Maryland Biotech Tax Credit Sweetens the Deal for Investors While Supporting its Life Sciences Ecosystem

February 14, 2022

Maryland is one of the dominant life sciences ecosystems along the eastern seaboard and has become a leader in cell therapy and infectious disease research. Using its Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC), the state has been able to attract pharma companies large and small to set up shop within the borders of Maryland.

The state established the tax credit in 2016 and has so far awarded $59,360,097 in tax credits to investors from around the globe providing while promoting 114 different Maryland Biotech companies. The tax credit is an incentive for investors to provide financing for companies within Maryland. The BIITC provides the investor with a refundable state income tax credit for a seed or early-stage investment in a qualified company. Specifically, investors are eligible for an income tax credit equal to 33% of an eligible investment up to $250,000 for a qualified company. This applies whether or not the investor has tax exposure in Maryland. If one of those companies is located in Allegany, Dorchester, Garrett, or Somerset County, the amount climbs to 50% for an investment up to $500,000.

One Maryland company that has been able to use the BIITC to see significant growth over the past six years is American Gene Technologies (AGT). The funds have allowed the company to focus on the development of a cell therapy for HIV patients that could become a functional cure for the deadly disease that has taken the lives of millions of people across the globe.

AGT Business Development head Norman Rogers touted the tax credit as a tool that played a significant role in the early development of AGT, as well as in the rest of Maryland. With the tax credit, Rogers said the program entices more risk capital focus in Maryland, supporting the state’s global facing economy.

“Maryland has the highest number of PhDs per capita of any state. The Biotech Investment Incentive Tax Credit is an ingenious way to put smart people to work,” Rogers said.

And the science AGT is conducting is quite exciting. AGT103-T is a genetically modified cell product designed as a potential cure for HIV. It is currently being assessed in a Phase 1 study. So far, six patients have been dosed with the treatment and Rogers expressed excitement about early data from the clinical trial.

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Companies must go through a rigorous bidding process to be one of the few companies promoted by the state. Companies can apply for the tax credits each year.

“We are honored to be considered, the companies on the list are the best and brightest. We feel the support of the community and the entire state of Maryland each time we have be awarded this honor,” said Rogers.

Maryland selected American Gene Technologies to further support a potential cure for HIV and foundational research for dozens of diseases. Meanwhile the BIITC capital, which comes in from all over the nation and world, circulates through Maryland, generating a huge net positive for the state.

“Last year was the final year for us to participate in the program, now that we have entered our Phase 1 Trial. We are excited to see what new company takes our coveted spot. We’d like to extend our thanks to all the people of Maryland for getting us to this historic milestone,” said Rogers.

Although the company is no longer eligible for the tax credit, the trailblazing efforts of the company’s cell therapy program in HIV is sure to attract mature investors and international attention as the company’s Phase 1 data reads out.