Spherix executes exclusive option on UMB ovarian cancer drug

Technology development company Spherix Inc. Wednesday announced it executed an exclusive option agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore related to its anticancer drug designated PrAg-PAS, a novel protein drug designed by re-engineering the anthrax toxin delivery mechanism so that any one of a number of anticancer drug payloads may be specifically transported into ovarian cancer cells. (Daily Record)

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Hopkins lawyers seek reduction in $229M malpractice verdict

Attorneys for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Inc. asked a Baltimore judge to set aside or reduce a $229 million birth injury malpractice verdict from earlier this year, arguing that the result was not consistent with the evidence and indicated that jurors had been swayed by emotion. The award, which includes $200 million in future medical expenses, $3.6 million in past medical expenses and $1 million in lost earning capacity, came at the conclusion of a 15-day trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court in July. The jury also awarded $25 million in noneconomic damages, which will be subject to the state’s mandatory cap. (Daily Record)

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Progress reported in contract talks between GM, union

Faced with weakening sales, a deteriorating global economy and an unpredictable trade war, General Motors and striking auto workers appeared to be making progress Tuesday toward a four-year labor contract. The two-day walkout by 49,000 workers brought to a standstill more than 50 factories and parts warehouses in the union’s first strike against the No. 1 U.S. automaker in over a decade. Workers left factories and formed picket lines shortly after midnight Monday. “They are talking, they’ve made progress,” said Brian Rothenberg, spokesman for the United Auto Workers union. (News-Post)

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How an Attack on Saudi Oil Upended a Global Calculus

The Sept. 14 attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s biggest crude oil production plants sent shock waves through energy markets and triggered the biggest one-day jump in Brent crude prices on record. The disruption underscored how the oil industry, perpetually on edge for political uncertainty and hints of weakness in the global economy, can be badly shaken by a single localized event. (Wash. Post)

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Questions surround D.C. lottery and gaming contract, but high-level D.C. staffer says it’s fine

Several D.C. Council members are asking whether the $215 million lottery and sports gambling contract the council approved this summer fulfills local business subcontracting requirements. This week, they got an answer from a high-level District staffer: Everything’s fine. “Yes, the contract is compliant” with D.C. law requiring companies with large public contracts to subcontract some of the work to local businesses, Kristi Whitfield, director of the department responsible for monitoring compliance with the law, wrote in a letter Monday to D.C. Council Member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large). (Wash. Post)

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Anti-vaping bills would close 19 of 22 vape shops in Maryland’s largest jurisdiction

Maryland’s largest jurisdiction will introduce legislation Tuesday to restrict access to e-cigarettes for young adults and teenagers, joining a growing wave of jurisdictions trying to address underage vaping. The bills include a zoning amendment that would prohibit vaping shops within a half-mile of any middle or high school; and a ban on manufacturers distributing e-cigarettes to retail stores in those areas. (Wash. Post)

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Crude prices jump, Wall Street recoils after drone strike erases half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output

Oil prices were up significantly across global markets Monday after a wave of weekend drone strikes instantly erased half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, raising the possibility it would slow economic growth. Brent crude was trading at $66.52 per barrel on oil futures markets, a 10 percent spike from Friday’s close of $60.15. U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate crude was hovering near $60 per barrel, about 10 percent above where it was on Friday. (Wash. Post)

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What's new, Amtrak? Rail service pledges improved dining, sleeping experience.

If you like traveling long distance via train but don't want to actually meet other people while doing it, Amtrak has a new option for you. Starting next month, the railway operator will add flexible dining options on four of its routes, three of which roll through the District, allowing passengers to take their dinners into their private rooms or have an attendant bring it to them. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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