ANNAPOLIS – On a trade mission to Brazil, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Brace Pharmaceuticals, an investment company created by EMS S/A, Brazil’s largest domestic pharmaceutical company, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation.
The company, which is located in the Rockville Innovation Center, is focused on the late stage clinical development of pharmaceutical products with the potential for near-term commercialization. Brace invests in research and development companies’ efforts to successfully complete their clinical trials and seek FDA marketing approval.
Brace recently entered into its first venture investment in a U.S. company with Gliknik, a Baltimore-based biopharmaceutical company that is creating new therapies for cancer and immune disorders.
The announcement came after Governor O’Malley visited EMS headquarters near Sao Paulo and met with the company’s owner and Chairman, Carlos Sanchez and its Vice President of Strategy & Operations, Vinzenz Plorer, a member of the Maryland delegation to Brazil.
“Brace Pharmaceuticals’ decision to establish its U.S. headquarters in Maryland reaffirms the State’s position as one of the world’s leading locations for life sciences innovation,” said Governor O’Malley. “We welcome Brace and are pleased that they will be able to benefit from our highly-educated workforce and our proximity to key federal labs. Their work with a wealth of cutting-edge companies will help to cure diseases and develop new therapies to save lives across the globe.”
“By establishing Brace’s operations in Rockville, Maryland, we have access to one of the U.S.’s top life sciences communities,” Brace’s Plorer said. “There is a talented pool of industry experience to draw upon as we expand our footprint. Moreover, there is established infrastructure and support from companies, universities, NIH and FDA.”
“I congratulate the Governor and his team on this economic development achievement,” Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett added. “We welcome Brace Pharmaceuticals to our large and growing family of life sciences firms in Montgomery County.”
Governor O’Malley also announced that DK Diagnostics, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based biotechnology company, is planning to expand its presence in Maryland, invest $1 million in the new operation and grow to 20 employees over the next two years. Founded in 2004, the company manufactures and markets a parasite testing kit called PARATEST. Currently, the company has four employees in an office in Frederick and recently began manufacturing the product in Maryland.
“It is our goal to become an export company to NAFTA’s market from our plant in Maryland and help fortify the concept of biotechnological innovation that is the State’s mark,” said Jose Carlos Lapenna, DK Diagnostic President & CEO.