Feature Story

Catching up with David S. Block of Gliknik

This summer we had the chance to catch up with David Block, who is the President and CEO of Gliknik Inc. We asked him about his company; see his answers below. Look for more executive discussions in future issues.

Tell us about Gliknik:

Gliknik is a privately held biopharmaceutical company working to ease human suffering by creating new therapies for people living with cancer and immune disorders. At Gliknik, we're discovering a few more drug candidates than a company our size would normally. We’re operating on the cutting edge of immunology and running as fast and as hard as we can to advance our science and clinical candidates.

What is your strategy for growing the business?

Currently, we have a significant licensing agreement with Pfizer for GL-2045, the most advanced Gliknik stradomer™, which targets autoimmune diseases. Our collaboration with Pfizer has been mutually beneficial. We have other compounds that could be appropriate to enter a second corporate collaboration with the right pharmaceutical company, and we also plan to advance other compounds internally towards the clinic.

What stage of development are you in?

Our cancer therapeutic vaccine GL-0817, which is our most advanced candidate, is poised to enter a Phase II clinical trial to prevent recurrence of high-risk squamous cell cancer of the oral cavity in patients whose tumor has been removed by surgery and treated with chemotherapy and radiation.

What can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?

During the great recession that began in 2008, we raised 11 rounds of funding to stay afloat. Remember this was when people thought investing in real estate was a risky proposition and we were a new biotech company with whiteboard ideas. Fortunately, we had advocates who believed in us and stuck with us. It was a constant challenge for six or seven years, and now we are much more stable and can really focus on advancing our portfolio.

What strategic relationships, particularly at UM Baltimore, have been helpful to your company?

Proximity to the University is helpful. We purchase some of our reagents through BIORESCO. We also access a couple of the CORE facilities on campus. Both are helpful services that we’ve taken advantage of. We’ve sponsored academic collaborators at UMB through sponsored research, including with Scott E. Strome, M.D., our scientific founder. We have shared a translational award from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) with the UM Medical Center’s transplant team. We’ve also sponsored academic research with two collaborators in conjunction with the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program. We’re fortunate to have many connections with the University.

Recent News

June 1, 2015

Instantlabs partners with fda to commercialize catfish species identificiation test

tennant in 800 west baltimore street

InstantLabs will co-develop and commercialize a new Ictalurid catfish species identification test as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In accordance with U.S. Farm Bill legislation, only members of the Ictaluridae family can be legally marketed as catfish within the United States.

Read more.

June 24, 2015


The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has received a five-year $24.5 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to partner with the Government of Botswana and impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana, and to demonstrate that comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment programs can stop the epidemic. 

Read More.

Recent Events

July 28, 2015 // 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Tenant council meeting

Host: University of Maryland BioPark
Location: UM BioPark Life Sciences Conference Center

All BioPark tenants are welcome to attend. Hear what's going on in the BioPark, and update other tenants about your company.

Click here to register.

August 27, 2015 // 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Science in the City

Host: University of Maryland BioPark & Wexford Science + Technology
Location: UM BioPark

Join us to meet-and-great UM BioPark's tenants and UMB faculty and staff.

September 2, 2015 // 8:00am - 1:00pm

BioPark blood drive

Location: Life Science Conference Center

September 15, 2015 // 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch for hungry minds - Joe Haskins / New Market tax credits - community impacts

Click here to register.

September 24, 2015 // 4:00pm - 7:00pm

Science In the city's: "the science of sustainable food"

Host: University of Maryland BioPark, Wexford Science + Technology, and BioBuzz
Location: UM BioPark

This Science in the City event will feature a panel discussion on the topic of Sustainable Food from seed to table and beyond.  This forum will lead into an opportunity to network with your peers of vendors/organizations involved with sustainability.

Save the date! Registration will be coming soon.

September 25, 2015 // 5:00pm - 9:00pm

baltimore Innovation week kick-off event

Click here to learn more about this exciting week.

Local Updates

Wexford, UMB, and the BioPark engage community through the Southwest Partnership

Read more about the development planned for the neighborhoods surrounding the BioPark: Southwest Baltimore's Potent Partnership and visit their website.
Recent Events
We'd love to hear from you!
Please send your news, milestones, events, and ideas to lcassard@umaryland.edu

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