Welcome to the July issue of the "It's Better Here" newsletter.

This month we are highlighting a new lab facility that Horizon Therapeutics is building in Rockville. Horizon's decision to choose Maryland as the location for its East Coast research and development and technical operations is evidence that It's Better Here.

Horizon joins a growing list of other companies have recently built new facilities or expanded their existing lab space. The continued growth of the life sciences industry in Maryland means the injection of thousands of new jobs into the local economy.

Notably, Maryland life science companies are increasingly seeking out employees who hold high school or two-year and four-year degrees. Maryland Tech Council's BioHub Maryland aims to assist in this process by providing both educational resources for those looking to attain necessary skills, and also connecting those trying to enter, or change careers within, the life sciences industry.

The future looks bright for the Maryland life sciences industry. As evidenced by Horizon's expansion, the abundance of life sciences companies and access to a competitive workforce compound Maryland's attractiveness, and companies are taking note.

2022 Bio Innovation Conference 

Early Bird Registration Ends July 29

On October 3-4, Maryland Life Sciences' annual forum will connect top life sciences professionals in the region with leading global brands, venture capitalists and promising startups. Attendees will also experience relevant and up-to-date sessions on a variety of topics, including biomanufacturing, cell and gene therapy, as well as vaccines and immunotherapy.

Maryland Life Sciences is proud to have Horizon Therapeutics as a title sponsor of the 2022 Bio Innovation Conference. 

Don't miss out – early bird registrants will save up to $200.

Register Today

Interested in being featured in our Member Spotlight in a future edition of It's Better Here? Contact Jeremy Fischman for more details.


Horizon Therapeutics on Why It’s Better Here

By Alex Keown

For Horizon Therapeutics, Maryland has become a vital element of its research and development operations. Earlier this year, the company initiated construction on a new, state-of-the-art facility in Rockville that is expected to become a hub of scientific discovery and cross-functional collaboration for the company. 

Bill Rees

VP of Translational Sciences

Bill Rees, Vice President of Translational Sciences and also site head for Horizon’s Maryland operations, expressed his excitement about the opportunities the company will have to engage in scientific collaboration and increase the diversity of thought as the company continues to focus on its mission of innovation to develop new medicines for rare diseases and autoimmune disease.


“For that mission, the diversity of talent, the diversity of origins, of education, of experience found in Maryland is essential for our way of thinking,” Rees said.

Before Horizon settled on Maryland for its new facility, Rees noted the company was open to other locations. However, it became clear that the Old Line State was the place to be due to the diversity of talent in the area, as well as the thought leadership in drug development. Additionally, he noted the importance of close proximity to leading government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As Horizon awaits the opening of its new site, expected in 2024, Rees pointed to the ever-expanding life sciences ecosystem in Maryland, particularly in the areas of rare and infectious diseases. Rees pointed out numerous companies that call Maryland home that have become thought leaders in those areas.

“Some of the institutions that have led the charge in exploring the biological origins of these diseases are here. That’s a key attraction that drew many people to this area in the first place,” Rees said.


Horizon’s new facility will provide the company with 192,000-square feet of space that is expected to quadruple the company’s footprint in Maryland. The new facility, which will house about 200 research scientists, will serve as the company’s primary East Coast research and development and technical operations.

The design of the new site, which has been influenced from input by the research scientists who will be working in that building, is expected to significantly influence collaborative opportunities within the company, as well as with external partners. Rees said a commitment to that kind of collaboration is part of the very fabric of Horizon’s company culture.

“With Horizon, it’s in our DNA to think and work primarily beyond ourselves. There’s an entrepreneurial mindset that drives us to identify best opportunities to help identify patients with rare diseases with urgency,” he said. “It’s a key element of how we consider our environment. We want it to be not only a place we can work but a place that can support local patient groups, patient advocacy organizations … to use the facilities to further their critical aims. We feel and practice our values every day and bring our whole selves to work.”


Staff scientists have actively been involved with the design of the new facility. Rees said their input has been sought because the company wants an environment that can “nurture the innovation” the new space is expected to provide. The design of the building is expected to “create connectivity” across the entire site, he added.

As Horizon looks forward to the opening of its new R&D facility, Rees said the company’s commitment goes beyond the patients it serves with its different therapeutics. The company is also committed to the communities in which its people live. He said the employees, as well as the company itself, is excited about strengthening local connections within the community, becoming more than just an employer in the area.

“It’s important to be part of the community,” he said.

Learn more on Horizon Therapeutics' Science Forward page.

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