In a Year of Crisis, Maryland Biotech Responds with Leadership

This is a great portrait of Maryland’s Biotech ecosystem in FierceBiotech.

Maryland has always been a leader in infectious disease and vaccine research and development, but never had the commercial prowess touted by other biotech hubs. In fact, it was a fly-over state for a long time until about seven years ago when the region started coming together and adopting a new mantra around regional collaboration.  These efforts fostered a culture of collaboration that grew into a superpower at just the right time when the world depended on us all working together to rapidly develop solutions to this global pandemic.  

It is as if the past seven years was all about training to prepare the ecosystem for the COVID-19 battle that we we faced together in 2020.

“We always talk about how strong the ecosystem here is in the life sciences and COVID 19 gave the state the opportunity to shine due to its strengths,” shared Ulyana Desiderio, director of BioHealth and Life Sciences for the Maryland Department of Commerce in an article we wrote last year – Billions Pour into the BioHealth Capital Region to Battle COVID-19.


The year 2020 tested the biotech industry and the entire nation. Maryland’s life sciences community can be proud that it passed those tests with distinction. As COVID-19 spread across the globe, Maryland companies stepped up to help save millions of lives. Maryland-based leaders such as AstraZeneca; Becton, Dickinson and Company; GlaxoSmithKline; Emergent BioSolutions; Novavax; Pfizer; and Qiagen Sciences were among the Maryland companies involved in these efforts.

Prior to the pandemic, nearly a quarter of Maryland’s biopharm and medical tech companies focused on infectious diseases. As COVID-19 spread, dozens of Maryland companies joined the global response.

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