Announcement of the Bio 2020 Initiative

June 16, 2008


Steve, thank you.   Secretary Edgerley, thank you very, very much for your kind introduction.  Thank you also for your leadership in this incredible place about which all of us are so very, very proud. 

It’s a great honor to be here with you today.  And joining me today is our Secretary of Economic Development, David Edgerley, who has a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience and background in biotech and Aris Melissaratos, his predecessor, I thank you, sir, for being with us today as well. 

To  Tom Watkins and all of those who have been working hard on the  Life Sciences Advisory Board, which is still a work in motion, I thank all of them.  A number of them are with us this afternoon -- Renee Winsky, Francesca Cook, David Iannucci -- and, David, thank you,  Philippe Jacon, Col. George Korch from Fort Detrick, he’s the gentleman wearing the Army uniform, and Dr. Nina Lamba -- thank you for what you are doing to make our one Maryland a stronger place and for really pulling together the people that are on the ground, in the labs, doing this work day in and day out, to help us chart that vision forward. 

I also want to thank Don Frye, from the Greater Baltimore Committee, who is with us. Christian Johannson, from the Economic Alliance, and also John Kellerman, who lobbied very effectively, John, for Maryland Families for Stem Cell Research.  Thanks a lot for being here, John.  He is seated next to Sandy Rosenberg, one of the leading proponents and advocates for Maryland’s role in that.

There are several members of our Life Sciences Board, ladies and gentlemen, who are not here today -- and, Dr. Reese, it’s good to see you, sir.  There are several members who are not able to be here today and that is because they are already in San Diego attending BIO 2008 International Conference in San Diego. And I’ll be joining them in a few days to help market our State’ss bioscience community to CEOs and business leaders and investors, which is what a good Governor should do, right?  When it’s for your competitive advantage. 

I had occasion to travel two weeks ago with a terrific delegation led by Abba Paulakoff and also Barry Bogach, with our Maryland Industrial Development Center.  We now have approximately 35 or 36 -- who’s counting -- Israeli-owned companies doing life science biotech work here in the State of Maryland. 

You may recall CoGenesys was purchased for $400 million by Teva.  And we met with leaders there, we met with investors there, we’ve also met with leaders and people from  China, Ireland -- which was the Celtic tiger of the last decade, just announced a big investment of $400 million Euros in Third Level research.  So Maryland’s fame is really spreading throughout the globe, as well it should.  And much of that fame has happened behind this great institution of Johns Hopkins.

It is  always great to come to Johns Hopkins.  The healing potential of the stem cell research, which I was just kindly given the 25 minute tour of, and, fortunately, will not be given a final semester exam on what I picked up in those 25 minutes. 

But, Doctors, what you do, it’s really heartening to see the important work that’s going on here at the institute for civil engineering -- the promise, the potential for ALS research, for juvenile diabetes, for spinal cord injuries, for nervous system disorders and the like.

There is a wonderful symmetry between the cutting edge research and discovery that goes on here in the cause of protecting and saving life and the promise we see in the 20 blocks just north of us, in the East Baltimore Development Initiative, which holds such potential for breathing also new life into our whole Metropolitan economy and certainly into this heart of our city. 

In a very real sense, the potential that we see in your work here at Hopkins really is a worldwide beacon,  It’s a worldwide beacon for human progress. The notion that we can make our tomorrows better than our todays, because of all the knowledge, experience, know-how and healing that has gone on before us. 

And your work here is also proof of what the life sciences can mean to the future of our entire State.  Bioscience is, in many ways, the key to unlocking our future economic potential as a State and, at the same time, it allows us to offer moral leadership as we seek to extend human -- yes, human compassion to our neighbors all around the globe. 

I am told that in scientific circles, Maryland is often nicknamed the Ahome of the genome because of the groundbreaking research on the human genome,  that geography of individualized biology which holds so much promise of more effective delivery of all kinds of therapies, and because of our expansive private sector bio-economy, which comprises nearly 400 companies and employs tens of thousands of Marylanders.

If you consider, my friends, my neighbors, and my fellow citizens, all the government and non-profit assets that we have in our one Maryland -- our science-related employment levels, our institutions of higher learning and discovery, our world class work force, our federal facilities --  we are uniquely positioned among States for even greater leadership, not just within these Continental United States, but within the whole world. 

And as we stand here today on our own cutting edge of that history, destiny has afforded us a unique opportunity, I think, to become part of a new revolution in science -- to assert our State as a hub of research and discovery in all of the amazing new  break-throughs which come together under that umbrella concept of  Apersonalized medicine@, this groundbreaking new science which holds within it the potential to reshape the landscape of 21st century medicine.

There is a Jewish proverb, a saying from the Talmud, which says that if you  save just one life it is as if you have saved the world.  And personalized medicine, in its essence, really is about healing the world one life at a time.

It is rooted in the belief that there is dignity in every single individual and that within every person there is a personalized road map for healing, a roadmap embedded in our genotype or genetic identity, a road map, which may very well expand the limits not only of healing, but also of the human imagination and human capacity, allowing medicine to reach heights that just a generation ago, many would have thought was science fiction, pie in the sky, and something that we would never see happening.

One of the most important, but unfortunate, roles that ones takes on as a public servant, whether it’s in the office of mayor or the office of governor, is that I have the sad occasion to attend a number of funerals, not just in the line of duty funerals, which gain rightfully so much of our public attention.  But also the funerals of people maybe lesser known, but whose lives were important and contributed to our sense of community or reality of community. 

And how many times I heard over and over again, and hear from a grieving spouse or daughter or son or friend, you know, if we had only known earlier.  If we had only known earlier. 

Well, imagine being able to go to a doctor, have him or her read your genetic map to identify the conditions for which you are most susceptible and determine what can be done today to prevent these problems from arising tomorrow. 

Imagine going to the doctor and knowing that he or she will be able to determine with precision how your own body will react to specific medications so that they can avoid prescribing treatments with harmful or painful or unnecessary side effects.

That day is not far off.  That when genetic mapping will tell doctors which drugs and therapies and preventions to prescribe or which doses at which times.  

And if in Maryland we are willing to invest in that future and we are willing to invest in the here and now for our bioscience economy and discovery, then together we can become a leader in this new scientific frontier.

Which brings me to why we’re all here today.  We seek to take a giant step forward in harnessing all of the potential that is already within our grasp.  So today we are announcing what we are calling our ABio 2020 Initiative@.  It is a $1.1 billion dollar investment in Maryland’s bioscience industry that will represent, to our knowledge, the largest per capita investment in the biosciences made by any State in the country.  (Applause.)

Now together, these investments will leverage a projected $6.3 billion for our State in private and federal investments, resulting in $7.4 billion in total investments in our bioscience industry by 2020.  And they will produce thousands and thousands of new jobs.  And they may also produce something even more lasting and more important, which are the cures that can alleviate suffering, early death -- those things which cripple economies in developing nations. 

The initiative has nine major components.  Everybody ready to count them off?  Sharpen your pencils, here we go.

Number one.  Borrowing from our neighbors in North Carolina, where they have done this very well, we are going to create the Maryland Biotechnology Center, a one stop shop to promote and support biotechnology innovation and entrepreneurship in Maryland, and consolidate the various State, academic and private sector ventures.

We are going to bring together TEDCO’s tech transfer initiatives, DLLR’s industry regulatory functions and various initiatives from the University of Maryland. And we’ll use the Center, also, to house a statewide science and technology marketing group.  Something we don’t do very well in Maryland is promote the greatness that we have.   Industry experts housed at the Center will expand our States relationships with federal labs, universities, private sector companies and also private sector investors.

Number two.  We are going to double our Biotech Investment Tax Credit in the next year and we are going to double it again in the five years ahead of that, leading to an increase of 400 percent, or $24 million in the next five years. 

By our projections what does that mean?  Increasing the tax credit will allow our State to leverage $50 million each year in private investment for Maryland biotechnology companies. 

Number three.  We will grow our technology incubator network and increase incubator space by 50%.  By investing $60 million over the next ten years, we can leverage together $120 million in private and federal investment funds.  And we will be able to create anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 new jobs.   This follows, by the way, a recent TEDCO study which found a strong demand for additional space.  I’ll be darned, some of those Government programs actually work. 

Number four.  We will invest $300 million in -- that can’t be right.  (Laughter.)  

We will be investing -- fact check here -- we will be investing millions of dollars in capital projects for life science facilities, including the Science and Technology Park and the East Baltimore Development Initiative, which I just mentioned, just north of us.  And Jack Shannon is here from EBDI. 

In addition, we will be making new investments in the University of Maryland Baltimore  Health Sciences Facility III, which is near and dear to Dan Reese’s heart.  UMB Howard Hall, UMBI Center for Agricultural & Environmental Biotechnology, the Montgomery College Bioscience Center, and the TEDCO/Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

Most of those things are already in our capital budget.  Others will have to be put into our capital budget.  All of them create that cutting edge of this new economy and it is essential that we undertake them. 

Number five.  We will expand our efforts to assist with intellectual property valuation and protection services.  Many start-ups cannot afford professional legal services for intellectual property protection. This would be an expansion of a successful program at the University of Maryland School of Law, one of the best and greatest law schools in all the land, that works with entrepreneurs to help them validate and protect their intellectual property in order to commercialize them.  Dean Karen Rothenberg is here from the University with us today.  The Dean cut short her vacation just to be with us and I thank you for that, Dean.

Number six.  We are going to continue to invest at least $20 million a year in stem cell research, moving forward so we can keep going what’s already started here.  (Applause.)

Little known fact, for -- you know, while there are other States that are bigger than us, Maryland actually has now one of the top three largest stem cell funds  in the entire United States of America.  And unlike the funds in some other States, our funds are actually hitting the labs and doing the work and doing the research that is propelling us forward like I just saw upstairs.

Number seven.  We will enhance our State’s investment in nanotechnology.  Our one Maryland is already one of the nation’s leading research centers for nanotechnology and nano/biotechnology. By offering more grants and faculty attraction resources, we can leverage the vast opportunities that exist in this field, which is expected to permeate all technology industries in the years ahead.

Number eight.  We will increase technology transfer by strengthening the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund. By helping universities and federal labs to get their innovations to market, we would be able to significantly increase the number of start-up companies coming out of our universities and research institutions, leveraging $3.7 billion in private and federal investment.

Number nine.  We are going to augment the Maryland Venture Fund, which provides challenge grants to start-up companies and makes equity investments in more established companies, something that the MIBC has had some experience with, by increasing aggregate public investment to $152 million by 2019, we can leverage nearly $2 billion in private equity to help these companies succeed.

Now, through the Venture Fund, we’ve made approximately 50 investments in bioscience companies and they have leveraged 15 times the value of our investments through our network of venture capital partners.

As an example of the potential for these investments, our Department of Business and Economic Development, led by David Edgerley,  is partnering with JBG/Scheer Partners to leverage $1 million in State investment to create a $100 million pool for building life science facilities in Greater Washington.  And I’m told Henry Bernstein is here representing Scheer Partners.  And, Henry, we thank you for being here.

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