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Celebrate Rockville’s Latest Historic Landmark

Frieda's Cottage Designated as a National Historic Landmark

Image Courtesy of Peerless Rockville

Article Originally Published by Peerless Rockville

On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior designated Frieda’s Cottage as a National Historic Landmark for its association with Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (1889–1957) was a psychiatrist internationally renowned for her pioneering contribution to the treatment of schizophrenia. She made history as the paramount figure at Chestnut Lodge, the premier center for the psychoanalytically-oriented treatment of schizophrenia.

Dr. Fromm-Reichmann was internationally prominent by 1935, when she fled Nazi Germany and emigrated to the United States to continue her work. Several hospitals and institutions offered her positions, but she was persuaded to come to Chestnut Lodge in 1936 by Dr. Dexter Bullard, who promised to build her a home on the grounds. The house was designed by Washington architect Walter G. Peter and constructed by Rockville builder Franklin H. Karn.

She served as Chestnut Lodge’s director of psychotherapy and her cottage housed her office where she saw the majority of her patients. During her tenure, she was instrumental in transforming the institution into an internationally recognized mental health care facility that treated patients based on a philosophy that mental illness is treatable by a combination of psychoanalysis and occupational therapy. She worked at Chestnut Lodge until her death in 1957 at the age of 67. 

Peerless Rockville restored and continues to care for this special historic property. Peerless and The City of Rockville are honored to have it designated a National Historic Landmark as it recognizes a trail-blazing woman in the field of medicine when there were very few women, who transformed Chestnut Lodge into a renowned mental health institution, and ultimately changed how psychiatrists treat severe mental illness.

Peerless Rockville plans to host programs about Frieda’s Cottage this spring, so check the website for upcoming events

Join REDI’s Next Virtual Event on February 10

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint—Mental Health in the Workplace

A Virtual Roundtable Via Zoom
Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m.
Register Now

Rockville Economic Development Inc.’s Workforce Education Committee presents the next virtual roundtable in its series:

The REDI Roadmap to Recovery for Rockville Businesses Post-COVID
Workforce Education and Employer Needs

Please join Monica Escalante, CFO/CCO for Montgomery Hospice for a conversation about the challenges employers face about addressing mental health issues in the workplace, especially as escalated by the pandemic. Ms. Escalante will facilitate a panel discussion that includes: 

  • Susan Webb, Director of Behavioral Health Crisis and Outpatient Services, Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Meredith “Merry” Campbell, Attorney at Shulman Rogers
  • Denise Dewhurst, Professor and Coordinator, Psychology, Montgomery College
  • Joann Bagshaw, Professor of Psychology, Montgomery College
  • Kip Ingram, Director of Bereavement Care, Montgomery Hospice

Register in advance for this meeting (enter name and email):


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit from this discussion. Questions? Contact Alexis Castillo at alexis@rockvilleredi.org.

Rockville-based Cancer Drug Developer Has Filed To Go Public

Sensei Biotherapeutics​ Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million in its initial public offering​, according to its filing with the SEC on January 15, 2021.

Article Originally Published by Rockville Patch

ROCKVILLE, MD — Sensei Biotherapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company based in Rockville, has filed to go public.

The cancer drug developer is seeking to raise $100 million in its initial public offering, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, January 15.

No pricing terms or a public offering date were disclosed. But Sensei says it intends to use the proceeds to fund the clinical development of SNS-301, an immunotherapy candidate that’s in Phase 1/2 trials.

SNS-301 is being tested as a potential treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Topline data from this trial is expected by the end of 2021.

According to the filing, the money will also help fund the development of its ImmunoPhage platform — which uses genetically engineered viruses to create robust immune responses to cancer proteins.

“Our business is highly dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, SNS-301, and any other product candidates that we advance into the clinic,” the company wrote.

Sensei — which was originally founded in 1999 as Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc. — reported a net loss of $16.7 million in 2019. As of Sept. 30, 2020, the company has accumulated a deficit of $107.3 million.

The company said it has funded its operations “to date primarily with proceeds from the sale of (its) equity securities and borrowings of convertible debt.”

Sensei, which is headquartered at 1405 Research Blvd., plans to join the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “SNSE.”

REDI Seeks Deputy Economic Development Director

Now Accepting Applications for an Exciting Position to Help Sustain the Progress and Continued Growth in Rockville, Maryland.

Salary Range $80,000 – $100,000 DOQ/E, Plus Excellent Benefits

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), an innovative and highly successful nonprofit economic development agency located in beautiful Rockville, Maryland, is seeking a dynamic, talented and experienced candidate for the position of Deputy Economic Development Director to help sustain the progress and continued growth experienced by the community over the last 20+ years.   

REDI is a public-private partnership established to strengthen and broaden the City of Rockville’s economic base through business entrepreneurship, expansion, retention, and recruitment programs. Rockville, the 3rd largest city in Maryland with a population of nearly 70,000, is a vibrant community developed over 14 square miles, poised for future success. The city is located just 12 miles northwest of the nation’s capital and 35 miles southwest of Baltimore with easy access to Washington, D.C.

Rockville is served by three Metro rail stations, several major highways, and three major airports. Uniquely positioned along the I-270 Bio-Tech Corridor, Rockville is in the center of a variety of technology-based businesses and a daytime labor force of over 80,000 people. There is also a wealth of existing key business clusters providing Rockville a competitive advantage in a variety of areas including the life sciences, advanced immunology, hospitality, cybersecurity, quantum computing, advanced technologies, video gaming, professional services companies and entrepreneurship.  Rockville possesses a strong sense of community and benefits from an educated, ethnically diverse and engaged citizenry, stable neighborhoods, annual celebrations, and a wide range of recreational and cultural opportunities. The City’s downtown serves as the county seat for Montgomery County, one of the most affluent and well-educated counties in the United States. 

REDI is funded primarily by the City of Rockville, serving as its economic development agency since being established in 1997. In addition to traditional economic development activities, REDI assists with site selection and relocation support, helps to establish financing and incentive programs, and serves as a networking hub by connecting potential clients, partners and funders with local public and private leaders. The organization also serves as a liaison between the business community and City staff to discuss and help expedite projects and troubleshoot issues. 

REDI is governed by a Board of approximately 20 Directors appointed by the Rockville Mayor and City Council and consists of volunteer business representatives and residents who generally live and/or work in the City, including the Mayor and City Manager. REDI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operation, including two full-time employees directly related to economic development. The CEO also is responsible for overseeing seven employees supporting the mission of the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC), an innovative program created in 2010 and certified by the SBA in 2013 to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, especially women-owned businesses, at every stage of building and sustaining their business.

The Deputy Economic Development Director reports directly to REDI’s CEO and will serve as the second position in the executive structure of the organization and assist in the implementation of the strategic plan for economic development and in overseeing REDI’s operations in accordance with the policy direction by the Board of Directors. The position will be responsible for ensuring the accurate updating of relevant market and demographic data used by site selectors and included in the organization’s marketing materials. Other responsibilities include administering various incentive programs and assisting the CEO with overseeing the operations of the organization including purchasing, accounting, human resource issues, equipment and other tasks as needed.   

The ideal candidate will have experience in business retention, business expansion, and business recruitment, new business start-up, and retail development to strengthen the commercial tax base resulting in the enhancement of a community’s quality of life.  Candidates with exceptional marketing and writing skills, enthusiasm, and the desire to work collaboratively with other members of the team will have an advantage. Candidates possessing an understanding of how the local development process works and are knowledgeable about a variety of economic development best practices will receive strong consideration. The selected candidate must be a recognized team player with a record of communicating effectively and working collaboratively with colleagues, state and local development officials, other economic development agencies, neighborhoods, business and community leaders, and prospective businesses and developers. Experience in marketing, strategic planning, and overseeing or reviewing financial operations, proformas, and conducting cost-benefit analyses is desired. 

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, economics, real estate, finance, or a related field, and at least five (5) years of experience in economic development or a similar area. CEcD certification is desired but is not a requirement, and the selected candidate must possess a valid driver’s license.

Applicants should submit a confidential cover letter and résumé online at https://bakertilly.recruitmenthome.com/postings/2754; the position is open until filled with a first review of candidates occurring on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.  Following the first review date, résumés will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in the recruitment brochure. For more information, please contact Art Davis at Art.Davis@BakerTilly.com or by phone at 816.868.7042. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a comprehensive background and reference check prior to an onsite interview.

Rockville Economic Development Inc. (REDI) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its organization (EOE).

Learn more about the City of Rockville, Maryland, at www.rockvillemd.gov.

Emmes Acquires Neox s.r.o., a Clinical Research Organization Headquartered in the Czech Republic

Transaction Expands Emmes’ Biopharma Effort and European Presence

Emmes, a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation, has acquired Neox s.r.o., a European-based CRO. Neox will add over 150 employees who support biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies.

“This is an important and exciting step for Emmes, demonstrating significant progress on our strategic plans to grow our biopharmaceutical business,” said Dr. Christine Dingivan, Chief Executive Officer of Emmes. “Neox adds a sizable, well-established biopharmaceutical research services business to Emmes and significantly expands our international presence.”

Based in Prague, Neox has operations primarily in central and eastern Europe, with a direct presence in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The company operates in another 11 European countries, including a recently established entity in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2004 by brothers Dr. Pavel Marek and Petr Marek, Neox has provided clinical research support for more than 1,000 studies and has built deep experience across multiple therapeutic areas. Both Pavel and Petr Marek will remain with Neox and continue to serve in their leadership roles. “Pavel and his team have built a CRO with an excellent reputation,” noted Dr. Dingivan. “Our companies share a dedication to science, long-term partnerships with clients, and a corporate culture that centers on integrity, agility and passion for excellence.”

According to Dr. Marek, “Neox and Emmes will be a powerful combination. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers with the expanded resources of the Emmes organization, as well as helping Emmes support rapid patient enrollment in global clinical trials. Our regulatory contacts throughout Europe, who understand country-specific requirements, will be an asset in helping Emmes’ current and future biopharma customers with their global drug development strategic planning and clinical operations.”

Emmes conducts its operations from, and is focused on growing, its two strategic business groups: Emmes Biopharma and Emmes Public Sector. Neox will be part of Emmes Biopharma, which also includes Emmes’ established, experienced teams in the USA, India and Canada.

“Neox will broaden our biopharmaceutical platform by expanding our customer base and capabilities to conduct global trials at sites across the US, Canada, UK, EU, and India,” noted Dr. Dingivan. “The acquisition will leverage the systems and technology investments Emmes has made to support future growth.”

This acquisition will bring the total number of employees at Emmes to over 1,000 across the globe.

Founded in 1977, Emmes is a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to excellence in supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. The company’s clients include numerous agencies and institutes of the U.S. federal government and a wide range of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies throughout the world. To learn more about how our research is making a positive impact on human health, go to the Emmes website at www.emmes.com.

South Florida Investor Buys Office Building Leased to Biotech, Life Science Tenants

Morning Calm Management Acquires Twinbrook Office Center in Rockville for $32.7 Million

Newmark arranged the sale of the Twinbrook Office Center at 1700 Rockville Pike to South Florida-based Morning Calm Management. (CoStar)

Article originally published by Ella Anderson of CoStar Research. 

A Montgomery County, Maryland, office building leased to a mix of biotech and life science industry tenants sold for $32.68 million or about $200 per square foot in a year-end sale.

Morning Calm Management, a South Florida-based real estate investment and management firm which has acquired several office properties in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, purchased the seven-story Twinbrook Office Center from Ivy Realty Services, a Montvale, New Jersey-based firm that acquired the building in 2016 for $33 million.

Located at 1700 Rockville Pike, the 163,936-square-foot structure was built in 1983 and recently underwent $3.4 million in common area renovations. At the time of the sale, the building was 80 percent leased to multiple tenants such as Dovel Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Novartis. 

“Commercial real estate located in bioscience clusters around the country continues to outperform the broader marketplace,” said Jud Ryan, executive managing director at Newmark, who marketed the building with James Cassidy and Cliff Cummings.

Ryan cited the property’s tenancy and location near the headquarters of U.S. Pharmacopeia and the NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) division as factors in the property holding its value during the pandemic.

Joint Venture Acquires Pair of Office-Lab Buildings in Rockville

Glenline Investments & Singerman Real Estate Form Investment Partnership to Acquire, Reposition Buildings for Life Science Tenants

5640 Fishers Lane, shown here, and 12441 Parklawn Drive recently sold to a pair of investors who plan to reposition the buildings for life science tenants. (CoStar)

Article originally published by William Jordan of CoStar Research. 

Bethesda-based GlenLine Investments has partnered with Singerman Real Estate, a Chicago-based opportunistic real estate investment firm, to acquire a pair of flex buildings in Rockville, Maryland.

The buyers plan to reposition the pair of vacant buildings totaling 74,500 square feet as office-lab space in the first of a programmatic joint venture between the firms focusing on life science property investments.

JLL Capital Markets arranged the joint venture equity partnership that purchased the single-level 5640 Fishers Lane and the two-story 12441 Parklawn Drive. The buildings are located in the suburban Twinbrook Metro Park complex adjacent to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which previously occupied both buildings before vacating prior to the sale.

JLL Capital Markets Senior Managing Directors Jim Meisel and Andrew Weir, Managing Director Matt Nicholson and Director Dave Baker arranged the joint venture and initial property acquisition. The buyers have retained JLL’s Danny Sheridan and Amanda Davis to provide leasing advisory services.

GlenLine Investments was formed in 2019 by Scott Nudelman, formerly a senior vice president for acquisitions with Carr Properties, with financial backing from the owners of Minkoff Development and the Fred Schnider Investment Group.

Rockville Earns Top Score for LGBTQ Support for Fourth Consecutive Year

2020 MEI Maryland Rankings

College Park100
Columbia (Howard County)100
Towson (Baltimore County)86
The MEI rated 10 towns, cities and areas in Maryland.

City Scores Perfect Marks — Plus Bonus Points — on Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index

Article Contributed by Rockville Chamber of Commerce.

For a fourth consecutive year, Rockville has scored perfect marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for the city’s commitment to the health, welfare, safety and equality of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

Rockville scored 110/100 on the scorecard, netting 10 bonus points for its services to LGBTQ youth, homeless people, elders and members of the transgender community.

The ninth annual MEI scorecard, released Thursday, Dec. 3, analyzes and rates 506 municipalities across the country, measuring each for the inclusivity of laws, policies and services for their LGBTQ communities.

Cities are rated across 49 criteria, covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ equality.

View the full 2020 MEI report

See Rockville’s report card.

Congratulations to RCC’s 2020 Rockstars

We’re pleased to recognize this year’s RCC Rockstars that make such a positive difference in Rockville and the surrounding communities in our region.

  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Dr. Josh Funk, Rehab2Perform
  • Small Business of the Year – Clark Concepts
  • Large Business of the Year – Adventist HealthCare at Shady Grove Medical Center
  • Nonprofit of the Year – Main Street Connect
  • Citizen of the Year – Clark Kendall of Kendall Capital
  • Community Service – The Bean Bag Deli & Catering

On December 3, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce hosted its RCC Rockstar Awards. Although the celebration was a little different this year, the Rockville Chamber and iHeartRadio’s BIG100 presented a creative, fun and highly interactive event to the 2020 winners. 

The event featured a classic rock trivia contest hosted by BIG100’s midday on-air personality, Lisa Berigan and lots of door prizes. The “Best Dressed Rocker” contest judged by Victoria Jones of DC Radio Company awarded an autographed electric guitar from the world-famous Trans-Siberian Orchestra. All attendees were entered in the evening’s grand prize drawing and the winner received two domestic round trip airline tickets, compliments of Omega World Travel.   

2020 RCC Rockstars

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) and the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) proudly sponsored the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which recognizes a person who organizes and operates a business that solves a need in a new or unique way, taking on financial risk to do so, and demonstrating  innovation, resiliency, flexibility and a unique business and marketing strategy in the process. Dr. Josh Funk, Rehab 2 Perform is the 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes a company that has been in business for at least five years and is an active member of the Rockville Chamber. Presented this year by valued sponsor M&T Bank, the 2020 Small Business of the Year is Clark Concepts

The Large Business of the Year is a company committed to the vitality and community in Rockville, employing more than 50 employees and earning more than $5 million in revenue. Presented this year by valued sponsor Angelini Pharma, the 2020 Large Business of the Year is Adventist HealthCare, Shady Grove Medical Center.

The Nonprofit of the Year recognizes outstanding practices among Rockville’s diverse nonprofit organizations. The winner has demonstrated success in creating a lasting and beneficial impact for all Rockville residents and sets a strong example for other non-profits in the community. Presented by valued sponsor Intelligent Office, the 2020 Nonprofit of the Year is Main Street Connect

The Citizen of the Year award honors a person within the Rockville community who shows exemplary service to the community and whose efforts stand out as above and beyond expectations. This person is someone who exemplifies the spirit of Rockville and has made Rockville a better place to live, work and play. Presented by valued sponsor John Marshall Bank, the 2020 Citizen of the Year is Clark Kendall of Kendall Capital

The Community Service Award is a special award this year. RCC wanted to recognize a company that has been particularly helpful and generous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented by valued sponsor Satisfaction Provisions, the 2020 Community Service Award winner is The Bean Bag Deli & Catering.

Congratulations again to these great individuals and organizations and thank you for the difference you make every day!

Join the Rockville Business Forum on November 16

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous stress on local businesses. The City of Rockville has partnered with the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, Rockville Economic Development, Inc., and Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to help.

Discover resources and get advice, as well as ask questions and discuss solutions at the virtual Rockville Business Forum, from 9-10 a.m. on Monday, November 16, 2020.

The forum will be held via Zoom. Access the meeting at us02web.zoom.us/j/89834426637 or call in via phone at 301-715-8592 and use meeting ID 898 3442 6637.

For more information, contact REDI Administrative Coordinator Alexis Castillo at alexis@rockvilleredi.org.