Fast-Growing Maryland Biotech Firms

Published: Sep 11, 2015

Fast-Growing Maryland Biotech Firms’
September 9, 2015
By Renee Morad, Breaking News Staff

In Maryland, more than 2,000 life science businesses generate nearly $17 billion in economic activity, according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The state is also home to Johns Hopkins University, which ranks first in the nation in total NIH awards.

Maryland-based biotech firms are seeing job growth among many sectors, from research to drugs and medical equipment. Here's a closer look at sectors that have seen jumps in employment between 2010 and 2014.

Maryland Bioscience Employment Statistics (Source: DLLR Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, DBED Estimates)
Bioscience Establishments in Maryland
Research, Testing and Medical Laboratories
Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Medical Devices and Equipment
Agricultural Feedstock and Chemicals
Total Private Employment

Furthermore, Maryland is making big moves lately to bolster its presence in biotech and life sciences. The Technology Council of Maryland, which represents the growing biotech and life science sector in Montgomery County, Md., recently joined forces with Baltimore tech incubator Betamore—to help better position the state as an innovation hub. The alliance was made in hopes to strengthen advocacy efforts in Annapolis.

The shift followed Gov. Larry Hogan’s initiative to bolster Maryland’s potential for business growth and job creation.

As Maryland shows effort to further improve its potential for biotech innovation, there are several companies currently making headlines for expansion. Here are some companies to keep an eye on for opportunities in the future, because they are increasing workforce, adding new jobs or expanding manufacturing facilities, labs or administrative space.

The British pharmaceutical company has announced plans to establish a vaccine research center in Rockville, Maryland, bringing roughly 600 jobs to the state.

GlaxoSmithKline decided to take over a vacant state-of-the-art lab space in Rockville because the facility is close to GlaxoSmithKline’s partners in vaccine development, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, which is collaborating with GSK on a vaccine candidate for the Ebola virus, according to Anna Padula, spokesperson for GSK.

“Rockville, MD is a prime location enabling our research teams to collaborate with critical US bio- scientific and policy vaccine leaders, particularly in GSK’s emerging focus in biodefense and medical counter measure innovation, along with leaders in global health from around the world,” said Padula exclusively to BioSpace.

AstraZeneca PLC
The integrated biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC is spending $200 million on an expansion project in Frederick, Md. The project will boost production capacity at the facility to support AstraZeneca’s maturing pipeline and position the company to keep pace with a growing demand for the development and use of biologics.

The project will also add an estimated 300 new jobs. The project is expected to be completed by mid- 2017 and will add approximately 40,000 additional square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and administrative space.

“We’re very pleased by AstraZeneca’s demonstrable commitment to our local workforce and to our growing biotech community,” Frederick City Mayor Randy McClement said in a statement. “This expansion will help bring even more high-caliber life science jobs and career opportunities to Frederick and the surrounding region.”

Abigail Bozarth, spokesperson for AstraZeneca, said to BioSpace, “AstraZeneca’s Maryland operations are integral to our global business, and to the development, manufacturing and marketing of innovative biopharmaceuticals that benefit patients worldwide.”

Emergent BioSolutions
Emergent BioSolutions , a multinational specialty biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is undergoing a $60 million expansion that will roughly double the company’s current manufacturing building in Baltimore.

“We are doubling the size of our Bayview manufacturing facility, which was designated by Health and Human Services as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. This center is meant to facilitate advanced development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures that address the U.S. government’s needs to protect against emerging public health threats,” Miko Neri, company spokesperson of Emergent BioSolutions, said exclusively to BioSpace.

Emergent has a total workforce of more than 1,300 and employs about 400 people in Maryland, including about 170 in Baltimore. The project is expected to add 158 jobs in Baltimore over the next four years.

The State Department of Business and Economic Development is supporting the project with a $2 million loan.

Noxilizer Inc.
This Baltimore biotech firm, focused on developing a medical sterilization system using nitrogen dioxide, recently expanded its footprint at the University of Maryland BioPark to meet growing demand from clients.

The company added about 5,000 square feet to its sterilization space, now taking up about 16,000 square feet in total—while it also added several new positions.

Noxilizer has also recently taken on six sterilization contracts, tripling its previous workload. The company's surface sterilization process that can be used for medical devices and tools is particularly popular since it can be done at room temperature, making it a safer alternative for syringes containing temperature-sensitive medication.

SeraCare Life Sciences
A leading partner to global In Vitro Diagnostics manufacturers, SeraCare Life Sciences plans to expand and upgrade its laboratory, research and manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, Md.

The new Molecular Diagnostics Center for Excellence for product development and manufacturing will provide digital PCR, Next Generation Sequencing technologies and bioinformatics resources to help the company enable precision medicine.

These expansions, among others, bring big hopes for Maryland on its mission to gain an even stronger footing in biotech and life sciences.

“With an ecosystem that fosters business and venture capital investment, leading universities and academic medical centers, a wide manufacturing base, an extensive network of life sciences service providers, and a desirable quality of life, Maryland is poised to become one of the top biotechnology clusters in the nation,” said Neri.

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