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Showing Candidates the Way You Want to Grow

Showing Candidates the Way You Want to Grow

The ‘Great Resignation’ is proving to be a big challenge for life science businesses all over the globe, and with more roles vacant than ever before, candidates really do have the pick of the bunch! Rather than trying to wow potential employees with packages that may or may not impress, why not show them what you are about and where you are heading so that they feel motivated and inspired at the thought of taking the journey with you?

Why Growth Plans are Important

Typically, when a candidate applies for a position, they are left hoping to be considered and are made to feel that they are lucky to have been shortlisted. However, as the recruitment crisis rumbles on, candidates have become savvier to their potential and now expect much more from a prospective employer than a simple interview – putting you under pressure to perform in a way that impresses them.

One of the best ways to do this is to share your growth plans and clearly defined steps to ensure your combined success. This will help the candidate see that you are well organized and take accountability for the future, but it will also give them the information they need to work out whether there is a place for them to fit in your business model.

In addition, a growth plan will allow a candidate to see their potential career trajectory and work out whether their plans for success marry with what you have to offer. In reality, this will mean that some candidates will not be willing to come on board with you, but those who do will be more likely to stay for longer and work hard to make your plans and theirs become a reality.

Sharing Your Values and Goals Honestly

It can be tempting to share information that has been exaggerated to garner a greater level of interest in job vacancies, but doing this will not just mean a greater turnover of staff, but it may also harm your ability to reach the goals you had originally set.

Candidates are taught to understand their values and goals more than ever before, leaving them in a position of wanting to find a company they can feel appropriately aligned with. When you share your goals and values honestly, the result is a better working partnership between you and your employees and better business outcomes.

Taking the time to show your business has been well considered and your goals well-chosen will always help you appeal to the right candidates, even in the most competitive markets.

American Gene Technologies Launches “The Cure Chronicles” Video Series

American Gene Technologies Launches “The Cure Chronicles” Video Series

“The Cure Chronicles” presents thoughtful conversations with people living with HIV, advocates, medical experts, policymakers, and others working toward ending the HIV epidemic.

American Gene Technologies, a clinical-stage biotechnology company working to cure HIV, has launched a video series showcasing compelling HIV community conversations: The Cure Chronicles, hosted by the company’s CEO Jeff Galvin.

With more than 37 million people in the world living with HIV/AIDS, American Gene Technologies is working hard to develop a cure. The company is in a clinical trial for a single-infusion gene therapy (AGT103-T) to return people living with HIV to a normal life.

“We believe there is hope for a cure, but we know it will take everyone working together to make it a reality and permanently end the suffering of millions of people living with HIV today,” says Galvin. “That’s why we’ve launched this video series: to have thoughtful conversations with people living with HIV, advocates, medical experts, policy makers, and others who are working hard toward the shared goal of ending this devastating epidemic.”

With The Cure Chronicles, American Gene Technologies wants to spotlight some of the many advocates and people in the HIV community who strive to keep hope alive and tip the odds toward success. The series already includes two video conversations with amazing HIV-cure pioneers:

  • The inaugural episode of The Cure Chronicles features the journey of Dr. Marcus A. Conant, an early HIV/AIDS treatment pioneer who took the lead in conducting early clinical trials, persevering despite seeing 94% of patients die during the epidemic’s first years.
  • The second episode features LGBTQ+ advocate Bobby Cook, delving into his experiences when the HIV epidemic first started and how he came to found the Copper Cactus Ranch (a 40-acre retreat dedicated to creating a safe space for men to discover their own truth, overcome trauma and heal).

Find The Cure Chronicles at:

About HIV
According to UNAIDS, approximately 37.7 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS. In the United States, government statistics show 1.2 million people have HIV and estimate that 34,800 Americans were newly infected with HIV in 2019. Across the globe, UNAIDS estimates that approximately 1.5 million individuals were newly infected with HIV in 2020. The Washington D.C./Baltimore area is often cited as a ‘hot spot’ for HIV, with Washington, D.C., having the highest rate of infection at nearly 46 cases per 100,000 population and Baltimore City having rates of 17 cases per 100,000. Maryland also ranks sixth among U.S. states and territories in HIV diagnosis rates, with more than 900 new cases in 2019 alone, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

Since the late 1980s, antiretroviral drugs have restored quality of life to persons living with HIV and, in some cases, have even been used to prevent new infections. However, no approved treatment has demonstrated the ability to cure HIV. AGT is committed to addressing this unmet medical need.

About AGT103-T
AGT103-T is a genetically modified cell product made from a person’s own cells. AGT’s unique approach focuses on permanently repairing the key immune system damage caused by HIV. AGT’s goal is to develop a cell and gene therapy capable of repairing the immune system so it will provide natural control over HIV replication.

About American Gene Technologies
AGT is a gene and cell therapy company with a proprietary gene-delivery platform for rapid development of cell and gene therapies to cure infectious diseases, cancers, and inherited disorders. AGT’s mission is to transform people’s lives through genetic medicines that rid the body of disease. AGT has been granted four patents for the technology used to make AGT103-T and 11 patents for its unique immuno-oncology approach to stimulate gamma-delta (γδ) T cells to destroy a variety of solid tumors. The company has developed a synthetic gene for treating Phenylketonuria (PKU), a debilitating inherited disease. AGT’s treatment for PKU has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is expected to reach the clinic in 2022.

Video About AGT’s Work:

Fed Ready to Tighten the Screws on Inflation

Fed Ready to Tighten the Screws on Inflation

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points this week. The central bank also signaled that it’s likely to keep raising rates at every meeting well into the second half of the year, and made it clear that it will start paring its balance sheet soon.

If all this sounds quite hawkish, it should—at least stacked up against the Fed’s previous forecasts in December. Since then, inflation has intensified and become more deeply entrenched, and the market had already adjusted its expectations ahead of the Fed meeting. So, while the March information was a bit more hawkish than anticipated, it wasn’t a paradigm change.

The US Economy Should Withstand Rate Hikes

The Ukraine war is foremost among today’s uncertainties, and it’s simply too early for the Fed—or anyone else—to have a clear picture of the longer-term impacts. The Fed’s statement, and Chair Powell’s comments about the war, were largely factual—not predictive.

Powell simply noted that the war would likely push inflation up and economic growth down, which we agree is the likely outcome. The Fed will wait to see the balance between those two outcomes before deciding if the war necessitates a change to its economic outlook—and thus its policy outlook.

Inflation: More Severe and Embedded than Initially Thought

Even without the war’s impact, the Fed’s expectations on inflation and growth have shifted since the last forecast round. Inflation is more intense and deeply embedded in the US economy than the central bank had thought, and the central bank was compelled to boost its inflation forecasts. Meanwhile, persistent inflation is eroding purchasing power, resulting in a downgrade to economic growth forecasts.

The Fed upped its 2022 forecast for core personal consumption expenditures, its go-to inflation measure, to 4.1% from 2.7%, and increased the 2023 and 2024 forecasts—it now doesn’t expect inflation to fall back to 2.0% until at least 2025. The forecast for 2022 economic growth was cut from 4.0% to 2.8%, reflecting deteriorating real purchasing power made worse by surging commodities costs. If energy prices move meaningfully from here, inflation and growth forecasts will need to be revised.

The Fed made clear how it expects to respond to higher prices and lower growth: with tighter monetary policy. Based on the central bank’s new “dot plot,” most members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) expect rate hikes at each of the six remaining 2022 meetings. Several FOMC members expect at least one rate hike of 50 basis points or more at a single meeting.

A Rapid Evolution in the Fed’s Rate Path

The Fed has come a long way on its rate trajectory in a short amount of time. The most dovish of this week’s dots—each FOMC member’s estimate of year-end rates—calls for four more rate hikes from the central bank this year. That estimate would have been the most hawkish only three months ago.

Based on the new dot plot, potential outcomes for 2022 fed funds target rates ranges from 1.375%, meaning 100 more basis points of rate hikes, to 3.125% (evidently, one FOMC member believes that 275 basis points of additional rate hikes over the next six meetings is appropriate). A substantial minority of dots (seven of 16) call for more than 2% in rate hikes during 2022, meaning that seven of the 16 FOMC members expect to raise rates by 50 basis points at least one time this year.

Our Forecasts Reflect More Rate Hikes to Come

In large part because of the war, economic uncertainty is exceptionally high right now, making forecasts beyond the immediate future more challenging than usual. Our forecast, and any other, depends a lot on developments in Ukraine and associated moves in commodity prices.

Based on the information available today, we expect the Fed to raise rates by another 25 basis points in May, and to announce at that meeting that balance-sheet reduction will start. After that, we think another 125 basis points of hikes are likely this year, with at least one hike (probably June’s) of 50 basis points. Tightening should slow, but not stop, economic growth, allowing the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes in the fourth quarter and into 2023–2024 and bring inflation gradually back to target.

We find it interesting that the Fed is explicitly considering balance-sheet runoff as part of its policy tightening tool kit. This suggests that the pace of the runoff itself could be flexible; if the Fed thinks balance-sheet reduction is a substitute for rate hikes, it might become desirable to use that tool more dynamically. Such an approach would be a big change from the last cycle, when balance-sheet reduction was meant to happen in the background.


Privacy Beyond Compliance: A Business Driver to Gain Consumer Trust and Increase Sales

Privacy Beyond Compliance: A Business Driver to Gain Consumer Trust and Increase Sales

The greatest modern commodity is no longer gold or oil, it is data. Today’s technology has enabled companies to collect and store massive amounts of consumer data. While there are many benefits and rewards to collecting and monetizing data, there are just as many risks and responsibilities when it comes to handling consumers’ personal information. Data can be a powerful tool to improve a product or service; however, to truly reap the benefits of data, businesses need to collect, store, and use it responsibly. Otherwise, corporations will lose customers’ trust and, ultimately, their business. Read More

You’ve Qualified for a PPP Loan, Now What? How to Avoid Non-Compliance as You Begin to Utilize Funds

You’ve Qualified for a PPP Loan, Now What? How to Avoid Non-Compliance as You Begin to Utilize Funds

As a small business, you may have qualified to receive a piece of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds that were allocated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in response to the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In addition to bolstering cash flow, SBA’s PPP will also forgive loans if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the funding is utilized specifically for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

This past Monday, SBA reported that it had successfully processed more than 100,000 loans from more than 4,000 lenders. Assuming your small business was able to quickly turn around the application, it’s likely you received your funding (or it may be on the way as the SBA preps to process PPP round two – as an additional $310 billion in funding was granted by the SBA this week).

As organizations begin to put this funding to use, it’s imperative that the requirements for where, when and how you use these funds are top of mind as the fear of non-compliance looms. Taking necessary actions now can assist your small business down the road to reach forgiveness – you don’t want a loan (and neither does the bank at these low interest rates), you want forgiveness.

    • As referenced prior, one stipulation regarding the PPP loan forgiveness states that “SBA will forgive all loans if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.”
    • It’s important to note that the eight-week period that is referenced commences on the exact date that the PPP funds are received.
    • The law states that costs must be paid or incurred, which could be two different things depending on timing. For ease of reporting, and to best match up cash flow, it’s likely best to track things on a cash basis.
    • No more than 25% of the forgivable amount of the loan can be attributable to these non-payroll costs.
    • If your facilities costs include common area maintenance, do your best to get billed by lessor or estimate and pay.
    • If possible, consider matching contributions to retirement plans, such as 401(k) even if on a discretionary basis. You could also provide additional Health Savings Account (HSA) funding.
    • Keep in mind, as a small business you are limited to no more than $100,000 (annualized) for one employee. This works out to $15,384 of compensation during the eight-week period.
    • If you have had a recent reduction in employee headcount, consider bringing those employees back by June 30, 2020. They will count as Full-time equivalent (FTE) for the entire eight-week covered period.
    • While this is not required, it makes this significantly easier for inflow/outflow tracking purposes as you begin to use funding
    • Support for expenditures will need to be shown, but one dedicated account will make this process more painless.
    • If there are employees on your payroll that receive their salaries in the form of a government grant, they need to be excluded from your total employee count.
    • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has clarified that employers receiving PPP loans (that have not have been forgiven), may be able to take advantage of the Social Security tax deferral, without incurring penalties, until the date on which the lender issues a decision to forgive the PPP loan.
    • The tax that is deferred prior to the loan forgiveness date is due under the applicable dates provided in the statute (50% by December 31, 2021 and 50% by December 31, 2022).

Read more on: Assurance & Advisory | Income Tax Services

Top Digital Trends for Life Sceience Business in 2020

Top Digital Trends for Life Sceience Business in 2020

Life science and health care is the industry which is a late adopter of digital innovation but never left untouched by this. For life sciences companies who are looking to transform digital technology, here are the latest tech trends they should focus on.


Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

One of the biggest challenges for life sciences companies is the time it takes to develop a product or drug, it varies from 7-10 years.  A lot of this time is spent in reviewing and analyzing data, which can be reduced by using AI and ML. Researchers are focusing on writing AI scripts that can analyze the structures and unstructured data and present the meaningful value to the research community so that they can make faster decisions. AI can be used to select the right patient and sites for clinical trials to accelerate the trial process. Using AI and machine Learning, you can train the system to analyze people, drugs, trial results and regulations to expedite the drug delivery process. 


Automated Data Extraction

Data extraction is a critical step for life science companies and regulatory agencies. Companies can use automated scripts to read relevant research data, historical trends to make better business decisions. Regulatory agencies can use it to read the submitted data and analyze it and make decisions like who to send the data for review. Regulatory agencies can use this to inform the drug manufacturer or public as well about the safety concern of a drug or ingredient. 


Natural Language Processing

Reading unstructured data and understanding it in context of language and research has always been a challenge for life science companies. Additionally, companies that are submitting drugs in multiple markets have to face the challenge of translating content and labels in different languages. NLP can help this, It can be used to read unstructured data like texts, comments and data collected from kiosk in context of the scenario. NLP can be combined with machine learning to train the system and extract the right meaning. 



Managing and securing data is big for life science companies. Blockchain seems to be the right solution for clinical trial, drug delivery and supply chain management. It can be used to secure patient health records, trial outcomes, historical data, communication among stakeholders, and other related data. Some blockchain platforms are being launched to cater to the life sciences, there is more need to understand the use cases and come up with the right solutions.


Mobile Apps /Wearables for Data Collection

Last 10 years have seen an explosion in mobile apps and wearable for health and fitness. Life science companies were initially slow to adopt to these technologies, however, they are focusing more on this now. It really makes the clinical trial process faster and accurate. You can give apps and wearables to patients to gather the data in real time and make the right decision. Overall, these technologies make the process faster and less costly. 

Piyush Jain is CEO and Founder of Simpalm, a custom software development company based in Bethesda, MD.

Posted by
Piyush Jain
Author Bio
After graduating from Hopkins in 2006, Piyush Jain set out on the path of tech entrepreneurship and founded two companies, Simpalm and Ducknowl in Maryland. His interests are digital tech, IoT, Mobile apps, AI, machine learning, and blockchain.
Big Announcements from Maryland Tech Council

Big Announcements from Maryland Tech Council

Please see important information below regarding our office move, guest blogs and member videos! Let me know if you have questions.  I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!

  • Big Move

    Maryland Tech Council is saying goodbye to our old digs on September 20, 2017.  Please make note, our communications will be down that day and we will resume full activity on September 21, 2017.  MTC’s new headquarters will be located at Launch Workplaces in Gaithersburg MD, 9841 Washingtonian Boulevard, Suite 200, Gaithersburg MD 20878.

  • Be a Guest Blogger

    Maryland Tech Council is launching the Member Point of View (POV) guest blogs.  We are inviting members to submit content for our blog page.  The content will be focused on your niche/industry where you can add a new POV for the MTC audience. Our goal is to position you as an authority and well-known name in the industry. And for us, we will have fresh new content for the page and get new readers to our blogger community.  It’s simple and a win-win.  We will have numerous categories that you can write articles for; those will be available in the next few weeks.  We are kicking off the Member POV blogs during Cyber Security Awareness month in October.  If you are interested in submitting a blog on that topic, please let me know and we will get you started.

  • Become a Familiar Face in the Community

    Maryland Tech Council is revitalizing the “member spotlight” that is featured in the VIBE E-newsletter. We now offer the opportunity to feature you, the member, through our new and exciting video blog or vlog.  The video will be 30-45 seconds, prerecorded at our offices, about your company. We will then feature the vlog in our monthly VIBE E-newsletter.  The vlogs allow us to distribute the member spotlight through other formats such as twitter, Facebook, etc. to get you more exposure.  I mean, we are the Tech Council, right?  


Remember, everyone in your company is a member of MTC. Please share this important information with your team.

Warm Wishes,

Michelle Ferrone
EVP, Operations
Maryland Tech Council