ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced that its Board of Directors has voted and approved the appointments of new board members William Hearl, Founder and CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) and Founder of Capital Genomix, Inc. (CGI), and Lily Qi, M.B.A., Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Workforce Development, Office of the County Executive for Montgomery County, Maryland.
"It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new members to the board," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "Dr. Hearl's pioneering spirit and business acumen make him a major player in the vast world of immunotherapies and biotechnology, and Ms. Qi's active involvement with establishing BHI as well as her ability to bridge the gap across government, corporate and community audiences are assets that make her a great partner."
Dr. Hearl's leadership and expertise in immunotherapies have aided ITI in the development of LAMP-vax, a technology that would allow the use of nucleic acid immunotherapies to broaden the potential uses of cancer immunotherapies. The technology was developed with Dr. Tom August of CGI in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, leading to the establishment of ITI in 2006. Since he founded the company, Dr. Hearl has used his understanding and experience in biotechnology intellectual property rights to develop beneficial licensing agreements for the LAMP technology with biopharmaceutical firms at a valuation exceeding $300 million.
Prior to founding ITI, Dr. Hearl founded CGI, a biomarker and drug discovery company. He oversaw the seed funding and Series A & B funding rounds, and engineered the acquisition of Dynex Technologies, which has since parted ways from CGI, resulting in a considerable financial return for CGI. Dr. Hearl was responsible for acquiring and developing GeneSystem320™, a system exclusively licensed to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. At CGI, he also invented the ImmunoMouse™, an antibody development technology which develops gene-specific antibodies. Dr. Hearl received his Bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University, and he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee.
"BHI has been at the forefront of biohealth innovation since its inception," said Dr. Hearl. "To be able to contribute to an organization that is recognized not only in Maryland, but globally, for its drive and focus in the field of biotechnology is incredible. Becoming a board member means that I can work to help continue this tradition."
Ms. Qi grew up in Shanghai and became the first political appointee from China in the State of Maryland. Her experience in economic development in Washington, DC, strong ties with the global communities in the Capital Region, and leadership in driving Montgomery County's economic strategy and priorities make her a key partner for BHI. Additionally, Ms. Qi was instrumental in helping establish BHI along with Mr. Bendis and other key stakeholders to make the organization the success it is today.
"Having been part of the working team to build up BHI five years ago, I am proud to see how the organization has evolved to be a major player in our innovation economy," said Ms. Qi. "BHI is a great example of a local community putting ourselves in the driver seat to leverage this region's enviable R&D assets to grow our economy and improve lives."
Since joining Montgomery County, Ms. Qi has led several priority initiatives including privatizing economic development functions, developing a comprehensive economic strategy, improving nighttime economy, and removing barriers to doing business in Montgomery County. She was featured in the Washington Business Journal, Bethesda Magazine, China Daily, and Asian Fortune for her professional accomplishments and community leadership.
Ms. Qi received her Bachelor's degree at Manchester University in Indiana in Communication Studies, a Master's degree in Organizational Communication from Ohio University and an M.B.A. from American University.
About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland's life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland's bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.
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SOURCE BioHealth Innovation, Inc.