Maryland’s bioscience industry is creating tomorrow’s therapies today. Half of Maryland’s bioscience industry is engaged in revolutionary medical treatments for diseases that include lupus, sickle cell disease, tuberculosis, and malaria. Other focuses include coordinating drug approval processes for the FDA, integrating biologics into medical devices, developing innovative research and development platforms, and creating molecular tools and reagents that are used in developing new products.
Maryland companies are advancing the frontiers of therapies and products. Innovative products developed in Maryland include:
- Vaccines, such as FluMist® and MicroMatrix™ Targeted Delivery Systems
- Gene-based diagnostics, such as the careHPV™ test for women and ImmunKnow®, which identifies transplant patients at greatest risk of infection
- Therapeutic medical treatments such as Synagis®, which helps protect high-risk babies’ lungs from severe RSV disease and BENLYSTA®, for lupus patients
- Nutritional supplements, such as life’sDHA™
- Environmental solutions, such as Sterilex® and the Bilge Pill
While the industry of bioscience may have been born out of lab work completed in the latter half of the 20th century, methods for manipulating organic matter to create products that better human lives have been in practice for thousands of years. Bread, cheese and yogurt are examples of products developed through bioscience. Without yeast, bread would not rise, and without specific bacteria, milk would not become cheese. Today, product development requires more than just scientific curiosity. Stringent governmental regulations set exacting standards for quality control, productivity, and safety during all ongoing phases of product development. Without a dedicated team where every member supports the organization’s missions and goals, a bioscience company has little chance of successfully bringing a product to market.
To ease some of the burden associated with product development, bioscience companies often rely on outside service providers called Contract Research Organizations or CROs. CROs play an instrumental role in assisting companies with all aspects of a product’s development and its formulation process.
The doors are wide open for those interested in the product development phase of bioscience. Whether working for bioscience companies, themselves, or the CROs that support them, an array of opportunities exist. From lead scientists to lab techs, Ph.D.s to associate degrees, in addition to the more traditional high-level research positions, a host of mid and entry-level positions are available. While product development is ultimately driven by the innovation of scientists, without the support of a staff of enterprising, motivated individuals filling positions ranging from validation technicians to clinical research associates, no product would ever make it to market.