The following Member Spotlight is a summary from the interview with Whitney Harmel, vice president of membership and development at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and Sean Kirk, executive vice president of manufacturing and technical operations at Emergent BioSolutions. The full interview is included in the video below:
Emergent BioSolutions, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, started in Lansing, Michigan, with BioThrax®, the only FDA-licensed vaccine to prevent anthrax disease. Emergent BioSolutions provided BioThrax® to the government as a Department of Defense contractor and, shortly after, the government formed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). During that time, Emergent BioSolutions diversified and grew in the bio-defense space, acquiring companies, organizations, and products that supported that mission.
Emergent BioSolutions has been able to leverage their talent and internal infrastructure to expand their strategic focus to include public health threats. Multiple strategic acquisitions lead to products such as NARCAN® nasal spray, the inhalational medication for opioid overdose, as well as a travel health vaccine portfolio.
Emergent BioSolutions has enhanced their position with the government and is proud of the long-standing role with various government agencies for national preparedness, such as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NAIAD), BARDA, and the Strategic National Stockpile.
Emergent BioSolutions’s Bayview campus located in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of three Centers for Innovation and Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) partnered with BARDA, which is a prime example of the confluence between the mission of the company in bio-preparedness and public health threats and the mission of the government agencies in mitigating these threats. This facility was built with pandemic response in mind.
Emergent BioSolutions released a video statement from Bob Kramer, President and CEO, on the commitment of the organization to combat “COVID-19 by developing and manufacturing plasma-derived therapeutics on our proprietary hyperimmune platforms, as well as deploying our vaccine and contract development and manufacturing capabilities and expertise” (Emergent BioSolutions, 2020).
Kirk emphasizes the importance of Emergent BioSolutions’ commitment to their employees and public health. The organization has prioritized the health and wellness of the employees through social distancing and teleworking in order to continue operations and support clinical development programs. Kirk is optimistic the public and private sector will work together to navigate this national health crisis.
Emergent BioSolutions. 2020. “Our Commitments to Combat COVID-19.” Emergent BioSolutions. Retrieved April 7, 2020 (https://www.emergentbiosolutions.com/story/our-commitments-combat-covid-19).
Click here to view up-to-the-minute COVID-19 resources on the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 resources page.