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March 28, 2008


We've received over 100 nominations in our search for the top "35 Under 35" entrepreneurs, but are extending the deadline to April 5 due to requests from many of you having too much fun on Spring break. We are delighted that Deloitte is joining forces with Greenberg Traurig, Bisnow on Business, and our media partner Fortune Magazine. Through Deloitte's annual Fast 50 and Fast 500 awards programs, in addition to its Tech Venture Center, it's long been a key adviser to fast-growth companies. Send suggestions.


We're not sure if we've ever met more PhDs before in our lives:  200 industry folks packed into last week's Women in Bio annual dinner at the National Press Club. The event honored 84 female entrepreneurs and featured keynote Christy Shaffer, CEO of Inspire Pharmaceuticals. "WIB" (sounds like a new Internet feature) is a membership organization founded in 2001 that brings female execs together to support each other in developing their  businesses (www.womeninbio.org).


Syan Biosciences founder Loleta Robinson, WIB prez Robbie Melton, U of Maryland Biotechnology Institute president Jeannie Hunter-Cevera, and Christy Shaffer. In 1995, Christy left Burroughs Wellcome to join Inspire, a company that develops treatments for diseases like cystic fibrosis. The night's theme, "Translating Science into Business," fit Christy's story perfectly:  She came to Inspire as its first full-time employee and in just three years became CEO. In 2000 she led the company to an IPO, raising $76M, and later completed four additional equity financings for another $279M. We would say Inspire is aptly named.    



U of Maryland Baltimore County's Liang Zhu, Encore Path president Kris Appel, and Maryland Tedco's Linda Saffer. Kris says Encore Path's launching, in Q3, a stroke rehab product specially designed to improve the motor function in patients with chronic stroke. Also in Q3: more time at her vacation home in Dewey. As for Linda, this summer she's off on safari with her sister to South Africa and Botswana.



Emergent Biosolutions' Sarah Sweeny, Encore Path's Sarah Pick, Biotechnology Industry Organization's Barbara Glenn, Bode Technology president Maureen Loftus, and Substance 151's Ida Cheinman.



Martek's Karma Rabon-Smith, Carly Snoops, April Lewton, Jill Patten, and Joanne Zahner.  They patiently explained to us that Martek (which we've long heard of) is a life sciences company that manufactures DHA and Omega 3 Fatty Acids (like the kind found in Udo's Oil from algae-based sources instead of animal).  They must all drink the Kool-Aid, err, take the supplements; all five women had glowing skin.  Although, Jill may just be a blushing-bride-to-be; she's busy planning her October wedding in Ohio.



Quiagen's Paula Green and Tiffany Adams, NextGeneration's Christine Wood-Tank and CEO Laura Douglass, and Quiagen's Nicole York, Adrienne Helgerman, and Cassie Knapp.  Nicole told us Quiagen is a biotech company that makes instruments to help extract DNA and RNA from cells to be studied.  The 2500-person company is based in Hilden, Germany and just merged with Digene (makers of the HPV test) at the end of '07.  Now the company's gearing up for a cancer research product launch at the beginning of May.



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