Hundreds of Maryland’s Biotech Leaders Converge on Boston to Send a Clear Message to the Industry

Every June more than 16,000 biotech professionals, from 5,000 companies, including many of the biggest names in biotech from around the world, gather for the largest global biotech industry event, the annual BIO International Convention. The exhibition hall alone hosts more than 1,800 exhibitors and sponsors who take part in 40,000+ pre-scheduled meetings facilitated through BIO’s one-on-one partnering platform.  It is the premier event for networking and partnering opportunities, insights on the major industry trends and the hottest startup companies.

It’s also the marquis recruiting event for economic developers to showcase the assets their county, State or Country has to offer to prospects from around the world looking for the best place to grow their biotech companies.  This year, the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Tech Council are each bringing delegations to the event with a clear, unified message to the world; Maryland is Open for Biotech Business.

“What I’m excited about is we’ve scheduled over 30 meetings with out of state, and international companies about expanding their footprint or doing business in Maryland,” shared Bret Schreiber, Maryland Commerce’s senior director of biohealth and life science. “This year, it’s truly about recruiting companies to come to Maryland and experience the momentum.”

That momentum is real and if you’re in Maryland you can feel it.  Already this year Personal Genome Diagnostics raised $75 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb and NEA, Mallinckrodt acquired Sucampo for up to $1.2 Billion, MedImmune spun out six molecules from its early-stage inflammation and autoimmunity programs to launch Viela Bio, the cancer immunotherapy startup BeneVir Biopharm was acquired by Janssen Biotech, Inc. for up to $1.04 Billion and just last month Kite Pharma, a Gilead company, announced their opening of a new Maryland cell therapy facility.  That’s quite a deal list for just the first five months of the year.

When people come to visit the Maryland Pavilion (#333) at BIO they will get a true experience of what MD’s ecosystem is all about; a unique mix of biohealth assets that can’t be replicated anywhere in the world. From basic research started at the NIH to new drug approvals by the FDA, and all of the commercial development in between, Maryland literally encompasses the whole drug development continuum, right here in one state. This year’s pavilion reflects that with 7 companies, 3 universities, 2 Federal labs, the FDA, NIH, 1 association, 2 local governments, 2 municipalities and 2 booths dedicated to companies from various incubators.

The Maryland Technology Council (MTC) is echoing that same message at their booth. They brought with them a stacked delegation of their own that includes MedImmune / AstraZeneca, Novavax, MaxCyte, American Gene Technologies, Sobran and dozens more of their member companies. “We are here to say that we are the most innovative state in the US,” said Tami Howie, MTC’s CEO. “We have hundreds of bio companies innovating in partnership with federal labs, talented leadership and a robust ecosystem.”

Explore 700 of Maryland’s biotech companies on BioBuzz’s interactive Directory and regional Bio Map.

In addition to their team members, MTC is also joined by Secretary Gill, TEDCO’s CEO, George Davis, and leaders from UMD and Johns Hopkins who are all there supporting Maryland companies to help them connect with investors, partners and customers.  They also sponsored a breakfast with Venture Capital to further showcase that startup talent that is flourishing in Maryland.

This year, Maryland isn’t sticking to just the exhibit halls and convention to send their message. Maryland Commerce hosted a Maryland Night Reception this year, cosponsored by MTC, to showcase the global influence of the state’s biotech sector.  The reception attracted over 180 people on Monday night, 42% of whom were from out of State or international.

Maryland was also recognized this year as a place where the State and Industry work hand in hand to support a healthy economic environment.  In fact, MTC as the bio affiliate of Maryland attending the Council of State Biotech Associations reception, was highlighted for their strong advocacy to make certain Maryland has business friendly laws promoting and supporting bio companies.

Local county and city economic development agencies are also working hard to share the message that Biotech is thriving across Maryland.  Montgomery County representatives include MCEDC, Gaithersburg and Rockville economic development who are sharing a consistent message that Montgomery County is where the Biotech talent is.

Maryland also accounts for a big part of the BioHealth Capital Region, the new brand launched to unite the mega-cluster, that consists of Maryland, DC and Virginia, to become a top three biotech hub by 2023.  Showing up with one of the largest presence at this year’s convention is sending a clear message to the industry that Maryland intends to hit that goal and create one of the strongest biotech ecosystems in the world.

You can follow along with what’s happening at this year’s BIO International Convention by using the Twitter hashtag #BIO2018.

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