Life sciences sector heats up in Maryland

07/05/2022 | Amanda Winters

The recent BIO International Convention not only brought showcasing opportunities for the state and its unparalleled life sciences assets, but also several exciting announcements from Maryland-based companies.

Horizon Therapeutics, a global biotech business focused on addressing autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, is working on quadrupling its space  in Montgomery County. The company currently has a new state-of-the-art lab under construction with completion planned for 2024. Horizon anticipates doubling its employees in Maryland, with room in the new facility for more than 200 scientists.

“We were really excited about the space in Rockville. Maryland is the fastest-growing biopharma hub in America. It’s an amazing environment. There is a diversity of thought, experience and origin here that is key to innovation and success."
— Bill Rees, Vice President of Translational Sciences, Horizon

REGENXBIO is also expanding its presence in the county, with a newly-opened gene therapy manufacturing facility  inside its 132,000 square-foot headquarters. Over the past few years, REGENXBIO has hired 200 workers and invested upwards of $100 million in its new headquarters and manufacturing center. The Maryland Department of Commerce announced support for the company’s Rockville expansion in 2018 with a $700,000 conditional loan.

"Quality manufacturing is crucial to all stages of AAV gene therapy development, and we're extremely proud of this cutting-edge facility and the experienced team we have to lead these efforts,” said Curran Simpson, chief operations and technology officer at REGENXBIO. “Bringing our manufacturing in-house allows us to control the process from beginning to end and provides flexibility to support a wide range of clinical and commercial needs."

Synexa Life Sciences, a leader in the field of biomarker science, is also growing its Mid Atlantic presence by gaining 5,000 square-feet of lab space  in Maryland. According to BioBuzz, the company recently acquired a bioanalytical business in Finland, expanding its global portfolio that currently includes England, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, and The Netherlands.

“Synexa Life Sciences has been around for two decades, and they had a long-standing wish to open up the lab [in the U.S.] because we see the demand from our U.S. customers,” said Emile Lens in an interview . “Opening up our U.S. lab now means we can offer them our services both in Europe and the U.S.”

It should come as no surprise that companies are turning their eyes to Maryland for life science expansion. Real estate and investment firm CBRE just named the Baltimore and D.C. area the country's second-best life sciences market  in its analysis of top U.S. markets. The leading ranking demonstrates that the region offers sufficient educational and capital resources to boost and retain a talented life sciences workforce.

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