MedImmune Inc., the fast-growing Gaithersburg biotechnology company, was named the high-technology firm of the year yesterday by the High Technology Council of Maryland, a Rockville trade group.
The company, which has three Food and Drug Administration approved drugs on the market, was cited in the annual awards for its contributions to medical care, especially for premature infants, and its commitment to Maryland through a $50 million investment in a state-of-the art manufacturing plant. The plant is being built in Frederick and is expected to open by 2000.
The company recently received FDA marketing clearance for Synagis, a drug to treat a potentially life-threatening respiratory infection in infants.
MedImmune plans to seek European regulatory approvals for the drug this year. Industry analysts expect the company to turn profitable this year or next.
Dyan Brasington, president of the High Technology Council of Maryland, said MedImmune's drug approvals and new drug manufacturing plant have made the company "a major player in the nation's biotechnology sector and the state and region's economy."
Wayne T. Hockmeyer, MedImmune's chairman and chief executive officer, said the award underscored the hard work of company employees.
In other awards, the council named Jeong H. Kim, founder and chairman of Yuri Systems Inc., as the entrepreneur of the year.
The Landover company makes digital switching equipment for telecommunications and the Internet.
Kim was cited for leading the company from a one-man consulting operation to a publicly traded company with 250 employees and $51 million in annual revenue.
The council noted in its award that Kim's ability to spot customer's needs and strike strategic alliances with other companies was invaluable to the company's success.
The council named Jeannette H. Lee, president and chief executive officer of Sytel Inc., as executive of the year.
She was cited for creating a positive work environment for employees at the privately held information technology services firm founded in 1987.
The executive was also cited for adept management of the company during a period of rapid growth this year.
It's projecting revenue to increase to $60 million, up from $44 million in 1997, and might go public. Employment is expected to grow to 400 from 200.
The council named Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s chemotherapy wafer for treating recurring brain cancer as the biotechnology product of the year.
The Baltimore bio-pharmaceutical company's Gliadel wafer is marketed by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., the French pharmaceutical giant. Guilford is attempting to develop other dissolvable wafers for treating cancer with chemotherapy drugs while minimizing their effect on the rest of the body.
A software program that integrates voice, fax and data for Internet transmissions made by Telogy Networks of Germantown was named the information technology product of the year.
The company's Golden Gateway product was developed with the help of more than $12 million in venture capital.
Pub Date: 4/17/98