BioBuzz by Workforce Genetics

What’s Been Happening in Frederick, and What to Look Forward to in 2023

By Erika Riley
March 14, 2023

Frederick, Maryland, continues to prove why it’s the perfect place to start, grow, or expand a life sciences company. Over the last 18 months, Frederick City and Frederick County have seen immense growth in the life sciences and biotech spaces, even in the face of nationwide economic challenges. 

Located 45 miles northwest of Washington, DC and 45 miles west of Baltimore, Frederick has a prime location close to national government agencies. Local resources like the Maryland Tech Council, National Cancer Institute, Frederick National Lab, and Fort Detrick also open up many partnering opportunities. On top of that, Frederick has close relationships with educational institutions such as Hood College, Mount St. Mary’s University, and Frederick Community College.

“I think that we have many things to offer,” says Solash Aviles Montanez, senior business development manager at the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. “Location is key, and the speed to market is key for biotech businesses. So we can offer that here in Frederick, and we have proven that over and over through several projects, including Kite Pharma, including Forecyte, and the [new] Valogic redesign.”

Here are some of Frederick’s biggest life sciences stories in the last 18 months and what to watch out for in 2023. 

7495 New Horizon Way

VaLogic, a service provider servicing the life sciences sector, acquired 7495 New Horizon Way in 2021. Since then, the company has turned the 75,400-square-foot office building in Frederick into a life science building with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliance. Valogic transformed the space into several suites that companies of varying sizes could utilize. 

The building now hosts the following businesses:

Ready-to-move-in spec suites are still available at 7495 New Horizon Way.

Jefferson Technology Park

The Labs at Jefferson Technology Park in Frederick County are set to deliver in 2024. Trammel Crow, the world’s largest commercial real estate developer, is developing the 500,000-square-foot campus. The project will feature 200,000 square feet of lab space, 290,000 square feet of cGMP clean room production facilities, and a shared Amenity Hub with a cafe, fitness center, and coworking spaces. Trammel Crow expects to break ground sometime this year. 

Lincoln Property Company is spearheading another project in the Jefferson Technology Park, much of which is already complete. Lincoln West spawns over 227,000 square feet and has several flex spaces available to rent.

Biotech Bootcamp

Frederick County launched its first Biotech Bootcamp in 2022 and will welcome its fourth cohort this May. Applications open sometime this spring. The boot camp is a free 4-week program that helps address demand in the workforce by training students in the basics of life sciences and biotechnology. Anybody interested in biotechnology is encouraged to apply, regardless of prior experience or scientific education. Graduates have found jobs at companies such as AstraZeneca, Lonza, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Kite, and Medigen. 

This year, the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and EARN Maryland are supporting the Biotech Bootcamp. EARN is a competitive workforce development grant program that helps cultivate skilled workforces. Additionally, the Biotech Bootcamp won a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council at its national conference in 2022. 

Progress Labs ready for tenants

Progress Labs at Riverside I has recently completed its build-out of 215,000 square feet for research and development and biotech manufacturing. The project comprises a 96,000-square-foot existing building and a state-of-the-art 118,000-square-foot expansion building. Matan, the company that built out the project, has immediate occupancy available for tenants. Progress Labs at Riverside II is site-plan approved, but construction has yet to begin.

The larger Riverside Research Park contains Progress Labs, NCI, the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, and Charles River Labs. According to Aviles Montanez, the research park currently has several available greenfield sites, and one already has plan approval.

Ballenger Bio and FITCI expansion

Ballenger Bio, a life sciences conversion and innovation center, has made lots of headway recently. FITCI (Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc.) broke ground on its newest expansion, called The [email protected], on the ground floor of the building in November. This latest addition will allow FITCI to expand its membership, especially of life sciences companies, with more lab space, offices, and meeting rooms. 

“I think the fact that they’ve [FITCI] been able to secure a lot of funding sources from local, state, and federal governments shows the strength of that program in creating entrepreneurial opportunities within the life science community,” said Mary Ford-Naill, economic development manager of the City of Frederick.

Upstairs, Ballenger Bio has completed spec lab suites ready for occupancy. The building has “lab-ready” infrastructure, including a freight elevator, backup generator, loading dock, and shared lab amenities.  

Kite Pharma Expansion

In January 2023, Kite Pharma announced it would expand its Frederick County facility with a new, centralized raw materials warehouse to serve Kite’s global manufacturing network. The new warehouse will sit next to the company’s existing facility at the Urbana Corporate Center. With the expansion, the company hopes to hire an additional 100 employees to bring its total employment across Maryland to 500.

Precision for Medicine expansion

Precision for Medicine completed a 5,000-square-foot expansion in 2022 to add offices, laboratories and biorepository space to their site at 8425 Precision Way in Frederick. Precision for Medicine helps pharmaceutical and life sciences clients accelerate therapeutic and diagnostic development with the combined power of trials, labs, and data sciences.

The company’s new expansion allows it to enhance its services to its clients and drive faster clinical development.

Thermo Fisher workforce expansion

Thermo Fisher Scientific has grown its workforce substantially over the last year, according to Aviles Montanez. The company’s Frederick campus grew to 950 employees in 2022, up from 450 in 2018. Having some employees work from home has allowed Thermo Fisher to expand its workforce without increasing its physical footprint.

Medigen expansion

In September 2022, Medigen doubled its size in Frederick by leasing 12,000 square feet at Riverside Technology Park in Frederick. Medigen manufactures and develops vaccines. The new expansion will help Medigen increase its manufacturing workforce, expand contract manufacturing services, and optimize vaccine pipeline development.


Over 680,000 square feet of flex/R&D and high-bay warehouse space is coming soon to EastPark, a new development by St. John Properties. Located on Monocacy Boulevard, the new park will have excellent access to Fort Detrick, USAMRIID, and NCI. The first two buildings, each containing about 45,000 square feet, will be delivered in the Summer of 2024.

Doing business in Frederick

With so much to look forward to and more on the way, it’s safe to say Frederick has become a massive hub for life sciences companies. Whether it’s a larger company expanding into the area or a small company moving out of one of the county’s incubators, the business development teams in the county and city are eager to support it.

“There’s a lot happening here and it’s all that interconnectivity that occurs and that supportive business climate, trying to address future needs,” said Ford-Naill. “I think that’s why everything’s working so well here.”