New biotech company to pursue cancer research in Rockville

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Montgomery County is known for having a booming biotechnology field, and it’s about to get bigger.
 
A company is sending a team to the area to develop groundbreaking cancer vaccines with the help of neighboring innovators.
 
“The inspiration for this was looking back on our past and recognizing that we had an opportunity to get our company off the ground,” said Dr. Bill Hearl, CEO, Immunomic Therapeutics.
 
For the first year, Immunomic Therapeutics presented the Cancer Discovery Incubator Award.
 
“What we wanted to do is to give a start-up company an opportunity to have a lab bench, a little bit of working capital and an opportunity to interact with an executive team that’s done it before,” said Hearl.
 
The recipient is Midissia Therapeutics.
 
“I was absolutely thrilled to get the call,” said Tania Fernandez, CEO, Midissia Therapeutics. “It’s a good launch pad for us to explore our opportunities in Maryland.”
 
Midissia will be utilizing this lab space for early-stage experimentation in cancer vaccines.
 
“The very first step in this process is just showing that the initial experiments or initial design has some chance of success,” said Hearl.
 
Midissia will send a team to work out of Immunomic’s headquarters in June, another step closer to making Greater Washington a top three biotech hub in the nation by 2023.
 
“This is the kind of thing that other companies that have an extra lab bench, nobody is using it, [so] why not give a young entrepreneur a try?” said Hearl.

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