I was so caught up with some of the news yesterday, that I missed a whole special section of the business pages in the FNP called Progress 2008.
As the Opening “Editorial” suggests:
There may be no more exciting industry than biotechnology in these opening years of the 21st Century.
Maryland has more than 350 biotech companies and Frederick is a growing hub for research, home to nearly 40 biotech firms.
Economic development is targeting this low-impact, high-potential area; our educators are gearing to train the next generation of workers for what is anticipated to be a booming sector.
Among the highlights of the feature on SAIC-Frederick called “Cutting Edge”:
- Science Application International Corp., or SAIC, has been a mainstay of Frederick’s biotech research community since 1972 when President Nixon’s declared the “War on Cancer”
- SAIC-Frederick employs about 1,770 people, and operates on the largest single research contract awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- SAIC-Frederick occupies 68 acres and 116 buildings at Fort Detrick
- Working with about 800 employees of the National Cancer Institute, the company operates from basic research and experimental levels, up to clinical trials and vaccine production (in their new facility off Rt 85 adjacent to the Ballenger Creek waste water treatment plant).
- SAIC-Frederick is currently monitoring 300 clinical trials that are under way all around the world, from Africa to Southeast Asia, and in the United States as well
- The company is also managing test locations at 16 hospitals around the country to deliver the latest in cancer care to rural and underserved urban areas
- In a separate article in today’s FNP, the parent of SAIC-Frederick reported revenues for 2007 of $8.94 billion, up 11 percent from the previous fiscal year
Dynamic DynPort: Headquartered just off U.S. 15, the DVC building covers a total of 60,000 square feet in the small business park, paralleling Thomas Johnson Drive. With over 87,000 employees worldwide, according to senior manager of communications April Finnen, “DVC is a world-class provider of solutions for the development of biopharmaceutical products.” More than specializing in vaccines for biological defense, Finnen said more recently DVC has begun to specialize in chemical defense and emerging infectious diseases.
Don’t forget to check out their current openings HERE. Rumor has it that they’re also looking to hire a number of for paid students internships over the summer! The application deadline is Aprill 11th, so you don’t have much time. I also wanted to give the interns from Hood we have working here get a jump on the competition, so I didn’t let the news out earlier.
FiberCell Doing Well: Since I know the owners pretty well, not much I can add. I know that they are busy this week strumming up business in New England (I’ve heard there are a few decent Biotech & academic institutions up there) and then off to the Left Coast for more Business Development. Rumor has it they’re going to get a big order for some systems from one of those Pharmas in NE. I hope they do. All I know is that John needs to be here tomorrow with me to cut open the three HF systems I have running with my MSC which have (hopefully) differentiated into neurons using placental basement membrane extract as a matrix.
SuperArray: The company has become a thriving biotech firm that sells its products worldwide : So successful, rumor has it, that they’re looking at a brand new, larger facility. SuperArray is home to about 65 employees. Although still a small number in comparison to many other companies, SuperArray has no problem finding business. “Sales are increasing. We are making a name for ourselves,” says Heather Fox-Brashears (yet another former Life Tekker). SuperArray experienced an 85 percent increase in revenue from 2005 to 2006. I hope to be able to use their Stem Cell products pretty soon, pending my results from this weeks FiberCell collaboration. I had set up some experiments about a year ago, but I was not able to follow through on it so I owe them a visit.
And finally, Quick Draw about Akonni. They have been in the news so much lately, I don’t know if there is much more to say about them, other than the fact that they’re doing pretty well, leasing more space and expanding. Here’s something I didn’t know: The company was founded in Russia in 1988 by Dr. Andrei Mirzabekov, the director of the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. The team was brought to the United States in 1995 and the technology’s license was acquired by Akonni in 2002. They are about 25 people strong, but I look for them to add more pretty soon.
I also wanted to direct you to the North (or is that the West?) with the announcement that Washington County is opening a new incubator in Hagerstown. According to the Herald-Mail, Hagerstown CC “has opened 11 wet labs suitable for biotech research, with $1.3 million from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland Technology Development Corporation and the Washington County Commissioners”. Sounds like people have caught on to the success of incubators elsewhere in the state. Now if they start one in Ocean City…..