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Maryland Commerce Convenes Partners to Form Centers of Excellence in Biomanufacturing, Transformative Medicine

Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park to collaborate with state on commercialization of transformative medicines, devices

The Maryland Department of Commerce is joining with the state’s top research universities and other life sciences partners and stakeholders to create two or more Centers of Excellence around the state to support cell, gene, and regenerative therapies, as well as medical devices and 3-D printing. This partnership with The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park will help position Maryland as a leader in commercialization and clinical translation of next-generation medicines and medical devices and ensure the state remains a leader in healthcare innovation. Additional partners include the Center for Medical Technology Policy and biotechnology, pharmaceutical, contract manufacturing, and medical device companies.

The announcement coincides with the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, where the state is being represented by nearly 70 Maryland-based companies, agencies, and organizations.

Leading up to the launch of the centers, the partners will craft a strategic roadmap for advanced biomanufacturing in the state by connecting academic and industry pipelines with an inventory of regional assets and capabilities. They will also provide early-stage Maryland biotechnology companies with industry expertise to assist with product design, clinical development, and regulatory strategy. The centers would be open to academic researchers, start-up ventures and mid- to large-scale biotechnology companies to address the unique challenges of commercialization for cell and gene therapies. The centers would offer access to industrial scale manufacturing capabilities in the region that could be leveraged by researchers to obtain follow-on grant funding and by start-ups and established biotechnology companies to develop new technologies without the expense of building new infrastructure.

The centers will also offer educational programming and partnerships with key regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Standard and Technology (NIST) to help foster a streamlined path toward commercialization. Additionally, the centers will leverage Maryland’s proximity to key federal agencies (FDA, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others) to provide early-stage biotechnology companies with a world-class approach to integrating reimbursement and market access challenges with product design, clinical development and regulatory strategy.

“Maryland is a leader in healthcare innovation, thanks to the groundbreaking research coming out of our universities, federal labs, and the work being done in the private sector on next-generation medicines and medical devices,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This historic partnership with our world-class universities, life sciences companies and federal partners will take these efforts to the next level and establish our state as a hub of regenerative medicine.”

“Maryland is going to continue to compete in attracting world-class life sciences companies and therefore, we support the translation of innovative research so that we can retain key technologies and talented researchers and scientists,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We have an abundance of unique assets here in Maryland that we need to bring together to continue this important work and solidify Maryland’s leadership in biomanufacturing and transformative medicine.”

“Robust infrastructure to support cell therapy for research and treatment of patients will enable Johns Hopkins and the state of Maryland to become a destination for next-generation cell therapies,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “The centers will be an important tool for Maryland’s biotech innovation ecosystem and help take innovation to scale in our state.”

“We’re excited to work with the Maryland Department of Commerce, our academic partners, and Maryland businesses to invent and manufacture in Maryland the next generation of medical devices and therapeutics,” said University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman.

“With this powerful alliance, we will develop healing technologies, devices, and therapies that will improve the quality of life,” said University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace D. Loh. “Our growing strength in bioengineering and bioscience will help empower this all-hands-on-deck approach to innovation.”

About Maryland Commerce

 The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit