Vermont Biosciences Alliance Spring Newsletter

Spring Newsletter 
VBSA was created to foster recognition of medicine and bioscience as a leading industry in the Vermont region and promote economic and human well-being by strengthening sector attention, research resources, and venture growth. To the businesses and organizations who are currently members, thank you for supporting the bioscience industry in Vermont.

Save the date! 2019 Bio & Tech Beers will be July 11th and December 5th. Events will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Queen City Brewery, 703B Pine Street, Burlington. Registration will be available on our events page:  VBSA Events.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is hosting this inaugural event promoting talent recruitment and workforce development on Thursday, May 30, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Hilton Burlington Hotel, 60 Battery St.
At this conference you'll learn how to participate and compete for funding in SIBR/STTR programs that encourage small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development and to commercialize your technological innovations. The conference will be June 17th to 19th in Boston MA.
BIO's 2019 annual international conference will be in Philadelphia from June 3rd to 6th this year.
BIO Convention
The flagship life sciences event for Massachusetts-based life science start-ups will be June 27 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm at Kendall Square Marriott, 50 Broadway, Cambridge MA.
Industry News
With their $22 million expansion, Chroma Technology is poised to take advantage of anticipated growth in the optical filter field due to increased demand from the drone and self-driving car industries. The expansion, and Chroma's continued commitment to their Vermont location, is good news for the Vermont job economy, as Chroma has the potential to grow as big as the Vermont-based IBM offices.
Fisher Scientific has recognized BioTek out of thousands of suppliers for their achievements as a global Fisher Scientific supplier. The award is for both BioTek's quality of instrumentation and their commitment to excellent customer service.
Biotek Named Fisher Scientific 2018 Supplier of the Year
The 2019 BIO International Convention, to be held in Philadelphia from June 3-6, will kick off with a keynote address by Columbia professor and popular author Siddhartha Mukherjee. BIO is excited to host an author who has raised public discourse on cancer and genetic therapies with his award-winning nonfiction.
Siddhartha Mukherjee Author Keynote
Education News
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) is launching a new 3-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program on its Colchester, VT campus. With students increasingly looking to fast-track their careers in order to begin earning income sooner and start gaining professional experience, the 3-year program helps address a growing need. The 3-year "accelerated" Pharm.D. program contains the same coursework as the traditional 4-year professional degree program, with the only difference being the time to completion.
ACPHS Offer 3 Year PharmD
Vermont is a member of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program, which seeks to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. The IDeA-state entrepreneurship program (I-Trep) is a new NIH-supported education program based in Vermont. Continuing with our mission to provide training and education in biomedical entrepreneurship, the I-Trep program is offering paid specialized internships for 2019-2020. The internships aim to provide career development for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students from any Vermont-based academic institution and foster business-research collaborations within Vermont.

Eligible hosts include any bioscience-based business or other businesses such as law offices or consultant firms that support the bioscience community. Terms of the internship are meant to be flexible to accommodate the desired career skill development or business-research partnership goals. The intern will be paid through the I-Trep grant and internships will be a maximum of 12 weeks in duration. Host organizations may submit nominations for candidates who they have already identified or contact the program to see if there are any candidates that fit the host organization's needs.

If your organization would like to participate, please contact Tina Thornton (, coordinator for the I-Trep program, for more information.
Spring BioBeer Guest Presentation with Dr. Aaron Kessman of MT
With beers and wood-fired pizza in hand, Spring BioBeer attendees sat down to an informal presentation by Dr. Aaron Kessman, Lead Scientist for Process Development at MT, in Pizza44's event room. Dr. Kessman was presenting on "Real Time Analysis to Continuously Measure Critical Material Attributes During Biopharmaceutical Manufacture," an important quality control topic for biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Specifically, Dr. Kessman explained how he ensures uniform real-time product quality during development and commercial continuous manufacture.

This product is manufactured continuously in real time, consequently the manufacture process is faced with a critical challenge: how can the process ensure that the active drug ingredient is precisely consistent throughout the entire manufacture process, ensuring every patient receives the correct dose.

The company wanted a way to monitor and correct the quality of the coating in real-time without interfering with their continuous manufacturing process. This resulted in the development of real-time at-line spectral imaging.

Dr. Kessman explained that their strategy for handling the spectral data has been to use extensive computational analysis, including multivariate regression, de-noising filters, and baseline removal. He's able to process both spatial and spectral information, revealing where drug concentrations are high or low.

As part of Dr. Kessman's data analysis work, he has designed validated spreadsheets for manufacturing operators. The spreadsheets need minimal inputs from operators, with many functions automated, and do all the complex calculations behind the scenes. This strategy for spreadsheet management protects data integrity with little burden on operators while giving clear quality control feedback, allowing operators to react in real time to prevent any of the coating going out of spec.

Using commercial product as a case study, Dr. Kessman's talk presented BioBeer attendees the opportunity to think about an interesting biopharmaceutical process challenge and the solutions that he and his company have developed.

For information on upcoming BioBeer events please check out the VBSA events page: VBSA Events or subscribe to our mailing list: Subscribe.

Membership:  Have friends at other businesses that are interested in bioscience and entrepreneurship in Vermont? Invite them to join the VBSA! Joining the VBSA sends a message of support for Vermont bioscience companies and organizations.   Click here   for more on the benefits of joining the VBSA and to sign up.
News: If your business has announcements, milestones, or projects they would like to share with the VBSA community, please get in touch with us! You can email your news and information to
Call for Seminars: The VBSA is always interested in hosting new workshops and seminars! You can suggest seminar ideas to Rachel Sargent Mirus at
Twitter:  Connect with VBSA on Twitter at
Member Benefit
New Member Benefit: Online Marketplace for Custom Scientific Research Services and Products

BIO has partnered with  - the world's leading online scientific marketplace. The program offers members significant savings in a marketplace populated with 2,600+ suppliers governed by a single legal agreement.  

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