Chinese Company Announces Plans To Build In Life Sciences Corridor
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Tasly Group's $40 million planned investment on Thursday.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced from Shanghai, the first stop on his 10-day economic development mission to Asia, that Tasly agreed to invest $40 million to build a 430,000-square-foot facility.
This will be the largest investment that any Chinese company has made in Maryland.
“We are here in China to highlight the incredible opportunities there are for Maryland companies to collaborate with Chinese investors and researchers,” O’Malley said in a statement. “By reaching across borders, we can share knowledge and research, generate promising partnerships, and leverage the power of innovation to create jobs and expand opportunity to make our children winners in this changing, global economy. We are pleased to welcome Tasly Group to Maryland.”
Specializing in traditional Chinese medicine, Tasly plans to use the Montgomery County facility as a production and training center. It will also be a base to begin the third phase of clinical trials of its Compound Danshen Dripping Pills, which are being developed to treat and prevent coronary disease. According to a press release, Tasly aims to make this product the first FDA-approved traditional Chinese medicine available in the American market by 2014.
Tasly has not yet decided exactly where it will build the new facility, said Elaine Amir, executive director of Johns Hopkins Montgomery County.
Tasly representatives have toured both Johns Hopkins’ Belward and Montgomery County campuses, Amir said.
Johns Hopkins University has already submitted preliminary plans and development has been approved to expand its campus in Shady Grove by up to one million square feet.
If Tasly were to develop on either of Johns Hopkins University's campuses, they would only need to have a site plan approved, said Steve Findley, the lead planner of the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan.
That development would not be subject to the staging limitations of the master plan, Findley said.
But, if Tasly chose to build in a part of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center outside of the space already approved for development, it would be subject to staging limitations, including a requirement that funding for the Corridor Cities Transitway be secured before certain stages of development occur.
Amir said Johns Hopkins University has been in conversations with Tasly for months—they recently agreed to allow Tasly and JHU researchers to collaborate—and welcomes the announcement.
“Chinese business has come into Montgomery County,” she said.
Pamela Cranston, Johns Hopkins' vice provost for international programs, is traveling with O'Malley on his Asia trip.
In a statement, Tasly Chairman Dr. Yan Xijun said the company chose to invest in Montgomery County because of its biosciences resources.
“We were looking for a place with the best talent, research and development infrastructure and geographic location in the U.S., and Maryland, with its rich scientific community and world-class universities is the perfect fit for us,” Yan said in a statement. “We think there is an incredible opportunity for Tasly to innovate new products and introduce them to the US market. This also marks an important chapter in the globalization of traditional Chinese medicine.”
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) also praised the announcement.
“By locating in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, which over the coming years will be transformed into a thriving, mixed-use biotech hub via the Great Senenca Science Corridor Plan, Tasly will be well-positioned to establish research and development collaborations with renowned research institution Johns Hopkins University, and the many other premiere biotech companies and health partners located there,” Leggett said in a statement.
In Shanghai on Thursday, O'Malley toured Tasly's headquarters and met with executives of other top Chinese biopharmaceutical companies.
Tasly will be the 14th Chinese company to build its headquarters in Maryland.