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Maryland Woos Worcester Firm's Subsidiary

By Eileen Kennedy
Worcester Business Journal Staff Writer

Biomere LLC, a subsidiary of Worcester-based Biomedical Research Models Inc., will open its corporate headquarters in Baltimore early next year, bringing with it 25 new jobs.

It will lease 14,000 square feet at the Baltimore BioPark, which is next to the University of Maryland. The subsidiary will expand vaccine research started by Biomedical Research Models, which develops laboratory animals that are genetically engineered to have diseases like diabetes and cancer. The animals are used by pharmaceutical companies to test new drugs.

Dennis Guberski, Biomedical Research Models' CEO and founder, said it was the park's proximity to the University of Maryland, many agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and a concentration of more than 350 biotech companies that helped him choose the spinoff's location. In order to respond to certain NIH request for proposals, a company must be within two hours driving time of the agency, he said. Guberski is also Biomere's chairman.

The deal has some irresistible benefits for Biomere as well. The company will be the sole provider of its laboratory animals services to companies that locate in the 1.2 million square foot park, Guberski said. In addition, investors can get back half their investment amount in state income tax.

There are also loan guarantees of 80 percent by Maryland's economic development financing arm to banks for any loans Biomere takes out for both operational cash and capital equipment purchases. Altogether, it is a deal worth about $5 million, according to Guberski.

Maryland announced a new plan this year called Bio 2020. The plan calls for $1.3 billion in bioscience infrastructure over 10 years. It also calls for $6.3 million in private and federal investments by 2020.