B treatments. BioNJ also included a summary of this legislation in its most recent Public Policy Update while adding our name to a national Patient coalition letter to Congress in opposition to the rule.  

Meanwhile, we have been hard at work in Trenton as legislators work to complete enacting legislation for the recreational marijuana ballot measure that passed on Election Day. BioNJ signed our name to a business coalition letter asking legislators to consider workplace safety as they complete consideration of the enacting legislation prior to the January 1 deadline. We welcome our Members to get involved in our efforts. Please contact John Slotman at JSlotman@BioNJ.org with any questions on BioNJ public policy and advocacy activities.

Thank you to everyone who attended BioNJ's Sixth Annual Inspiring Women in STEM Conference earlier today. Entitled "Reimagine, Reconnect and Renew," the Conference was designed to encourage and support Women involved in all aspects of science, technology, engineering and math and featured interactive plenary sessions led by STEM thought leaders. 
BioNJ is bringing together Patients, Patient Advocacy Groups, Caregivers, Legislators and Industry for our Fifth Annual Patient Advocacy Summit next Thursday, December 10. Taking place virtually, we are excited for a dynamic and educational discussion that will leave us all inspired and armed with new tools to make a difference on behalf of Patients. Attendance is open and free to ALL Patient Advocacy Groups and BioNJ Member R&D company Patient advocacy and government affairs professionals. Check out the agenda here.

Meanwhile, registration opened today for BioNJ's IT/Cybersecurity Briefing: "Threats to the Pharmaceutical Industry from Foreign Actors" taking place Thursday, January 28. During this one-hour webinar, Intelligence Analysts from the FBI Newark Division and New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness will lead an interactive discussion on Threat Focus Cell intel products: Biopharma Supply Chain risks, Merger and Acquisition security considerations and utilization of LinkedIn to target employees for potential intellectual property leakage. Come ready to ask the experts your most burning questions! Click here for details.

We hope to see you at a future BioNJ event. If you are not yet a BioNJ Member, please contact Kim Minton at KMinton@BioNJ.org to learn about the benefits of Membership. Meanwhile, please stay safe and well.

Because Patients Can't Wait®,
The BioNJ Team
BioNJ Calendar

BioNJ's Virtual Patient Advocacy Summit: 
*Registration is open to Patient Advocacy Professionals
December 10, 2020
Register today
December 17, 2020
BioNJ Virtual IT/Cybersecurity Briefing
Register today
January 28, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine News

BioNJ Member Pfizer Inc., with offices in Peapack, and BioNTech SE announced that the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the U.K. has granted a temporary authorization for emergency use for their COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2), against COVID-19. This constitutes the first Emergency Use Authorization following a worldwide Phase 3 trial of a vaccine to help fight the pandemic. Pfizer and BioNTech are anticipating further regulatory decisions across the globe in the coming days and weeks and are ready to deliver vaccine doses following potential regulatory authorizations or approvals. The distribution of the vaccine in the U.K. will be prioritized according to the populations identified in guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). 

BioNJ in the News

Op-ed published in ROI-NJ

Vaccines have played a critical role in reducing and eliminating the threat of many devastating infectious diseases and helped people of all ages live longer, healthier lives. Yet, today, people are reluctant to be vaccinated and are concerned about the safety of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Why? The reasons patients refuse, delay or are hesitant to get vaccinated are often concerns over safety, the desire for more information and a growing mistrust of institutions. In particular, misinformation about vaccines has left many questions about their efficacy, safety and necessity. The following information hopefully provides the "Truth about Vaccines," and the importance of being vaccinated.

NJ Company News

South Plainfield-based BioNJ Member PTC Therapeutics, Inc. announced that Translarna™ (ataluren) has been granted marketing approval in the Russian Federation for nonsense mutation Duchenne muscular dystrophy (nmDMD). It is estimated that 13% of DMD patients have a nonsense mutation. In countries where it is approved, Translarna is currently the only medicine that targets the underlying cause of nmDMD.

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Genmab A/S announced that Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) seeking approval of amivantamab for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Exon 20 insertion mutations whose disease has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. This is the first BLA submission for a product candidate that was created using Genmab's proprietary DuoBody technology platform. In July 2012, Genmab entered into a collaboration with Janssen to create and develop bispecific antibodies using Genmab's DuoBody technology platform.

Bridgewater-based BioNJ Member Insmed Incorporated announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Phase 3 ASPEN study of brensocatib in patients with bronchiectasis. Brensocatib is a novel, first-in-class, oral, reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1) being developed by Insmed for the treatment of bronchiectasis and other inflammatory diseases. ASPEN is a global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 study to assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of brensocatib in patients with bronchiectasis. Patients with bronchiectasis due to cystic fibrosis may not be enrolled in the study. Patients will be randomized to receive brensocatib 10 mg, brensocatib 25 mg, or placebo once daily for 52 weeks. 

Parsippany-based BioNJ Member Elusys Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the European Commission has approved obiltoxaximab, the company's monoclonal antibody (mAb) anthrax antitoxin for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. Obiltoxaximab is indicated in all age groups in combination with appropriate antibacterial drugs for the treatment of inhalational anthrax due to Bacillus anthracis; and for post-exposure prophylaxis of inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or not appropriate. This EU approval for obiltoxaximab will be automatically converted to a UK marketing authorization on January 1, 2021.

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. announced it has submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a protocol to initiate a clinical study in adult patients with neurotrophic keratitis (NK), a degenerative disease characterized by decreased corneal sensitivity and poor corneal healing. The submission was made to Oyster Point's Investigational New Drug (IND) for OC-01 (varenicline) nasal spray in dry eye disease. Enrollment of the first patient in the OLYMPIA Phase 2 study in NK is planned for the first half of 2021.

Florham Park-based BioNJ Member Celularity, Inc. announced that the first patient was dosed in its Phase 1 clinical study of human placental hematopoietic stem cell-derived natural killer cells (CYNK-001) in adults with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. "Celularity is committed to the development of innovative therapeutic tools to treat serious diseases, particularly targeting diseases with unmet medical needs that have a devastating impact on patients and families. As testimony to this commitment, we are extremely excited to announce the dosing of our first patient in our first clinical trial for, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)," said Dr. Robert J. Hariri, Celularity's Founder, Chairman and CEO.

Bridgewater-based BioNJ Member Hillstream BioPharma Inc. announced that the FDA granted both the Rare Pediatric Disease Designation (RPD) and Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) to HSB-888 for Osteosarcoma. Hillstream continues to build an attractive oncology pipeline and expands this oncology pipeline for devastating diseases with this significant milestone achievement for HSB-888. If HSB-888 gains FDA approval by 2023, Hillstream will be given a transferable Priority Review Voucher (PRV) which can be sold to further fund HSB-888 and R&D pipeline.

Basking Ridge-based BioNJ Member Ipsen announced the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company Fast Track designation for irinotecan liposome injection (ONIVYDE®) in study patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who progressed following a first-line platinum-based regimen, reflecting the unmet medical need. ONIVYDE® is currently approved in the United States and in Europe in combination with fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (LV) for the treatment of patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas after disease progression following gemcitabine-based therapy. 

Monmouth Junction-based OncoSec Immunotherapies announced that it has licensed the exclusive rights to the Cliniporator® electroporation or gene electrotransfer platform from IGEA Clinical Biophysics ("IGEA"). The license encompasses a broad field of use for gene delivery in oncology, including use as part of OncoSec's visceral lesion applicator (VLA) program. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Cliniporator platform for use in the upcoming Phase 1 trial to be held at Providence Health investigating CORVax12, the company's DNA-encodable vaccine candidate for COVID-19. 

Cranbury-based BioNJ Member Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced it will initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial of CPI-613® (devimistat) in combination with hydroxychloroquine in patients with clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue. In partnership with Sara's Cure and Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC), Rafael will begin enrolling patients into the Simon two-stage design trial at sites across the United States. "We are honored to partner with Lennie and Sara's Cure to fight this disease and launch one of the very few trials for clear cell sarcoma, as part of our continued mission to provide hope for patients with hard-to-treat cancers," said Sanjeev Luther, President and CEO of Rafael Pharmaceuticals. 

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Agile Therapeutics, Inc. announced that Contraception, an international, peer-reviewed, reproductive health journal, published the primary safety, efficacy, and tolerability results from the Phase 3 SECURE study evaluating Twirla® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) transdermal system. The results have been published online in Contraception (https://bit.ly/SECUREStudy). The Phase 3 SECURE Trial was a multicenter, single-arm, open-label, 13 cycle trial designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Twirla in 2,032 healthy women, aged 18 years and over, at 102 investigational sites across the United States.

BioNJ Member Pfizer, with offices in Peapack, announced that the first participant has been dosed in the Phase 3 BASIS study of marstacimab (PF-06741086), an anti-tissue factor pathway inhibitor (anti-TFPI) being evaluated for the treatment of people with severe hemophilia A or B, with or without inhibitors. BASIS is a global Phase 3, open-label, multicenter study that will evaluate annualized bleed rate (ABR) through 12 months on prophylaxis treatment with marstacimab, an investigational, novel subcutaneous therapy, in adolescents and adults with hemophilia A or B compared to a run-in period on replacement therapy with FVIII or FIX clotting factor, respectively, or bypass therapy (i.e., treatments that "bypass" the need for clotting factor treatment to help the body form a normal clot). 

Bridgewater-based BioNJ Member Eli Lilly and Company and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) today announced a partnership to conduct a pragmatic study of bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) in high-risk, COVID-19 infected individuals. Bamlanivimab recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of bamlanivimab versus a propensity-matched control in individuals that meet the EUA criteria.

Bridgewater-based BioNJ Member Eli Lilly and Company announced that the U.S. government has purchased 650,000 additional doses of Eli Lilly and Company's neutralizing antibody bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 700 mg. The purchase agreement is for $812.5 million and the doses will be delivered through January 31, 2021, with at least 350,000 of the additional doses delivered in December 2020. Bamlanivimab recently received emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Evotec SE announced a new multi-year drug development partnership with Rappta Therapeutics, a Finland-based biopharmaceutical company, focused on an innovative oncology target. Under the partnership, Evotec will support Rappta's programme of developing small molecule activators of the enzyme Protein Phosphatase 2A ("PP2A"), which downregulates multiple oncogenic signalling pathways responsible for driving cancer progression. Although PP2A is a key tumour suppressor and has a critical function regulating protein de-phosphorylation and tumour growth, it has to-date been very difficult to target pharmaceutically.

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., announced an agreement with research experts from the Columbia University Irving Center Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health to help support the epidemiological needs of Otsuka Global Pharmacovigilance (GPV) for products, enhanced training and employee education. Faculty members will work with Otsuka on activities such as post-marketing safety and effectiveness studies, the development of data registries, and investigations of rare exposures and outcomes. 

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Bristol Myers Squibb announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) for the treatment of adults with unresectable advanced, recurrent or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after prior fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-based combination chemotherapy. 
The EC's decision is based on results from the Phase 3 ATTRACTION-3 trial, a study sponsored by Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Japan, which demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) in patients who received Opdivo versus chemotherapy. 

Kenilworth-based BioNJ Member Merck & Co. announced the company has submitted applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for licensure of V114, Merck's investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, for use in adults 18 years of age and older. The company awaits acceptance of the submissions by the U.S. and European regulatory authorities. The regulatory applications for licensure of V114 include results from Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical studies in a variety of adult populations, including healthy adults and those at increased risk, such as adults with chronic medical conditions, adults with HIV and those 65 years of age and older.

Kenilworth-based BioNJ Member Merck & Co. and OncoImmune announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding shares of OncoImmune for an upfront payment of $425 million in cash. In addition, OncoImmune shareholders will be eligible to receive sales-based payments and payments contingent on the successful achievement of certain regulatory milestones. OncoImmune recently announced positive top-line findings from an interim efficacy analysis of a Phase 3 study evaluating its lead therapeutic candidate CD24Fc for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19.

Bedminster-based BioNJ Member Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. announced that it has been awarded up to $3.75 million from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The award will support preclinical development of MAT2501, Matinas' lipid nano-crystal (LNC) oral formulation of the broad-spectrum aminoglycoside amikacin, toward an indication to treat nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease, including infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The CFF award will allow Matinas to rapidly advance the development of MAT2501 and will support preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, along with several of the toxicology studies necessary to progress MAT2501 into Phase 2.

Princeton-based BioNJ Member Advaxis, Inc. announced the closing of an underwritten public offering of 26,666,666 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase up to 13,333,333 shares of common stock, along with an additional 3,999,999 shares of common stock and 1,999,999 warrants pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters' option. The shares of common stock and warrants were sold together at a combined public offering price of $0.30 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $9.2 million, before underwriting commissions and estimated expenses.

Woodcliff Lake-based Eisai Co., Ltd. announced that it has commenced the "PaDiCo" smartphone application service in Japan to support the lives of patients with Parkinson's disease. The app is available for free download via the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android). It is estimated that the number of patients with Parkinson's disease in Japan is approximately 200,000, and the number of patients tends to increase year by year with the aging of the population. The basic treatment for Parkinson's disease is drug therapy. However, as the disease progresses, the medication is no longer working effectively, and wearing-off phenomenon in Parkinson's disease may occur, such as total or partial immobility.

Woodcliff Lake-based Eisai Co., Ltd. and Wren Therapeutics Ltd. announced that the companies have entered into an exclusive research collaboration agreement aiming to advance the discovery of novel small molecules that target α-synuclein for the potential treatment of synucleinopathies including Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Wren possesses a novel network kinetics drug discovery platform that precisely quantifies the effects of small molecules on the protein misfolding and aggregation pathway that causes neurodegenerative diseases. Wren's approach to synucleinopathies is focused on identifying novel small molecules that selectively control the aggregation process of α-synuclein, which is associated with the onset and progression of these diseases. 

Paramus-based Polaryx Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both Rare Pediatric Disease and Orphan Drug designations for the treatment of GM2 gangliosidosis with PLX-300. GM2 gangliosidosis, also known as Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases, are ultra-rare and fatal pediatric neurodegenerative disorders caused by defects in Hexosaminidase A (HEXA) and Hexosaminidase B (HEXB), key enzymes in the lysosome, respectively. "These designations clearly demonstrate the translational excellence of the PLX-300 from bench to bedside. We are now doing required preclinical studies in order to enter into Phase1/2 studies as soon as possible," says Dr. Hahn-Jun Lee, President and CEO of Polaryx. 

Cranbury-based PMV Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced dosing of the first patient in its Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating PC14586, the company's investigational lead compound that targets the Y220C mutant of p53. The trial will enroll up to 130 patients with advanced solid tumors that have the specific p53 Y220C variant. The multi-center, single-arm Phase 1/2 study will evaluate PC14586 in patients with advanced solid tumors with a p53 Y220C mutation. Phase 1 will assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of PC14586. Phase 2 will determine the overall response rate and duration of response of PC14586 at a dose identified in Phase 1.

Florham Park-based Phathom Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has completed patient enrollment in PHALCON-EE, the Company's pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of vonoprazan for both the healing and maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis (EE) as well as the relief of heartburn. Phathom exceeded the patient enrollment target of 1,000 patients. Phathom continues to expect topline results from the PHALCON-EE trial in the second half of 2021. PHALCON-EE is a randomized, double-blind, two-phase, multicenter Phase 3 trial that has enrolled over 1,000 patients with EE in the U.S. and Europe. 

Warren-based Bellerophon Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the first patient has been enrolled in its REBUILD Phase 3 registrational clinical study evaluating INOpulse®, a pulsed inhaled nitric oxide therapy, as a potential treatment for fibrotic interstitial lung disease (fILD). "Fibrotic ILD is a severe disease where patients face debilitating functional impairment, poor quality of life and limited life expectancy. Patients with fILD suffer severe mobility restrictions and often lack the ability to perform the most basic tasks such as walking, ascending stairs and managing daily housework," said Jeremy Feldman, M.D., Director Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists and a lead investigator for the Phase 3 study. 

Bridgewater-based VYNE Therapeutics Inc. announced the peer reviewed publication of long-term safety and efficacy data for ZILXI™ (minocycline) topical foam, 1.5% in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (JCAD). Study FX2016-13 evaluated the safety and efficacy of ZILXI for up to 40 weeks of open-label treatment immediately following an initial 12-week double-blind treatment. This study was conducted by VYNE to support the New Drug Application (NDA) of ZILXI which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea in adults in May of this year.

Cranford-based Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the completion of a Boston Analytical study "Silicone Disk Method for In Vitro Assessment of Antimicrobial Activity Against Resistant Staphylococcal Biofilms by Minocycline-EDTA-Ethanol and EDTA-Ethanol Lock Solutions." This study demonstrated that all three components of Mino-Lok (30 mg/mL EDTA, 19.5% ethanol and 1 mg/mL minocycline) were superior to EDTA/ethanol (30 mg/mL EDTA and 19.5% ethanol). There were two strains of Staphylococcus aureus used for the inocula and two samples of each strain were tested as four reference groups. 

Eatontown-based American CryoStem Corporation announced that it has commenced recruiting subjects for its IND Phase I Clinical Trial and added an additional sub-investigator to the ATCELL™ Clinical Trial team. The Company's autologous mesenchymal stem cell infusion therapy ("Investigational Drug") development is part of a single center study under the protocol entitled: ATCell™ Expanded Autologous, Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Deployed via Intravenous Infusion for the Treatment of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) in Retired Military and Athletes.

Englewood Cliffs-based Silo Pharma, Inc. announced that it has entered into an investigator-sponsored study agreement with Maastricht University of the Netherlands. The research project is a clinical study to examine the effects of repeated low doses of psilocybin and LSD on cognitive and emotional dysfunctions in Parkinson's disease and to understand its mechanism of action. Dr. Kim Kuypers, Associate Professor, Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University, will serve as Investigator Sponsor for the Phase 2B study. 

Franklin Lakes-based Becton, Dickinson and Company announced plans to invest approximately $1.2 billion over a four-year period to expand and upgrade manufacturing capacity and technology for pre-fillable syringes (PFS) and advanced drug delivery systems across its six global manufacturing locations and add a new manufacturing facility in Europe. The new manufacturing facility in Europe is expected to be operational by the end of 2023. The investment will also fund capacity expansion, new product innovations, manufacturing technology enhancements and business continuity improvements across its existing network, all designed to maximize supply and reduce risks for pharmaceutical companies that rely on ready-to-fill syringes for their injectable drugs.

People in the News

Bedminster-based BioNJ Member Tyme Technologies, Inc. announced that Steve Hoffman will remain in the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors and continue as the company's Chief Science Officer, after a successful tenure as Chief Executive Officer since 2015. Richie Cunningham, former Icagen CEO and Boehringer Ingelheim executive, has been appointed as TYME's next Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Cunningham brings more than 20 years of successful leadership experience spanning from pre-IND drug discovery through the commercialization and launch of over a dozen therapies in oncology, rare disease, infectious disease, respiratory, neurology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Richie brings to TYME an in-depth understanding of maximizing therapeutic lifecycles, enhancing efficiencies and outcomes in biotech business models, and most importantly a commitment to a values-driven culture.

Antios Therapeutics, Inc., with a home base in Summit, announced the appointment of Gregory T. Mayes as Chief Executive Officer and Director. Mr. Mayes succeeds Abel De La Rosa, Ph.D., who co-founded Antios in 2018 and has served as CEO and Director since its inception. Dr. De La Rosa, who is retiring from his full-time role, will remain with Antios as an advisor and will assume the role of Chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr. Mayes joins Antios following the acquisition of Engage Therapeutics ("Engage") by UCB in June 2020. He co-founded Engage and served as CEO from 2017 until its acquisition, which came following positive data from a large, randomized Phase 2 clinical trial of its lead product candidate in development for a new product category called REST.

Institution and Education News

If you represent a socioeconomically challenged, or "Title One," school district in New Jersey, Students 2 Science, based in East Hanover, can help you deliver science instruction to your students -- whether they are at school, at home or in a hybrid situation -- via a virtual lab armed with a qualified instructor. That's the message from Catherine "Kit" Nugent, vice president for external engagement at S2S, and Gary Sarkis, director of operations. The nonprofit has been doing this for several years for Title One school districts in Northern New Jersey, and it's now ready to connect with Title One school districts statewide.

Rutgers Business School's MBA program finished in the Top 25 for entrepreneurship in a new ranking. The global ranking by Poets & Quants and Inc. magazine placed Rutgers at No. 24 in the world, making it the No. 1 public MBA for entrepreneurship in the Northeast and No. 1 among public, East Coast business schools. In addition to being the only New Jersey college in the Top 50 rankings, Rutgers ran neck-and-neck with Columbia University, at No. 23, and ahead of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, among others.

Anita Kinney, Ph.D., professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health and associate director for Population Science and Community Outreach at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, is one of ten recipients across the nation of an American Cancer Society and Pfizer community grant of $399,892 to support investigation into reducing racial health disparities in cancer care through precision oncology and immunotherapy. Precision oncology has led to effective first-line therapies -- like genomic profiling, molecularly targeted agents, and immunotherapy -- and dramatically improved cancer outcomes.

Bruce G. Haffty, M.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs and Chair, Radiation Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has been chosen as the 2021 president-elect of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), an international society of radiologists, medical physicists and other medical professionals across the world. As president-elect, Dr. Haffty will focus on maintaining strong governance of the society and raise the profile of RSNA and radiology beyond the radiology community.

Pancreatic cancer, which begins when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor, is notoriously difficult to detect and treat. At Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, experts are advancing our understanding of this disease through research. Patrick Boland, M.D., is a medical oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, whose clinical expertise includes pancreatic cancer. 

Rider University has received a $4 million leadership gift from alumnus Michael J. Hennessy in support of the expansion of its Science and Technology Center. The gift represents the largest-ever received at Rider toward the sciences, and was made in honor of Hennessy's wife, Patrice "Patti" Shelmet Hennessy, who died in January after a long illness. Both Hennessys were members of the Class of 1982. The gift represents more than half of the $7.5 million to $8 million estimate for the project, which will add a one-story wing to the building - which will be renamed the Mike and Patti Hennessy Science and Technology Center upon completion of the work, in January 2022.

Funding News

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced that early stage innovation companies engaged in the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) funding can now apply for financial assistance through the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program. This marks the second consecutive year that CSIT is offering the program, which was created to enhance the State's innovation economy by strengthening the competitiveness of Garden State businesses engaged in the federal SBIR/STTR Program. The application can be found at http://www.njeda.com/csit

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that it will increase the discounts available on purchases of personal protective equipment made through the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program to nearly 70 percent. The Authority will also double the per-business cap on discount vouchers. These discounts will be available to New Jersey businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees until December 10, 2020. More information is available at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.  

Thought Leadership from BioNJ Members

Among the many disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has transformed how, when and where we work. According to a Gallup poll from October, nearly 60% of U.S. workers are still working remotely at least part time. With a second surging wave of COVID-19 coming upon us now, remote work and this "Great HR Experiment" will be in effect for months ahead- likely until Spring. The lessons learned from this seismic, unexpected shift will shape how, when and where we work for years to come- maybe forever. Amicus Therapeutics was no exception to this disruption- and to this opportunity to change work for the better for many.

Special Programs from Our Partners for BioNJ Members

January 11-15, 2021

With a blend of on-demand and live sessions, the virtual 2021 program is designed to provide you with the latest industry updates and flexibility to view content according to your schedule. BioNJ Members: Contact Randi Bromberg at RBromberg@BioNJ.org for a special discount code.

January 11-15, 2021

Affordable access to BIO One-on-One Partnering, with an integrated video conferencing system, to provide a seamless partnering experience for all attendees, regardless of whether you are registered for a specific event during JPM week. BIO Members partner for free/ Non-Member companies partner for $150.

BioNJ Member Services Provider Directory

BioNJ recognizes the vital role that our Service Provider Members play in the growth of New Jersey's robust life sciences ecosystem. For this reason, we are delighted to remind our community about BioNJ's Member Service Provider Directory, a categorical listing of BioNJ Members by service sector. By working with fellow BioNJ Member organizations, you are not only supporting our community, but benefiting from a wide variety of high quality organizations. To learn how you can become a Member and be featured on this resource tool, please contact Kim Minton at KMinton@BioNJ.org, or 609-890-3185. Find providers in these categories:

The NJBAC is a state agency offering free and confidential assistance to help your business grow. As a "one-stop shop," NJBAC can help businesses of all sizes and types manage the state's regulatory processes, boost exports, gain access to financial resources where applicable and tackle other obstacles along the way. You can download the NJBAC guide by clicking here or contact their business advocates at 1-800 JERSEY 7.

Please contact BioNJ at BioNJ@BioNJ.org 
or call 609-890-3185 with any questions.