COLUMBIA, Md. (Jan. 13, 2010)  – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) announced today thatnine Maryland technology companies have received $674,977total in funding. Blue Torch Medical Technologies, Inc.; Celek Pharmaceuticals, LLC; Chesapeake BioDiscovery Development 1, LLC; Columbia Biosystems, Inc.; CombiMab, Inc.;FlexEl, LLC; Solar Fruits Biofuels, LLC; Therataxis, LLC; and ZGI, Inc., each received approximately $75,000 fromTEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer and CommercializationFund (MTTCF). This program is designed to foster greater collaboration between businesses and Maryland universities and federal laboratories in order to bring technology into the marketplace.

“Early stage technology funding is crucial in this economic climate and the future of Maryland’s marketplace relies heavily on the advancement of sustainable innovations,” said Governor O’Malley. “TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund, and the companies that receive funding from the program, are essential in the development of our state’s technology economy.”

“TEDCO is pleased to provide these promisingninecompanies with funding to facilitate in the development and advancement of their technologies,” said John Wasilisin, acting president and executive director of TEDCO. “With a new year comes new opportunity and Maryland’s economycan benefit greatly from the success of these commercialization strategies. We look forward to following the progressof these awardees and fostering the creation and growth of future technologies in 2010.

”To date, 132 companies have received funding from MTTCF and completed their projects. With an investment of $7.9Mthese companies have gone on to receive downstream funding from angel and venture investors, federal awards and other resources exceeding $298 million. This is a leverage of the state’s investment through TEDCO of $37.76 to $1.

• Blue Torch Medical Technologies, Inc., located in Rockville, Md., is working with JHUto  further develop a Computer-Integrated Diagnostics and Prognostics software system to improve imaging guidance during robotic-assisted surgeries.

• Celek Pharmaceuticals, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, Md., is working with University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) to develop targeted drug candidates with unique mechanisms of action to treat proliferate disorders, including cancer and inflammatory diseases.

• Chesapeake BioDiscovery Development 1, LLC, located in Baltimore, is working with UMB to develop a chronically administered oral anti-cancer agent that exploits interactions between retinoic acid signaling an aromatase inhibition.

• Columbia Biosystems, Inc., located in Baltimore, is working with University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) to develop Molecular Imprinted Polymer (MIPs) for the rapid detection of nosocomial pathogens. This technology may prevent a large number of hospital-acquired infections associated with nosocomial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

• CombiMab, Inc., located in Chevy Chase, Md., is working with UMB to develop a novel approach to monoclonal antibody therapeutics for oncology and autoimmune indications. These therapeutics are expected to have a higher efficiency and response rate compared to the current generation of antibodies.

• FlexEl, LLC, located in College Park, Md., is working with UMCP to commercialize a thin-film voltage source comprised of both batteries and “super-capacitors,” which offer several breakthrough benefits including; significantly higher charge storage capacity, environmental friendliness, flexible form factor, and remote recharging capability.

• Solar Fruits Biofuels, LLC, located in Salisbury, Md., is working with Salisbury University to develop and commercialize sweet sorghum, a promising crop for producing advanced biofuels. The crop contains a high concentration of sugar that can be converted into fuel ethanol and a significant amount of grain that can be used as animal feed.

• Therataxis, LLC, located in Baltimore, is working with JHU to develop a technology that models drug distribution within the brain to improve drug intervention forprimary brain cancers and central nervous system lymphomas.

• ZGI, Inc., located in Stevensville, Md., is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)to further develop several projects, including the on-orbit, high-volume manufacture of undifferentiated cells of plants and animals, the space-based production of embryonic stem cells, the on-orbit protocols, processes and procedures for adapting plants and animals to hostile environments by using the benefits of gene expression in weightlessness, and the production of new varieties and species of plants and animals for extreme environments.

Applications for funding programs are accepted continually and reviewed monthly by the TEDCO funding review team, which includes representatives from TEDCO, the Maryland
Department of Business and Economic Development and affiliated venture capital groups. Applicants must submit a proposal, a commercialization plan for the technology to be developed, a scope of work and a budget.

Funding Briefings: TEDCO hosts briefings to teach companies how to use TEDCO’s funding programs to help develop, transfer and commercialize technology from Maryland universities and federal laboratories to the Maryland marketplace. A session will be held at TEDCO’s office in Columbia from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 12. The briefing is free, however registration is required. To register, send an email to and put “Funding Briefing Registration” in the subject line.


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

Media Contact
Tammi Thomas, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, TEDCO