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FDA approves HGS’ anthrax treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an anthrax treatment developed by Rockville biotechnology company Human Genome Sciences, setting the stage for a $20 million payment from the federal government.

The treatment, raxibacumab, branded ABthrax, is an injection to treat inhalation anthrax and has been approved as a prevention method when alternative therapies are not available or appropriate.

HGS, which was bought by GlaxoSmithKline of London earlier this year, began work on raxibacumab under a federal contract shortly after the anthrax attacks in 2001 that infected 11 people, killing five of them.

HGS has sold ABthrax for $280 million to the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use. The Project BioShield Act of 2004 allows the federal government to purchase products such as ABthrax that have not received FDA approval.

Discovery purchases Nordic assets for $1.7B

Silver Spring media giant Discovery Communications has agreed to buy SBS Nordic from German television company ProSiebenSat.1 Group for about $1.7 billion.

SBS Nordic has 12 television networks and numerous radio stations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Discovery has 153 networks in 217 countries and territories.

The channels “will expand Discovery’s footprint across the Nordic region, which includes some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world,” David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications, said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close early next year, executives said.

InvestMaryland names two more recipients

Two Baltimore businesses are set to receive $300,000 through the state’s $84 million InvestMaryland initiative this month, the most recent program recipients.

Plasmonix, which has developed a metal-enhanced fluorescence used in cell detection, will receive $100,000, and Bambeco, an online retailer of sustainable products, will get $200,000. Bambeco already has received $400,000 through the program.

InvestMaryland raised its funding through an online tax credit auction among insurance companies that operate in the state. Maryland has received 259 applicants for its $300,000 InvestMaryland Challenge. Winners in the information technology, life sciences and general categories will be announced in March.

Maryland Clean Energy Center finances energy upgrades

The Maryland Clean Energy Center in Rockville has closed on its first capital transaction, which will allow Coppin State University in Baltimore to finance energy-efficiency upgrades on campus.

The program provides tax-exempt debt financing to underwrite the upgrades to the lighting, electrical, mechanical and water systems.

“This structure has real potential to accelerate stalled capital projects, save Maryland institutions money, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Jeffrey Eckel, board chairman of the center, said in a statement. He is also CEO of Annapolis investment bank Hannon Armstrong.

Baltimore biopark adds sterilization company

Sterilization company Noxilizer has signed a lease in the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore, relocating from the Research and Technology Park incubator at sister campus University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Noxilizer, a privately held company founded in 2004, offers a nitrogen dioxide-based sterilization technology that hopes to revolutionize sterilization practices in manufacturing and in hospitals.

Kendall added to Montgomery chamber board

Clark Kendall, president and founder of Rockville investment services firm Kendall Capital Management, has joined the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

Kendall’s “experience and position as a leading local business owner,” as well as his commitment to and passion for community outreach, make him a “great addition to our board and organization overall,” chamber President and CEO Gigi Godwin said.