Archives For Bio/Life Sciences

Credit: National Institutes of Health

Credit: National Institutes of Health

Home to both the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, it’s no surprise that Maryland is a vaccine industry hub. Over a dozen vaccine companies, varying in size and focus, are established in the State. But experts say the draw for these and other life sciences companies runs even deeper.

In 2011, Vaxin, Inc. relocated its headquarters from Alabama to Gaithersburg, Maryland. The company is developing vaccines for anthrax and flu that are administered through the nose, providing fast-acting and long-lasting broad immune responses.

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Ebola 3

As the Ebola virus continues to spread throughout West Africa, a number of Maryland companies are contributing aid.

As the Ebola virus continues to spread throughout West Africa, a number of Maryland companies are contributing aid to those impacted by the deadly disease. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and its BioMaryland Center, along with sister State agencies, the life sciences community and several non-profit organizations, are urging increased participation through the Stop Ebola website.

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BmoreEmergent BioSolutions, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, is expanding its Baltimore manufacturing facility on Lombard Street.

The announcement was made today in a release by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). The expansion is slated to potentially double the company’s 58,000 square-foot space and is expected to add 158 new jobs over the next four years.

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Arab Health 2015 is the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition. Photo courtesy Arab Health 2015

Maryland companies are on the forefront of healthcare innovation, and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) is helping them share their technology with the world.

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Hours after online registration opened for Maryland’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit on Tuesday, more than 100 investors had applied.

Applicants are seeking a portion of the $12 million available in FY 2015 through the program. Funding is distributed as a refundable tax credit equal to 50 percent of an investment in Qualified Maryland Biotechnology Companies, certified by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

“The Biotechnology Tax Credit is one of our most effective tools for helping Maryland biotech companies attract new investors and bring their innovative medical devices and diagnostics to the commercial marketplace,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Increasing funding for the credit is critical as we continue to nurture a healthy Innovation Economy in Maryland.”

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BALTIMORE, MD (March 4, 2014) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that the State, through the BioMaryland Center, has awarded nearly $1.5 million to seven innovative life sciences companies and one educational institution through its Biotechnology Development Awards program. The companies, which received up to $200,000 each, will use the funding to accelerate the commercialization of a wide range of treatments and technologies; including a device that detects concussions in youths engaged in sports; a tool that takes a minimally invasive approach to mitral valve repair; and a drug to reduce eye injections for macular degeneration. An award was also given to a Johns Hopkins University researcher who is developing a device to lessen certain risks involved with cardiac ablation.

“Because of the better choice to invest in initiatives that create jobs and support our growing Innovation Economy, Maryland is well positioned to expand our global leadership and competitiveness,” said Governor O’Malley. “These awards are critical to ensuring the groundbreaking research being done here in Maryland has the opportunity to move to the commercial marketplace.”

Since its inception in 2010, more than $6 million has been awarded through the program to 32 Maryland life science companies. It is a key component of Governor O’Malley’s Bio 2020 initiative. The BioMaryland Center is part of the State’s business and economic development agency, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

“The program already has yielded multiple success stories. Three previous awardees—Gliknik, Telcare, and Unither Virology–collectively have raised more than $100 million after using their biotechnology development award funds to advance the early stages of their technology,” said Dr. Judith Britz, Executive Director of the BioMaryland Center. “We are proud of the work these innovators are doing and anticipate the Center’s investments will help them move their technologies from research to reality.”

Awardees this round include:

  • AsclepiX Therapeutics, LLC (Baltimore) –a long-lasting drug which would reduce the number of eye injections for macular degeneration and improve patient vision.
  • Brain Sentry, Inc. (Bethesda) – helmet mounted sensors which detect and count possible concussive injury hits for youth engaged in sports.
  • Clear Guide Medical (Baltimore) – ultrasound guided technology to make needle biopsy more accurate, faster, and safer.
  • Cordex Systems, Inc. (Annapolis) –an enhanced blood pressure cuff to measure endothelial dysfunction, the earliest indicator of atherosclerosis.
  • Harpoon Medical Inc. (Stevensville) – a surgical tool which will enable surgeons to reliably repair the mitral valve using a minimally invasive beating-heart approach.
  • Otomagnetics (College Park) – a magnetic particle drug delivery system for treatment of sudden hearing loss and eventually common ear infections.
  • Vasoptic Medical Inc. (Columbia) – a low-cost portable retinal imaging instrument for early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy affecting 1 in 3 diabetics.
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) – a system which assists with securing the puncture site during cardiac ablation therapy to compensate for the beating heart.

BALTIMORE, MD (February 19, 2014) – Faculty researchers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University were recognized for their groundbreaking research and its impact on human health with 2014 BioMaryland LIFE (Leading Innovative Faculty Entrepreneurs) awards. Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray and BioMaryland Center Executive Director Dr. Judy Britz presented the awards to Dr. Jonathan Powell of the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center to further develop a new therapeutic agent for diabetes type II; and to Dr. Eduardo Davila of the University of Maryland, Baltimore for his T-cell based universal immunotherapy platform to fight cancer. First awarded in 2010, the LIFE prizes are two $50,000 grants funded by the BioMaryland Center along with the two universities to help advance research in biotech and biopharma, medical devices, or diagnostics that have the greatest potential for commercial application.

“We are proud to work with our partners at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland to create a pipeline of support and assistance that takes the groundbreaking research being done at our world-class universities from the bench to the bedside,” said Secretary Murray. “I want to salute all of today’s faculty presenters for the important role they play in keeping our state on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.”

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Johns Hopkins University ranked first in the nation in research spending among top-ranked research institutions.

Johns Hopkins University ranked first in the nation in research spending among top-ranked research institutions.

Johns Hopkins University ranked first in the nation in research spending among top-ranked research institutions, the Washington Post reports.

The Baltimore-based university spent $2.1 billion on research and development in the fiscal year ending in 2012, including a large portion in biomedical research, according to the article.

Other Maryland institutions—University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.; and University of Maryland, Baltimore County—also ranked in the top 200 0f the National Science Foundation’s list.

The dedication to research spending in Maryland, especially when focused on the life sciences and new medical technologies, is welcome news to the BioMaryland Center, an office within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The BioMaryland Center supports and collaborates with the state’s most prestigious research centers. Under the leadership of executive director Dr. Judy Britz, Ph.D., the center works to bring life sciences innovation “from research to reality,” with the help of tax credits, awards, incubator space and more.

Learn more about the BioMaryland Center here.


Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

A growing number of firms in the medical device industry call Maryland home. But this week, a select group has ventured across the globe to participate in MEDICA, the world’s leading trade fair for medicine and medical technology.

Between Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, international medical market leaders, including 4,641 exhibitors from 66 countries, are descending on Dusseldorf, Germany for a range of MEDICA events. The BioMaryland Center, through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, is a state exhibitor, promoting Maryland’s medical-friendly business environment and also sponsoring attendance from participating companies.

“It really is a global event. We’re going to have probably over 150,000 visitors to our state booth,” said Carey Esslinger, regional manager over Europe, Russia, FSU, Latin America and the Balkans for Maryland DBED.

Maryland companies in attendance include Harmans-based AIV Inc.; Hanover-based BTE Technologies; Ijamsville-based BioAssay Works, LLC; Frederick-based BioElectronics Corporation; Annapolis-based Compass Languages; Westminster-based ImmunO4; Bethesda-based Dimetek Digital Medical Technologies Ltd.; Landover-based Man & Machine, Inc.; Germantown-based Medispec Ltd.; Rockville-based Tetracore, Inc.; and Pasadena-based Moss Inc.

Roughly half of the companies are showing in the Maryland booth, while others have “graduated” to become individual exhibitors, Esslinger said.

In recent years, Maryland’s participation in the show has planted the seeds for exporting agreements and foreign investment deals.

“It’s a perfect platform for Maryland companies looking to expand their sales internationally,” Esslinger said. “We have a number of Maryland companies attending the show this year, including manufacturers such as Man & Machine, who design water-proof keyboards used in hospitals, and Tetracore, which has developed a field testing kit for biological agents.”

The state, now considered a regular on the show floor, has developed a global reputation.

“Maryland’s strengths—such as proximity to federal facilities like the FDA, state of the art medical institutions like Johns Hopkins University and a highly educated workforce—are recognized and respected internationally,” he said.

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:



Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.


Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.


Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.


As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on

BALTIMORE, MD (August 26, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today joined with Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and City of Frederick Mayor Randy McClement to announce the expansion of a Montgomery County life sciences company which plans to add new jobs in Montgomery and Frederick counties over the next several years. Precision for Medicine, a leading provider of specialized services, technology and infrastructure for life sciences companies, will consolidate and expand its headquarters in a new location in Bethesda and will also expand its operations in the City of Frederick to be used for biorepository and lab operations. In total, the company will retain 81 jobs, and will create 170 new jobs between the two locations.

“By working with our partners in Montgomery County and the City of Frederick as well the leadership of Precision for Medicine, we are preserving 81 jobs, creating 170 new jobs and ensuring that this company will continue to grow and invest in Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our most important priority continues to be creating and retaining the kinds of highly-skilled, innovative jobs that will help sustain Maryland’s economy for today and for decades to come.”

“Today’s announcement that Precision for Medicine will remain and expand in Montgomery County is exciting news, and reinforces why we are one of the top biotech clusters in the country,” said County Executive Leggett.  “By strategically partnering with the State of Maryland and the City of Frederick, we show the regional and national business community that Montgomery County and Maryland are indeed business friendly and stand ready to assist companies who have demonstrated their ability and desire to grow here and add coveted, knowledge-based jobs to our local economy.”

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BioMaryland Center

BioMaryland Center

Baltimore, MD (June 26, 2013) – The BioMaryland Center, a part of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), today announced that early-stage biotechnology companies and individual investors have until Friday, June 28 to submit an application to be considered for the first round of up to $10 million in Maryland Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credits (BIITC) for FY 2014. Following the application process, a user name and pin number will be given to access the electronic submission for the first queue on July 8.  To access an application and for more information on the application process, click here.

The Maryland Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program provides tax credits to promote private investment in qualified Maryland biotechnology companies. Since it was first funded in FY 2007, it has stimulated investment of more than $90 million in qualified Maryland biotech companies, with more than 60 companies taking advantage of the program.  It is a key part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s BioMaryland 2020 plan, the 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy for moving the State’s life sciences industry forward, stimulating investment in targeted fast-growth businesses and encouraging creation and retention of intellectual property in Maryland. The BIITC also helps to position Maryland as a global life sciences powerhouse. Since 2007, Governor O’Malley has steadily increased funding for the popular program, which is now funded at $10 million for FY 2014.

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