Bioscience Committee

The GBC Bioscience Committee works directly with the industry to identify barriers to company formation and growth in Maryland. The committee then devises and implements strategies to overcome those barriers. These include expediting tech transfer and advocating for legislation that supports industry growth.

Committee Staff:

Liz Pettengill | (410) 727-2820 x 41


This committee is chaired by David Block, MD, MBA, CEO of Gliknik.

Dr. Block is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Ruxton Pharmaceuticals and Gliknik. He has been in the Bioscience industry for 17 years, 12 of which were in a series of commercial positions at DuPont Merck and DuPont Pharmaceuticals, including sales management, licensing, portfolio planning, market development and product launch. He was executive vice president of international operations at the time of the sale of DuPont Pharmaceuticals to Bristol-Myers Squibb. From 2002-04, Dr. Block was the COO of Celera Genomics.


Membership in the Bioscience Committee is by invitation only. This is to keep a constant ratio of largely company CEOs and service providers. Members include: Scott Allocco, CEO, BioMarker Strategies; Jonathan Cohen, CEO, 20/20 GeneSystems, Inc.; Eddy Agbo, CEO, Fyodor Biotechnologies, Inc.; Blake Paterson, CEO, Cerecor, Inc.; and Robert Estey, CEO, MastixMedica, Inc.


What the committee does:

  • Actively advocates for legislation at both the state and federal level to support the industry and help it grow. This includes annual efforts to increase the amount of the Maryland Biotech Tax Credit, working with the federal delegation to increase the percentage of funding that goes to commercial companies when SBIRs are awarded, and supporting legislation to change the makeup of the Life Sciences Advisory Board to include more company representation
  • Sponsors a Bioscience Speakers Series, now in its seventh year, that has featured speakers such as Dr. Elias Zerhouni, former Director of NIH; Peter Greenleaf, CEO of MedImmune; and Congressman Chris Van Hollen
  • Works directly with state legislators to design and implement new laws to advance the industry
  • Monitors changes in policy at both the state and federal level that would affect the industry

Past committee projects:

  • Helped establish the Maryland Biotechnology Center
  • Conducted a comprehensive survey of all 400 bioscience companies in Maryland to find out how they would like to see state resources utilized
  • Created and ran the Maryland Bioscience Awards for seven years
  • Held meetings to determine a long-term strategy for growing the bioscience industry in Baltimore and is now writing a report on that research
  • Created a “roadmap to commercialization” to show stakeholders where the gaps are in the road from bench to market
  • Sponsored creation of a new business model for translational medicine
  • Worked with DBED and other industry advocates to produce regulations favorable to the industry in the administration of the Biotech Tax Credit

The value of joining:

The Bioscience Committee is recognized as an effective advocacy and informational resource. Through this committee, the GBC partners with other bioscience industry groups to make sure the industry is always well represented. The committee draws its strength from the input of its members and from the strength of its voice, which is directly connected to the number and caliber of companies that join. This is also an excellent way to meet other members of the bioscience business community and to interface with our research universities.

2014 Presentations:

April 24: Department of Business and Economic Development 2014 Session Legislative Wrap-Up