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Emergent BioSolutions receives $75m contract option from BARDA to procure doses of newly licenses anthrax vaccine

Emergent BioSolutions word logo

This latest contract option supplements previous contract procurements and supports the U.S. biodefense preparedness efforts

Germantown, Md., Nov. 28, 2023 – Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the United States Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $75 million option to Emergent’s existing contract (HHSO100201600030C) for the acquisition of newly licensed anthrax vaccine CYFENDUS™ (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, Adjuvanted). Deliveries are expected to begin this calendar year and be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Previously known as AV7909, CYFENDUS™ vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2023 as a two-dose anthrax vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis use in individuals 18 years of age and older. Anthrax is considered a high-priority national security threat and has the potential for major public health impact.

“CYFENDUS™ vaccine is a critical component of Emergent’s anthrax medical countermeasures franchise, and supports the U.S. government’s anthrax preparedness strategy,” said Paul Williams, senior vice president, products head at Emergent. “This procurement helps ensure the nation has sufficient anthrax vaccine and aligns with Emergent’s longstanding commitment to strengthen public health preparedness.”

In 2016, BARDA and Emergent extended their partnership to support clinical development and manufacturing efforts for the AV7909 vaccine, including a Phase 3 trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy, working toward the goal of eventual FDA licensure. A pre-Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package was submitted in December 2018, and the first pre-EUA doses of AV7909 were delivered to the U.S. government in 2019. In April 2022, Emergent submitted the Biologics License Application to the FDA for review, leading to approval and licensure in July 2023. This latest contract option supplements previous contract procurements and supports the U.S. biodefense preparedness efforts.

This project has been supported in whole or in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under contract HHSO100201600030C.

About Emergent BioSolutions

Emergent develops, manufactures and delivers protections against public health treats through a pipeline of innovative vaccines and therapeutics. With a product portfolio including BioThrax, Anthrasil, Ebanga and CYFENDUS, Emergent has worldwide manufacturing facilities including Rockville, Maryland. Learn more at https://www.emergentbiosolutions.com/


Rockville receives $25,000 grant for arts-driven pedestrian safety mural

Aerial photo of street intersection with the corner asphalt decorated with art
Asphalt Art project in Baltimore, MD - Image credit: Bloomberg Philantrophies

Rockville is one of 25 cities from the United States, Canada and Mexico to receive the Bloomberg Philantropies Asphalt Art grant

Article originally published by MoCo360 Media on November 27, 2023

Rockville, in partnership with VisArts, a non-profit visual arts hub based in the city, was awarded $25,000 in November to develop an arts-based pedestrian safety project. The initiative aims to improve street safety and revitalize public space – bringing color and character to Beall Avenue with a mural, according to a VisArts press release.

According to Karyn Miller, the Arts, Culture, and History program manager for the City of Rockville, the project will also enhance a section of Gibbs Street between North Washington Street and Maryland Avenue.

Miller added that in the coming months, the city and VisArts will work to prepare designs for streetscape and safety improvements in the site area and then issue a call for artists to submit mural design ideas.

Alice Nappy, the executive director at VisArts, said the organization is all about integrating the arts into everyday life and said that the project is “right up our alley.”

“As an arts organization, our feeling is that the arts are transformational,” Nappy said. “… I look at the road that site is going to be on, it’s pretty much cars and trucks and buses bustling down and there are people trying to cross the street all the time. If there’s a way to use art to make cars and vehicles pay more attention to, ‘Oh, here’s a place where people might be crossing!’ I think that’s going to be helpful.”

The mural design on Beall Avenue will be selected through a competition, and Rockville in collaboration with VisArts will issue a call for artists to invite them to submit design ideas. The call for artists has not yet been sent out.

“While VisArts is involved, the actual artist or design will be sourced from a wider pool of talent, offering an opportunity for local artists to contribute to this civic project,” Miller wrote in an email.

Rockville is one of 25 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico to receive the grant, which comes from Bloomberg Philanthropies, a New York City-based non-profit organization. According to a press release from VisArts, the city’s project was selected from more than 200 applications.

The Beall Avenue location was chosen due to the need for improved safety measures. According to Miller, the area has been the site of numerous collisions, including six injuries and one death recorded in the last four years.

“This four-block region is an integral part of Rockville Town Center,” Miller stated. “The area sees heavy traffic and is home to a vibrant community life both indoors and out including restaurants, retailers, residential buildings, offices, and cultural facilities. … The asphalt art project entails implementing vibrant designs to the streetscape to highlight road improvements and encourage drivers to be more mindful of their speed.”

Other U.S. cities that received grants are Anderson, South Carolina; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Fall River, Massachusetts; Fort Collins, Colorado; Honolulu; Little Rock, Arkansas; New Orleans; Passaic, New Jersey; Flagstaff, Arizona; Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; Stamford, Connecticut; Milwaukee; and San Francisco.

The grant is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art initiative, which aims to fund and support “arts-driven street redesigns to improve safety, revitalize public space and engage local communities,” a Bloomberg press release said.

According to the release, the Asphalt Art initiative is inspired by the growing number of cities around the world that are using arts- and design-based solutions to improve pedestrian and street safety and create vibrant public spaces. In addition to the grant, Bloomberg will provide the cities with technical consulting.

Monique Ashton, the newly elected Mayor of Rockville, posted about the grant on X, formerly Twitter, on Nov. 15. “Thrilled about this grant and the possibilities to support our #VisionZero efforts while also bringing art and vitality to our community.”

See how streets across the U.S. and around the world have transformed into colorful, pedestrian-oriented blocks in this video posted by Bloomberg Philanthropies on X.

“The Asphalt Art Initiative has proven that when cities invest in these low-cost projects, streets become safer and communities become stronger,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City in a press release. “The new Asphalt Art Initiative projects in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will save more lives, inspire more imaginations, and strengthen more cities across the continent.”

According to Miller, the project is currently in the planning and development stages and Rockville residents can expect to see the completed project by late 2024. She added that the time frame for completion is an estimate and subject to change.

The Rockville community will be kept informed about the progress of the project and will have the chance to engage with the design of the project, according to Miller.


Rockville earns perfect Municipal Equality Index score for seventh year

Traditional Pride Flag with the words 'Love is Love' hung from a City of Rockville tent

The Municipal Equality Index was designed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to help residents learn how inclusive their city's laws and policies are of LGBTQ+ people.

Rockville, Md., Nov. 27, 2023 – Rockville has scored 100 marks for the city’s commitment to the health, welfare, safety and equality of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in its seventh year of participation in, and the 12th year for, the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Rockville scored 95 out of 100, plus an additional 10 bonus points, for its nondiscrimination laws, law enforcement, employment and workplace inclusivity, leadership and services to the LGBTQ+ community. Final scores cannot exceed 100.

“Cities and towns around the country are stepping up each and every day, finding new and innovative ways to empower LGBTQ+ people in the face of a dire national state of emergency,” Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson said in a statement accompanying the report.

The 12th annual MEI scorecard, released in November, analyzes and rates 506 municipalities across the country, measuring each for the inclusivity of laws, policies and services for their LGBTQ communities. Cities rated include the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state groups’ members and supporters.

Cities are rated across numerous criteria, covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ equality.

Rockville’s MEI report can be found at www.hrc.org/resources/municipalities/rockville-md. Learn more about the MEI at www.hrc.org/resources/municipal-equality-index.

Press release link: https://rockvillereports.com/rockville-nets-another-perfect-mei-score/

Rockville businesses honored at GRCC’s 8th annual Rockstar Awards

Five clear, star shaped awards with GRCC Rockstar Awards logo centered on awards on a table
Image credit: Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce/ACB Precision Photography

The Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) celebrated local business excellence at its 8th annual awards

The Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) celebrated local business excellence at its 8th Annual Rockstar Awards at the Manor Country Club on November 2, 2023. This annual event recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of businesses and individuals in the Rockville community. This year’s ceremony honored the entrepreneurial spirit and community commitment that thrives in Rockville.

Small Business of the Year

The Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Intelligent Office. This accolade honors a business with under $5M in revenue, operational for at least five years, and demonstrates flexibility, innovation, and a unique business and marketing strategy. Learn more about Intelligent Office at https://www.intelligentoffice.com/maryland/rockville

Large Business of the Year

Exemplifying a commitment to employees, customers and the community, DARCARS Automotive Group was honored with the Large Business of the Year Award. This award is reserved for businesses with over 50 employees and more than $5M in revenue, recognizing their commitment to the vitality of Rockville. Learn more at https://www.darcarschryslerjeeprockville.com/

Nonprofit of the Year

The Nonprofit of the Year Award was Comfort Cases, an organization that has set a benchmark for excellence among Rockville’s nonprofits. This award acknowledges their impactful and lasting contributions to the residents of Rockville. Learn more at https://comfortcases.org/

Entrepreneur of the Year

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was claimed by Proudly. This award celebrates a business leader who demonstrates innovation, resilience, and a unique approach to addressing community needs. Learn more about Proudly at https://proudlygive.com/

Young Professional of the Year

Shane Senior of Cornerstone Montgomery was recognized as the Young Professional of the Year, an award highlighting an individual’s leadership and commitment to Rockville’s business community. Learn more about Shane and Cornerstone Montgomery at https://www.cornerstonemontgomery.org/

About the Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC)

The GRCC serves as the voice of the thousands of businesses that proudly call Rockville, MD (and the greater region) their home. It strives to create and support a thriving Rockville through educational programs, networking opportunities, and services; civic and business involvement in cultural and social programs and services; and advocacy for the interdependence of business and civic goals to expand economic vitality in Rockville. Learn more at https://rockvillechamber.org/

Rockville recognized as a top arts-vibrant community of 2023

Art gallery corridor with painting of yellow, stuffed plush toy duck on the left and abstract blue and white painting on the right. The corridor ends with an arched doorway showing a painting of a human eye and eyebrow with abstract accents
Glenview Mansion Art Gallery

The Arts Vibrancy Index measures supply, demand, and public support for arts and culture

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, recently unveiled its Arts Vibrancy Index for 2023, and Rockville, in conjunction with Frederick and Gaithersburg, has been named the 7th most vibrant arts community in the large metropolitan area category across the United States.

The Art Vibrancy Index analyzes communities based on metrics related to the supply and demand of arts and culture, as well as public support. It accounts for variations in population and cost of living, providing a balanced comparison across different-sized communities.

The Frederick-Gaithersburg-Rockville region has consistently ranked on the Arts Vibrancy ranking since its launch in 2015.

For a detailed overview of the criteria and to view the complete list of communities recognized, visit https://culturaldata.org/arts-vibrancy-2023/the-top-40-list/

The Washington Business Journal recently released its annual list of the Fastest-Growing Companies in Greater DC for 2023. The ranking is based on the average percent change in revenue from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. To qualify, companies must be headquartered in the Washington area, privately held with no parent company, and have generated at least $2 million in revenue in 2020 and $10 million in 2022 with increases each year. Two Rockville-based companies have been included in the Journal’s 2023 list of 50 fastest-growing companies:

#19 – RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Industry: Chauffeured ground transportation provider

Year Founded: 1988

2022 Revenue: $74.9 million

Total Employees: 715

#20 – Presidential Exteriors

Industry: Residential remodeling and construction

Year Founded: 2015

2022 Revenue: $36.3 million

Total Employees: 188

Ripple Effect COO Dr. Jennifer Pohlhaus earns AWIS 2023 Zenith Award

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Rockville, Md., Oct. 23, 2023 – Ripple Effect’s Co-owner and COO, Jennifer Pohlhaus, has been honored with AWIS’s 2023 Zenith Award. This award recognizes career professionals with a lifetime of innovative achievements in STEM and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility (DEIA).

Dr. Pohlhaus has paired her background in the sciences with her leadership role at Ripple Effect to shape a welcoming and forward-thinking corporate culture that prioritizes lifelong learning, embraces diversity as a key element of innovation, and weaves evidence-based thinking into Ripple Effect’s consulting services to offer employees the chance to do the best work of their careers in service of solving some of the nation’s most complex challenges.

AWIS is the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. AWIS strives to achieve the full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. In addition to scholarships, AWIS provides career resources, professional development, as well as networking, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities to build leadership skills.

“Thank you AWIS!” said Jennifer Pohlhaus, “this award is particularly meaningful to me since it reflects my passion for supporting a diverse national workforce in STEMM and acknowledges my efforts to create an inclusive culture at Ripple Effect.”

About Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect is an award-winning, women-owned consulting company that works with federal, private, and non-profit clients to support policies and programs that shape our nation. From healthcare implementation to scientific research, Ripple’s ever-growing customer base includes NIH, HHS, CMS, CDC, HRSA, and DoD’s Navy, Air Force, and Army branches. With a focus on operational excellence, Ripple Effect has gained national recognition, including five consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list and a 2022 Moxie award for boldness in business. To learn more, visit www.rippleeffect.com.

Link to press release https://rippleeffect.com/2023/10/ripple-effect-co-owner-coo-jennifer-pohlhaus-receives-national-zenith-award-from-the-association-for-women-in-science-awis/

Business Spotlight: Sheladia Associates, Inc.

Headshots of Sheladia leadership - Pravin Sheladia and Manish Kothari
Pravin Sheladia - Chairman; Manish Kothari - President & CEO, Sheladia Associates, Inc.

"Our philosophy has been 'In the success of others lies our own', and we strive to ensure all our clients, partners and communities share our success."

Can you walk us through the history of Sheladia Associates and how it has evolved over the years?

Founded in 1974, Sheladia Associates Inc. initially specialized in transportation design in the metro DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas, serving State and County governments. By the late 1970s, the firm expanded into water resources and architecture within the U.S. and took on its first international project in Haiti in 1979 through USAID. During the 1980s, as an 8(a)-minority owned business, Sheladia worked across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, mainly in the water sector. In the late 1980s, it branched into international transportation design and construction supervision.

In the early 1990s, the firm began collaborating with multi-lateral donor banks like the Asia Development Bank and the World Bank. To date, Sheladia has completed over 1,100 projects for 300+ clients in 80+ countries, covering fields like transportation, water resources, energy, architecture, and technical assistance. Recently, they added a Federal Services division to work with the U.S. federal government and DOD.

Domestically, Sheladia serves clients in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as Washington DC, including agencies like WMATA, DDOT, and DC Water. They maintain offices in Largo, Maryland, focused on Third Party Design and Permit Reviews, and another in DC for Construction Management. In the last decade, major projects include work on the Dulles Corridor Metro Project and DC Water’s Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station, as well as design-build services for World Bank offices in Kabul and Laos.

 What are some milestone projects that have defined Sheladia Associates presence in Rockville?

Within Montgomery County we’ve completed:

  • Design engineering for Franklin Avenue
  • Design engineering for Upton Drive safety improvement
  • Washington Grove connector-Crabbs Branch way extension
  • Long Branch Library refreshment project
  • Damascus Library and Senior Center refurbishment project
  • Nebel Street Homeless Shelter design project

We’ve also worked on:

  • Dulles Corridor Metro project
  • DC Water Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station
  • World Bank – Kabul office project
Group of people behind a large table in a conference room
Sheladia Associates Inc. staff
How has the economic landscape of Rockville impacted your business’ longevity?

Economic growth of Rockville and the overall county has allowed us to recruit and retain the workforce which are and is the single most important element in our industry

What advice would you give to new businesses aiming to be longstanding fixtures in the community?

Our philosophy has been “In the success of others lies our own” and we strive to ensure all our clients, partners and communities share our success. Engage with the community you live and work in.

What role has the community of Rockville played in the success of Sheladia?

The community of Rockville has been integral to our success, giving us access to a wide universe of talented workers and providing us with proximity to our US clients as well as the international donors funding most of our international projects.  

About Sheladia Associates, Inc.

Sheladia Associates, Inc. is a minority-owned and operated business founded in 1974 and performs work throughout the Metropolitan area and around the world. We design and manage the construction of infrastructure — both physical and institutional — to support economic growth and strengthen the capabilities of our clients and partners. Sheladia is headquartered in Rockville, with international offices located in Asia and Africa. Learn more at https://www.sheladia.com/

Nonprofit Spotlight: Interfaith Works

Headshot of Interfaith Works CEO, Courtney Hall
Courtney Hall - Chief Executive Officer, Interfaith Works

"Rockville is an inclusive, welcoming place to operate as a nonprofit. It is also a convenient, centralized location that is easily accessed by Interfaith Work staff and by our clients."

Can you describe the mission of Interfaith Works and how it aligns with the Rockville community’s needs?

Interfaith Works helps more than 35,000 Montgomery County neighbors each year through vital programs that provide our neighbors with a pathway to stability. That includes thousands of Rockville residents. Essential IW programs located in the Rockville community include: the IW Clothing Center; IW Food Pantry; IW Connections; IW Vocational Services Program; IW Women’s Shelter at Taft Court, an emergency shelter serving women; IW New Leaf, an inclusive emergency shelter, and our newest program. Lon’s House, which provides a supportive, welcome environment for senior men who have experienced homelessness. For people facing a range of challenges in the Rockville community, including job loss, food insecurity or homelessness, IW’s programs are here to welcome and help them, responding to their needs on a tailored, individualized basis.

How has partnering with local businesses enriched Interfaith Works’ impact?

Local businesses and organizations have been extraordinarily generous, both through donations and volunteering. They have provided a range of support for our programs. Including: holding drives for essentials like toiletries, coats and school supplies. volunteering at our programs; and providing donated meals for the residents of our shelters. These businesses and organizations include Snyder Cohn, National Institutes of Health, Original Pancake House, Rockville Rotary Club, Immunocore, and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals.

Can you share a success story or program that epitomizes your work in Rockville?

Mr. Johnson, a Rockville resident since the 90s, is a kind-hearted senior who found himself struggling to make ends meet. He contacted Interfaith Works Connections (located in Rockville at the IW Essential Needs Center) after being connected with the IW Food Pantry (also at the Essential Needs Center).

He reached out to IW Connections for utility assistance, as the burden of bills was becoming overwhelming. A Resource Coordinator quickly assessed his situation and determined that he qualified to receive a grant towards his past due balance. With the support of IW Connections, Mr. Johnson now has peace of mind, knowing that his utilities are taken care of.

What are some of the volunteer or partnership opportunities available at Interfaith Works?

Interfaith Works offers a range of opportunities, including:

  • Schedule time to volunteer as an individual or in a group, sorting clothes or helping arrange food staples at the IW Essential Needs Center
  • Hold a drive for us – we welcome travel-sized toiletries at some of our shelters, for example; our IW Clothing Center would welcome winter coats
  • Share your knowledge and skills with our Vocational Services Program, including helping people with resumes and interview practice
  • More options are listed here: https://www.iworksmc.org/volunteer
Why did Interfaith Works decide to operate in Rockville?

Rockville is an inclusive, welcoming place to operate as a nonprofit. It also is a convenient, centralized location that is easily accessed by IW staff and by our clients. In addition, Interfaith Works has been in Rockville throughout its history and is proud to continue that tradition. That includes IW largest programs at the IW Essential Needs Center, which is home to Interfaith Works’ Clothing Center, the only large-scale free clothing distribution program in Montgomery County.

About Interfaith Works

Interfaith Works responds to the needs of our neighbors by offering four program areas: Emergency Shelter, which serves people experiencing homelessness; Supportive Housing, which provides housing insecure people with housing assistance and supportive services to help them maintain stability; Essential Needs, located in Rockville, which includes the IW Clothing Center, the IW Food Pantry (which provides access to free food and diapers), and IW Connections, which links our neighbors to essential services through counseling and education; and Vocation Services Program, also located at our Rockville headquarters, which helps un- and underemployed people find sustainable job opportunities with an array of services that include resume assistance, interview practice, and training opportunities. Learn more at www.iworksmc.org        

Business Spotlight: Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites

Jeff Wilder - Owner, Best Western Premier Rockville

"We embody a caring spirit by putting guests first with teamwork, respect and an entrepreneurial spirit..."

How does Best Western Premier Rockville align with or enhance the overall local hospitality and tourism landscape?

Our property is the only Premier in the DC Metro Area, and is an art-filled full-service hotel that puts an emphasis on value, with exceptional amenities, finely appointed upscale guest units, a more contemporary experience of comfort and luxury, and friendly professional service. Simple and elegant, it’s a prestigious expression of the premium accommodation guests have come to expect and deserve.

What special services or amenities does your hotel offer to make it stand out?

Our private 2nd Floor Wing is a unique experience for bridal parties, mitzvahs, and business VIP travelers. Having completed a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2023, the building modernization qualified the hotel for the Montgomery County MD-approved PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing.  By expanding the use of C-PACE in Montgomery County, the hotel is contributing to private sector investment in the community, clean energy job growth and improvement in building quality. This renovation is further evidence of our commitment to our valued guests and the Rockville community. 

Are there any upcoming initiatives or partnerships that you’re excited about?

We have recently been designated as a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB)! We are the only hotel in the DC region with this distinguished designation, providing Montgomery County with a unique, value-oriented, superior product.

Best Western Premier Rockville team
Can you share some insights into the leadership style and values that guide Best Western Premier in Rockville?

The Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites inspires travel through unique experiences by delivering service in a friendly, courteous, and helpful manner. We embody a caring spirit by putting guests first with teamwork, respect, and an entrepreneurial spirit upheld by our commitment to excellence and each team member taking ownership.

Best Western Premier logo
What makes Rockville the ideal location for operating your hotel?

We provide the easiest access to all that Montgomery County has to offer. From Gaithersburg to Bethesda, you can reach your destination in a timely manner.

About Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites

The Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites is a completely renovated, full-service contemporary hotel in the heart of the biotech corridor and owned by a U.S. Army veteran. Ideally situated at the intersection of I-270 and Rt. 28 West Montgomery Avenue (Exit 6B), the BW Premier Rockville provides visitors easy, close, and convenient access to virtually all local destinations in Montgomery County and the Nation’s Capital. The newly renovated hotel is just 12 miles from Washington DC and 10 minutes from the Rockville Metro Red Line to/from DC. Learn more at www.bestwestern.com/rockville