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VIEWPOINT: People, innovation are driving our life science industry

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Delaware is fortunate to be home to a vibrant, dynamic bioscience community. The work we do here – innovative research and development, cutting-edge science and creating and manufacturing medicines and new technologies – improves patients’ lives and powers our economy.

A comprehensive report issued last year with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership underlines how life science innovation is driving the state’s economic future:

  • More than 11,000 people employed
  • $2 billion in GDP generated with payrolls of at least $230 million
  • Biotech startups have grown 65% in the last decade
  • 64% more life science degrees were awarded in the same period
  • Advanced manufacturing is a rapidly increasing career path

Behind these statistics are your neighbors, the people going to work in Delaware labs and manufacturing facilities each day with a passion to help patients everywhere. In Delaware’s biosciences sector, there’s opportunity for everyone – thousands of rewarding careers in companies of all types and sizes spanning research, manufacturing, construction, and countless other roles that build up our state’s communities and benefit families.

We recently launched an effort to share the stories of these remarkable people from every background and educational experience – here are a few:

Lauren – Agilent
Lauren is manufacturing engineer at Agilent, an analytical instrumentation development and manufacturing company with sites in Newport and Wilmington. Her work helps create the tests that check for important information in pharmaceutical drugs, like potency and purity. A UD grad, Lauren loves her role and is excited about Delaware’s future prospects, “I love the opportunity to grow and innovate in my home state.”

Brendan – Ballydel Technologies
Brendan is the founder of Ballydel Technologies, a start-up developing anti-counterfeit technology to protect vaccine vials and biologic containers so that adulterated, substandard, or dangerous counterfeit products don’t make their way to patients. “This technology is developed in Delaware but protects patients everywhere,” said Brian.

Natalie – Incyte
Natalie, who has held research and business roles at Incyte, is passionate about improving the quality of life for patients. Incyte’s headquarters are based in Wilmington, where they recently opened a new state of the art lab building that will support their continued growth and development of therapies for people with rare cancers and debilitating skin conditions. “We’ve come from a very small, 700-person biotech when I joined, to now having over 2,000 employees, always striving to keep patient needs and interests at the top of mind.”

Ray – ANP Technologies
Ray is the CEO of ANP Technologies, a Newark company that quickly ramped up their rapid test development and manufacturing capabilities to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are plenty of extremely well-qualified people in this area, because of the large scientific community and the universities, but there were also so many people who just wanted to help,” he said. “We had to move as fast as COVID did. So, we got to work.”

Wesley – AstraZeneca
Wesley works in quality control at AstraZeneca’s Newark manufacturing plant. He conducts analytical testing to ensure that medicines are labeled and marketed correctly, which includes checking for appropriate doses of active ingredients and confirming that no impurities are present in the products. “I grew up in this area,” he said, “all the high-end biosciences and attractive jobs certainly help fuel our local economy, but the most rewarding thing is that I know I’m contributing to the creation of life-saving medicines.”

Larry – Bancroft Construction
Larry has been working in construction for over 30 years, and at Bancroft he oversees projects that include building advanced laboratory research and testing facilities across the state. “The lab research and manufacturing work is extremely sophisticated and requires precise design and construction. We’re proud to be a part of the process and understand what a big responsibility it is to take on these projects. It’s very rewarding to see them turn into these facilities that go on to develop life-changing medicines for people.”

Sophie – Adesis
As a synthetic chemist at Adesis, Sophie is proud of her work that helps accelerate the development of important medicines. “Not only can I help my clients solve complex problems, but it’s an opportunity for me to actually help make a difference in people’s lives through pharmaceutical medicines and technologies,” she said. “Delaware is a great place to do this work.”

To learn more about the inspiring individual stories behind Delaware’s bioscience innovation – and great career opportunities for you and your family members – go to: Developed in Delaware (delawarebio.org)

By Michael Fleming, president of the Delaware Bioscience Association.

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