2019’s Top 10 Most Read Biotech News Stories from the BioHealth Capital Region

These were the year’s top-viewed biotech news stories on biobuzz.io

2019 was an eventful year in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR), to say the least, and BioBuzz has been there to document it every step of the way.

Whether it was the retirement of the MedImmune brand, Viela Bio’s $150M IPO, the $1.2B acquisition of Paragon Bioservices, Kite Pharma’s new manufacturing site in Frederick County, Maryland, an HIV cure emerging in Maryland or our continued coverage of the region’s expanding cell and gene therapy cluster-it’s been a truly remarkable year within the BHCR.

In many cases, BioBuzz’s most popular featured stories mirror many of the most important trends impacting the industry, both regionally and nationally.

Before we reveal our top 10 most viewed BioBuzz articles of 2020, we’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsors and readers for an amazing year. We’d also like to thank all of the BHCR thought leaders, industry executives, entrepreneurs, investors and others that have trusted us to cover these stories by being so open and generous with their time and being actively engaged in our regional community.

Thank you to all of our Sponsors this year!

Now, to the top ten…

Top 10 Most Viewed BioBuzz Articles of 2020

10. Designing for Cell and Gene Therapy Facilities

To succeed in this field, this new breed of biotechnology companies needs to understand and reimagine almost everything in their operation—from supply chain and logistics to workflow, manufacturing, quality, safety, and labor. Each of these components impacts facility design and engineering. It’s such a new industry that many processes haven’t even been developed, making it all that more challenging for companies to navigate their growth.

To dig deeper into this topic, we reached out to CRB’s process architect, Grace Linton, RA, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, who has been involved in designing commercial manufacturing facilities for multiple cell and gene therapy companies.

9. New Lab Space Designed to Attract Biotech Talent and Community Opens at 704 Quince Orchard

704 QO offers ready-to-occupy lab/office spaces for companies of all sizes. What really makes this new building stand out isn’t just the fully customizable individual lab units, but the suite of amenities that are tailored to the specific needs of emerging life science companies in the BioHealth Capital Region and the employees that work for them.

8. Biotech Startups On the Rise in Frederick, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland continues to be a hotbed for biotech and a destination of choice for many new startups. The last few years have seen one-time startups like RoosterBio, Inc., BioFactura, Inc. and Akonni Biosystems thrive and grow within the Frederick life science support ecosystem.

These milestones represent just a few recent examples of Frederick startup success. Now, a new group of Frederick startups are poised to spur the next generation of great biotech success stories. Let’s take a look at a few of the hottest startups ready to take a big leap forward.

7. Paragon BioServices gets $1.2B Acquisition Deal by Catalent after the launch of New Gene Therapy Manufacturing Facility

Paragon BioServices, the home-grown Maryland biotech company that started in a Baltimore incubator 30 years ago, has grown to more than 400 employees and is two weeks away from beginning production in a brand new 150,000 square foot state-of-the-art, world-class GMP manufacturing facility for gene therapies.

However, before a single new production run will take place, Catalent, a world-leading Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with $2.4B annual sales are set to make Paragon its latest acquisition to expand its gene-therapy manufacturing capabilities with a $1.2B all-cash deal.

6. Baltimore’s Top 10 BioHealth Startup CEOs

These CEOs and their teams have been inventing everything from novel vaccines and therapeutics to groundbreaking medical devices and equipment. We’ve been following the progress of these companies and their founders, many since the beginning, and are ready to spotlight the ones that are on the rise.

5. Kite to Open Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility in Frederick County Creating Significant Job Opportunities In Maryland

Kite Pharma, a California-based biopharmaceutical company that develops innovative cancer immunotherapies, announced plans today to open a new biologics manufacturing facility in Frederick County that will produce innovative cell therapies for people with cancer. A Gilead company, Kite will open the new facility on a 20-acre site in the Urbana Corporate Center, with plans to create a significant number of job opportunities.

4. Top Five Stem Cell Companies to Watch in the BioHealth Capital Region

The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) is rapidly becoming an industry hub for companies that are developing next-generation therapeutics that focus on personalized and regenerative medicine for the treatment and potential cure of unmet medical needs. Autolus, Inc., a CAR T-cell therapy company, and REGENXBIO, a gene therapy company focused therapies for rare diseases, are two examples of emerging leaders in the personalized medicine field making their imprint on the region.

A host of other BHCR companies are focused on regenerative medicine and are developing a range of cutting edge stem cell therapies.

3. Five Companies That Are Changing the Landscape for Cell and Gene Therapy

Two of Maryland’s gene therapy companies are amongst the Top 10 players in the CAR T-cell therapy development field, and two of the four current FDA approved gene therapies, Yescarta and ZOLGENSMA, are also tied to Maryland companies. This commercial success will secure more capital for these companies to fuel their pipelines and allow the region to further advance new technologies that can impact even more patients.

These five gene therapy companies in Maryland are creating innovative solutions to combat disease and cancers and bring new hope to patients in dire need.

2. Five Companies That Are Powering The Cell and Gene Therapy Revolution

…there is a whole ecosystem of innovative biotech and life science technology companies behind them that are developing the tools, technologies, and infrastructure that is propelling the industry forward.

We have identified five companies that stand out for their unique technologies and solutions that are responsible for driving progress in the cell and gene therapy field and helping their partners bring their products through the clinic and to the patients that need them.  

1. Here’s Why the First Cure for HIV Could Emerge from Maryland

It would be a fitting conclusion for an HIV cure to emerge from the state where the virus was first linked to AIDS and where the first human diagnostic was developed.

Multiple Maryland companies and research institutions are on the leading-age of HIV research and development, making the state a hotbed of potential next-generation HIV therapies and, possibly, the source of a cure for this devastating global health issue. Some of the most promising cure candidates are coming out of Maryland’s thriving cell and gene therapy cluster.

What will 2020 bring for the BioHealth Capital Region? Whatever is in store for the year to come, be sure that BioBuzz will be there to cover the important issues and bring you all of the top stories of the new decade!

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