Bioscience Committee

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Chair: David Block, CEO, Gliknik Inc.

Staff: Brian Levine, 410-727-2820

Description: The Bioscience Committee advocates for public policy that will make the Greater Baltimore region attractive to biopharma, medical device and medical technology entrepreneurs as well as established bioscience companies. The committee seeks to ensure that the bioscience industry maximizes its potential as a regional economic engine.

Membership: Membership in the Bioscience Committee is open to all GBC members.


Activities:

2018 Bioscience Committee news:

Nadège Lane, Tenant Representative at JLL, a global commercial real estate services company, discussed Baltimore City’s bioscience real estate market and trends at the GBC Bioscience Committee’s September 20, 2018.

The Baltimore City bioscience real estate market has a vacancy rate below 5 percent and suffers from a lack of available space to grow the industry. Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland system comprise the majority of lab space in Baltimore City and the remaining space primarily has limited functionality.

Recent bioscience industry real estate activity has not gone to the university-affiliated bioparks or built-out lab space, but rather to existing office space or locations outside of the city. Additionally, the pace of development in leased lab supply has slowed, resulting in limited vacancy and shallow depth of inventory.

The committee discussed a number of ideas to boost real estate options for bioscience companies, including incentives to spur the construction of new speculative wet lab space and agreed to conduct further research and recommend solutions to these issues.

The GBC Bioscience Committee met April 19, 2018 to discuss a variety of issues. First, the Committee heard a presentation on the University System of Maryland (USM) Momentum Fund. The fund was established to support promising early-stage companies in the USM ecosystem. A company is eligible is they have one of the following three: USM intellectual property; key team member a USM graduate, student or faculty member; and is located in a USM research park or RISE Zone (Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone).  With $10 million over four years, the fund seeks to provide a return on investment, but also support the USM ecosystem and boost its reputation as a home for premier research institutions.

The Bioscience then received an update on an ongoing project that is conducting market interviews to learn more about why local CEO and founders stay or leave the region, including the underlying causes of such actions. The Committee will additional more information and data at a future meeting.

Finally, the Committee received a brief update on the 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. The discussion focused on the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit legislation and possible strategies for improving the program in 2019.

During the Bioscience Committee’s February 15, 2018 meeting, members received a presentation from Greater Baltimore Committee staff regarding the 2018 legislation session of the Maryland General Assembly.

The Committee discussed the $12 million funding request for the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit (BIITC) in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Last year, the GBC was able to amend the BIITC to provide some nascent bioscience companies an opportunity to apply for the incentive.

The Committee also engaged in a discussion about pending drug pricing control legislation, which could potentially harm Maryland’s climate as a state for innovation. Following that, members continued discussions about priority issues the Committee could undertake in the future.

2017 Bioscience Committee news:

At its November 9, 2017 meeting the Bioscience Committee continued its discussion on a number of ongoing issues and priorities. These included a discussion about the Maryland Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program, including a recent update on the number of applications and possible legislation to amend the program during the 2018 session.  Excel Maryland, a recently released report commissioned by Governor Larry Hogan that studied and analyzed Maryland’s bioscience and cybersecurity industry sectors, was reviewed. Finally, the Committee discussed a survey focused on improving and growing the medical device and medical technology industries in the Greater Baltimore region.

The Bioscience Committee met on September 13, 2017 with an agenda to refocus on new core priorities for the remainder of the year and 2018. Important issues identified for additional discussion and focus include researching and compiling legislative or regulatory improvements for the Maryland Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program. Also, the committee discussed initiatives focused on improving and growing the medical device and medical technology industries in the Greater Baltimore region. Finally, the committee discussed assessing and recommending strategies for improving the bioscience industry’s local real estate options, including the growth of wet lab space for startups and small companies.

At its June 6, 2017 meeting, the Bioscience Committee discussed what legislative assistance is needed for anchor institutions in the region and growing the medical device technology industry in Baltimore City. Additionally, the committee discussed working with other GBC committees to come up with a plan to make Baltimore attractive for companies and talented prospective employees to relocate.

Brian Levine, GBC Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO, reviewed the 2017 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly at the Bioscience Committee’s April 26, 2017 meeting. Levine discussed the session’s impact on the state and the bioscience community. Following the presentation the committee discussed programs they could support to help build new spaces for wet laboratories. Additionally, the committee discussed the overlap between medical devices, health IT and smart textile devices.

On February 9, 2017, the Bioscience Committee received a briefing from Brian Levine, GBC Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO, about the 2017 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. Levine provided an overview of the biggest issues so far in Annapolis, including budget deliberations and legislation concerning mandatory paid sick leave and wage and benefit preemption. Next, the committee participated in a discussion about bioscience-related legislation to increase drug pricing transparency, prevent price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, authorize the use of biosimilars, improve the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit and raise the cap on the Maryland Research and Development Tax Credit.