Innovation, Partnerships & Progress: How Life Sciences Is Booming in Maryland’s Montgomery County

Drive or take the metro in any direction within Montgomery County, Maryland, and you'll come across a life science company responsible for a major innovation. From the early wave of fast-breaking COVID-19 vaccines developed by Novavax, to the first-ever xenotransplant into a living human using only FDA-approved immunosuppressive medicines by United Therapeutics, Montgomery County is where life science companies seek to establish operations and deliver on their most ambitious projects.

Located next door to the nation’s capital, the county is home to more than 530 life science businesses creating life-saving cell and gene therapies, immunology and biopharmaceutical advances, and major research and development and manufacturing. Novavax, United Therapeutics, AstraZeneca, MilliporeSigma, REGENXBIO and many others continue to invest in the county, which anchors the third-largest biopharma cluster in the nation, for its highly skilled workforce and well-established ecosystem.

A Diverse and Highly Educated Workforce

Life science companies in Montgomery County, Md. employ approximately 40,000 workers. The county has an exceptional and diverse talent pool with the highest concentration of STEM jobs in the U.S. and ranks second in the country for professional and technical workers.

That is not a coincidence — more than 30% of adults in the county have an advanced degree (master’s degrees or higher), and 60% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Additionally, partnerships like BioHub Maryland and the National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training are dedicated to prioritizing upskilling and nurturing talent pipelines.

A Breeding Ground for Scientific Breakthroughs

Proximity to the National Institutes of Health, the primary agency responsible for biomedical and public health research with a $37 billion budget, is an advantage that life science companies can leverage. The Food and Drug Administration, along with 36 federal labs are also key contributing factors that make Montgomery County, Maryland a breeding ground for some of the most important scientific developments, both in private and public sectors.

Companies from around the country and across the world value the established scientific community here. AstraZeneca’s planned expansion is a prime example. “We are incredibly excited that more than 150 new highly skilled jobs are being created to bring our scientific work and therapies to clinical trials, which could transform the lives of patients around the world,” said AstraZeneca EVP of Global Operations & IT and Chief Sustainability Officer Pam Cheng in a company statement. “This new $300 million investment will accelerate our ambition to make next-generation cell therapy a reality, ensuring that we are ready to scale and meet the demands of patients.”

Local Incentives Fuel Growth

As the only county in the country offering a local biotechnology investment tax credit and a local match for SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer) awards, Montgomery County, Md., helps companies advance their technologies toward commercialization.

“There's a reason why so many life science companies choose to locate here,” says Director of Economic Development Prayas Neupane, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. “We have the right kind of talent, right kind of infrastructure, highly educated workforce, and ready to go partners who contribute mightily to our collaborative environment. It adds up to a growing, robust ecosystem here in Montgomery County.”

To learn more about life sciences in Montgomery County, Maryland, visit

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.