Montgomery County, Md, is a thriving innovation center in the life sciences industry. With a growing number of companies and employees working on cutting-edge technologies and treatments, it’s hard for outsiders to grasp the depth and breadth of the work being done. To showcase the diversity of science taking place across the county, Patricia Larrabee, founder and president of Facility Logix, a consulting firm that provides owners’ representation building solutions for biotech companies, organized a tour of four of these companies for local officials and economic development advocates: On Demand Pharmaceuticals, United Therapeutics, MaxCyte and Sirnaomics. 


On Demand Pharmaceuticals Inc., opened its manufacturing facility in Rockville in October 2020. The company is utilizing advanced manufacturing technologies to change the way medicine is made with the goal of making drug shortages a thing of the past. The company’s technology platform allows medicines to be produced in small machines rather than large factories so that with the right starting ingredients, medicines can be made on demand wherever they are needed most, such as on-site at a hospital, in the field of a military operation or in a rural community without access to a reliable supply chain. 

“Getting to know the community better was really important, and having the opportunity to meet more people locally in the public realm and other partners was a good opportunity for us to show what’s happening in their backyard with our company,” said Kari Stoever, chief external relations officer of On Demand Pharmaceuticals Inc. “We’re already busting at the seams of our current facility, so we’re thinking about what’s next.” 

That likely means maintaining a headquarters in Montgomery County, near two of its biggest funders — the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services — and adding locations across the country to create a distributed network. 


United Therapeutics (UT), which has been based in Montgomery County for over 25 years, has grown significantly during that time and has partnered with the county on multiple occasions to build new facilities. During the tour, guests were taken through the Unisphere, a site that is now the country’s largest net-zero commercial office building. 

“Having a virtuous cycle of economic activity driven by life science companies brings more people here and ultimately helps us become a stronger company,” said Thomas Kaufman, associate vice president, corporate real estate for United Therapeutics. 

United Therapeutics focuses its work on rare lung diseases, including pulmonary hypertension. While its current medicines treat these diseases, the only cure at this time is a lung transplant, so UT’s long-term mission is to create an unlimited supply of manufactured organs to help address the national shortage of transplantable organs. Today, it is in the process of renovating an existing facility where it plans to grow human cells as part of a technology that would create a 3D-printed organ. 

“We think that Montgomery County could be the future hub for this nascent organ manufacturing industry, which doesn’t really exist yet,” Kaufman said.  


MaxCyte is another Montgomery County-based company that has developed a cell engineering platform enabling the development of new cell therapies that can treat patients who otherwise can’t be treated. The company supports over 16 clinical programs and hundreds of early discovery projects with biotech and academic partners across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including sickle cell and rare diseases.  

“It’s science fiction coming true,” said CEO Doug Doerfler. “Just think about it, taking someone’s cells and engineering them, giving them back and treating a disease.” 

Doerfler started the company in Montgomery County almost 25 years ago. Having access to incubator space in the early days was a significant plus, and the region’s talented workforce, transportation network, and reputation as a great place to work continue to benefit MaxCyte. 

“We’ve got a very, very vibrant biotech scene with some of the leading companies in the field,” Doerfler said. “I would put that up against any region in the world.” 


Sirnaomics, a clinical-stage RNA therapeutics biopharma company, is an excellent example of global companies choosing Montgomery County. The company develops drugs for unmet medical needs in areas such as cancer, skin conditions and fibrosis-related diseases. Based in both China and the United States, Sirnaomics enjoys its proximity to the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration by having its U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County. 

Montgomery County’s life sciences community is thriving, and programs like Facility Logix’s tour help to highlight the innovative work being done in the area. The county has a thriving business center, which helps businesses move to and grow here. “Biotech is a priority industry for us,” said County Executive Marc Elrich, noting that the county is home to the NIH, FDA, NIST and many companies like the four on the tour. “These companies truly are leaders in their fields; and we are proud to have them located in Montgomery County.” 

Be Next in Montgomery County, Md., the immunology capital next to the nation’s capital. The business community is supported by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, which helps companies locate in the region, make connections, tap into the regional workforce pipeline and grow. Reach out at