Maryland Regional Biotech Forum aims to propel Washington, D.C. metro region to a top three ranked U.S. biotech hub by 2023

 

AstraZeneca and MedImmune, in Partnership with BioHealth Innovation, Inc. and Tech Council of Maryland, Convene Life Sciences Leaders from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to Support Growth of Regional Biotech Ecosystem

Gaithersburg, Md., March 30, 2015 – Today and tomorrow, more than 400 leaders from life sciences companies, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, investment funds and government entities across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will convene for the first Maryland Regional Biotech Forum.  This event, hosted by AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, in partnership with BioHealth Innovation (BHI), Inc. and the Tech Council of Maryland, will be held at MedImmune’s corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  It was launched as part of a collective effort to grow the region’s biotech ecosystem and chart a course toward becoming one of the top three biotech hubs in the nation by 2023.  

The Maryland Regional Biotech Forum agenda boasts an impressive lineup of more than 100 speakers and panelists, including Gerd Binnig, a Nobel Prize laureate in physics and Founder and CTO of Definiens; Rachel King, Chair of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of GlycoMimetics; more than 25 regional CEOs, including Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca; five university presidents from across the region; and leaders from federal institutions.

In addition, the region’s first Leaders of Tomorrow Summit will be held in parallel with day two of the Maryland Regional Biotech Forum, also at MedImmune’s headquarters.  This event is the Mid-Atlantic region's first student- and postdoc-led, cross-functional and inter-generational leadership summit, and is designed to engage and influence the next generation of biotech leaders and ignite innovation in the future bioeconomy. 

The Leaders of Tomorrow Summit will connect 50 young visionaries, competitively selected from top universities and institutions in the area, with established leaders within the regional biotech community.  The Summit includes interactive seminars, panel discussions, and an “innovation challenge,” during which students will work in teams to identify and pitch solutions to current challenges in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, big data, health IT, sustainability, regulation and policy.  A panel of judges will select the winning team, which will receive a cash prize and an invitation to a congratulatory dinner with local biotech leaders.

Consistently ranked among the top ten biotech clusters in the U.S., the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area is home to more than 800 life sciences companies, 70 federal labs and numerous world-class academic and research institutions. The Maryland Biotech Forum will highlight the importance of this burgeoning biotech ecosystem in fostering meaningful partnerships, advancing science, driving economic development and attracting top talent.  The event will also spark dialogue around, and offer expert insights into, how the local biotech community can work together to further nurture this ecosystem and capitalize on the opportunities it presents. 

“As a company that recognizes the value of collaboration and the promise of an open exchange of ideas, we have been actively engaging with the local biotech community for years, and recognize the tremendous potential of the already well-established ecosystem we’ve built,” said Reg Seeto, Vice President, Head of Partnering and Strategy, MedImmune.  “We believe that by working together to grow this ecosystem further, we can build upon our collective successes to identify additional opportunities for strategic partnerships, workforce development and scientific innovation, and ultimately achieve a rank among the top three biotech clusters in the country by 2023.  Our hope is that this event will help us carve out a path to get there.”

Maryland Regional Biotech Forum presentations and panels will explore:

  • The state of the region’s biotech ecosystem, with viewpoints from CEOs of leading public and private companies as they address challenges and opportunities in driving growth
  • How a vibrant biotech ecosystem can drive innovation and economic development, with input from state, county and city officials along with economic development leaders
  • The characteristics of, and key learnings from, other top biotech clusters nationwide
  • The role of locally-based federal institutions and labs in fostering the regional biotech ecosystem, including panel sessions with leaders from federal entities
  • The critical importance of academic partners in building a strong regional biotech cluster
  • Approaches to developing a regional talent pool within a growing biotech hub
  • Perspectives from leading venture capitalists on investing in the region
  • Areas of scientific leadership including immuno-oncology, personalized medicine and infectious disease
  • Advancements and offerings in the fields of therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and biohealth IT, via a showcase of regionally-based biotech companies

"As CEO of a public-private partnership that’s been fostering commercialization of Central Maryland's health and life science assets over the last three years, it's extremely rewarding to work with MedImmune and the Tech Council of Maryland to ensure the success of the first Maryland Regional Biotech Forum," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. “Bringing the top business, scientific, government, academic and policy organizations in this region together through the Forum paves the way for creating the common vision crucial to making this one of the leading biotech regions in world. This can only be accomplished with increased collaboration of our resources and networks."

"The excitement of this forum is the dialogue that will take place among us about Maryland's life science ecosystem--how we grow it through collaboration, expand opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs, create more high-paying jobs and of course continue to develop life changing drugs and therapies that benefit society," said Phil Schiff, CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company guided by innovation, with main focus on discovery, development and trade of prescription drugs in the following therapeutic lines: cardiovascular, metabolic, immunologic, respiratory, inflammation, oncology, infection and neuroscience. AstraZeneca operates in more than 100 countries; its innovative drugs are used by millions of patients across the whole world. For more information, visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com.

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com.   

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland’s life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland’s bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

About the Tech Council of Maryland, Inc. 
The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) is the largest technology trade group serving the advanced technology and biotechnology communities of Maryland. TCM’s mission is to advocate for the interests of the technology community, further the role of technology in the Maryland economy, and nurture an environment where technology companies can collaborate, grow and succeed. For more information, visit www.techcouncilmd.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Susannah Budington, MedImmune
budingtons@medimmune.com
(301) 398-6717 

Alisha Martin, MedImmune
Alisha.martin@astrazeneca.com
(443) 566-2965 

Jamie Lacey-Moreira for BioHealth Innovation
jamielacey@presscommpr.com
(410) 299-3310

Brad Wills for Tech Council of Maryland
bwills@wills-pr.com
(240) 752-7171