January 6, 2021

County Biotech Companies Secured Nearly $8 Billion in 2020 Funding for COVID-19 and Other Life-Saving Vaccines, Therapeutics and Advances

The COVID-19 health crisis dominated world news in 2020. In Montgomery County, which is home to one of the world’s largest life sciences communities, numerous companies have played major roles in the development of lifesaving vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and other diseases that impact public health.

From lupus to Parkinson’s disease, County companies are helping save lives through unparalleled vaccine research, cell and gene therapies and manufacturing capabilities. Local life sciences companies range from early- and mid-stage to late-stage therapeutics to earn the County the title of “The Immunology Capital Next to the Nation’s Capital.”

Since the start of 2020, almost $8 billion in federal, private and foundational funding has been invested in life sciences companies with a County presence for coronavirus vaccine research and other immunotherapeutic developments.

“We are proud that Montgomery County’s renowned life sciences companies are helping to develop life-saving vaccines and treatments,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Their work will help us fully reopen all of our businesses and they are key to a future thriving economy.” 

Novavax and Emergent BioSolutions were among the first recipients of federal Operation Warp Speed funding of more than $5.5 billion to fight COVID-19. An additional $2 billion in equity and venture capital funding also was invested in Montgomery companies.

"This year's growth highlights our position as a global life sciences hub and shows why companies are looking to expand their operations in Montgomery County," said County Council President Tom Hucker. "There is real value in locating here next to the nation's capital with nearby access to 18 federal agency headquarters, three major airports and the nation-leading diversity that characterizes our county."

Benjamin H. Wu, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation said: “The significant investments made in Montgomery County over the last year are a recognition of the urgent life sciences needs that are being met through our many local assets. Companies from around the world are attracted to our highly educated workforce and proximity to NIH, the world’s largest federal researcher, and the FDA, the world’s largest federal regulator. The many accomplishments of our biotech companies make clear that Montgomery County is an immunology capital and a vaccine leader.”

Other important County assets include easy access to nearby leading trade associations and top bio talent. Maryland’s 8th Congressional District (mostly situated in Montgomery County) leads the nation in the proportion of science and engineering jobs to total workforce.

A national report by ITI also found the 8th District’s 52,000 STEM workers are triple the national average.

Highlights of Montgomery County’s 2020 life sciences accomplishment can be found at https://thinkmoco.com/press-releases/biotech-release.