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March 24, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Company Receives GBC Award

Next Breath Honored for Innovation and Industry Leadership

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager

Next Breath, LLC, a bwtech@UMBC Accelerator company, received the Entrepreneurship Award at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 3rd annual Bioscience Awards presentation on Tuesday, March 18 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Julie Suman, the company’s co-founder and president, accepted the award at the presentation, which was attended by approximately 150 leaders from the Baltimore region's bioscience industry and research community.

Next Breath, a graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program, is a contract services provider to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies that bring new inhalation and nasal products to market. It provides services ranging from pre-clinical formulation development to analytical testing, in support of submissions made to regulatory agencies. To date, 55 pharmaceutical companies worldwide have sought Next Breath’s services to support their drug development efforts. The company currently employs 17 people.

Suman, a registered pharmacist who holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, founded Next Breath in 2001 with partner and vice president Shailaja Somaraju. Suman was previously a pharmacist consultant with PAREXEL’s clinical pharmacology research unit, a research assistant at the University of Maryland’s Department of Pharmaceutical Science and an intern at Magellan Laboratories. Somaraju also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and was previously a project manager at the University Pharmaceuticals of Maryland.

Winners of the 2008 Greater Baltimore Region Bioscience Awards were selected by a panel of judges from among 22 nominees submitted by businesses, bioscience advocates, higher education institutions and government agencies. The criteria for the Entrepreneurship Award included: goals reached through perseverance; a company orientation toward greater risk taking behavior; high utilization of a new system, products or best practices in achieving results; evidence of entrepreneurial leadership to achieve company goals; and commitment to the greater Baltimore region and/or business community.

“Next Breath has always strived to be an innovator and an industry leader. It has been exciting to watch the company grow and achieve success. I am thrilled to see the company recognized by the local bioscience community for its achievements,” said Suman.

“We’ve had an exemplary track record of success over the years with our bioscience companies. It’s an honor for our companies to be nominated, and certainly for Next Breath to win the entrepreneurship award against a very competitive field,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Other bwtech@UMBC nominees for the Bioscience Awards were Kris Appel, President & CEO of Encore Path, Inc. (Best New Product or Progress Award), Paul Silber, Former President/CEO & Founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (President’s Award) and Stephen Auvil and the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program (President’s Award).


bwtech@UMBC ( is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro at March 24, 2008 3:46 PM