Emergent BioSolutions, Gaithersburg-based drug maker and developer, spent $80 million with the help of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase the size of its pharmaceutical plant at East Lombard Street. The now 112,000-square-feet plant near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center will stand ready to assist the federal and state government combat the next flu pandemic.
The expansion will allow the drug developer to accept bigger contracts for drugs commonly sold in the commercial market, while also allowing for a more expedient development of drugs within the company’s own pipeline.
Emergent’s executive vice president of business operations, Adam R. Havey, said, “Ultimately that means that more people, more jobs and more technology coming to this site and Emergent.”
On Wednesday, city, state and federal officials, along with the company executives were present to celebrant the opening of the plant. Emergent’s expansion into the city could prove to be beneficial for both sides of the aisle. City officials believe it could lead directly to new jobs and economic growth, while Emergent to benefit from the city’s expansive manufacturing history. Maryland hopes to become a leading state for biotech firms and Emergent’s expansion is a step in the right direct.
Much of Maryland’s pharmaceutical industry is concentrated mainly in the Interstate 270 corridor. However, Baltimore is home to two of the country’s leading hospitals with the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. The seeing is experiencing growth in businesses aimed at medical device and drug development.
The company will add an estimated 10 employees annually and predicts to reach 100 employees by 2020. A $30 million expansion is also planned for its packaging facility at South Paca Street and will add 100 new workers, taking the total to 270 over the next five years.
The Emergent and the federal government will invest a combined $220 million for the development of drugs that will respond to the emerging public health issues and expand the company’s facilities so they are capable of manufacturing 50 million doses of flu vaccine in about 4 months.