Biotech investors vie for $12 million in state tax credits

More than 100 applicants are vying for $12 million worth of Maryland tax credits available to biotechnology investors in fiscal 2015, state economic development officials said.

Applications for the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit program were submitted online Tuesday to the state Department of Business and Economic Development. The program, first funded in fiscal 2007, has spurred investment of more than $120 million in 70 biotech firms, state officials said.

Some Baltimore area companies that received investments last year include American Gene Technologies International, Animalgesic Laboratories, Cerecor Inc., Clear Guide Medical and Diagnostic Biochips. The refundable tax credits are equal to half the investment.

"The Biotechnology Tax Credit is one of our most effective tools for helping Maryland biotech companies attract new investors and bring their innovative medical devices and diagnostics to the commercial marketplace," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement.

The credit is part of O'Malley's 10-year, $1.3 billion plan to expand the state's life sciences industry, boost investment in fast-growth businesses and encourage creation of intellectual property. Funding has doubled from $6 million to $12 million since 2007.

Investments can range from $25,000 to $500,000 per investor, with a limit of $1.5 million per company. Companies must be less than 10 years old and Maryland-based and employ fewer than 50 people. Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Investors will be notified after 30 days if their investment is eligible.

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