Medicinal Botanical Company Vitreon Relocates from Northern Virginia to Pigtown, Plans Rapid Growth in Baltimore

| June 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Vitreon America, Inc., a growing medicinal botanical company, has relocated from Northern Virginia to a 5,000 sq. ft. office space at 1100 Wicomico St. in Pigtown. In order to quickly start operations in Baltimore, Vitreon is currently subleasing the space from Baltimore BioWorks. Vitreon currently has 23 employees, eight of which will be relocating to Pigtown.

Founded in 2015, Vitreon has exclusively licensed Dr. James Duke’s plant database, which is believed to be one of the most extensive in the world, according to a press release. With this database, Vitreon has the ability to validate current botanical discovery research projects and assist biopharmaceutical companies with development of new novel plant-based pharmaceuticals utilizing Vitreon’s Botanicopeia™.  Vitreon is hoping to capitalize on the tremendous growth in the plant-based pharmaceuticals market, which brought in $290 million in 2016 with projections to grow to $1.2 billion by 2025 according to the press release.

Vitreon currently has about 230 products in development according to CEO Dr. J. Randall Hoggle.

Vitreon plans to hire 200 employees in the next five years and occupy about 200,000 sq. ft. of Baltimore facility space between offices, laboratory space, and green houses. These spaces will be located throughout Baltimore City and will be announced in the near future, Dr. Hoggle told Its initial green house will be at Morgan State University.

Vitreon will be investing $6.5 million in its Baltimore facilities.

Vitreon will work closely with Morgan State University and provide its plant database and botanical research capabilities to the greenhouse on the university’s campus. Through a partnership with the Abell Foundation, the university’s greenhouse and botanical laboratory was recently re-supplied with state-of-the-art technologies that will facilitate identification and qualitative validation of novel plant-based compounds. Students and faculty at Morgan State University will partner with Vitreon scientists to investigate the medicinal properties and commercial applications of botanicals. The partnership with Morgan State University will optimize the federal government’s new agricultural and botanical sciences grant opportunities focused on these research areas.

Dr. Hoggle told his team was attracted to Baltimore because of its “vibrant economy from a business perspective” and its location near some of the “premier medical research facilities in the world,” including Johns Hopkins Medicine and University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitreon currently has a temporary laboratory space at Johns Hopkins in Rockville, MD.

The Maryland Department of Commerce and the Baltimore Development Corp. are continuing to work with Vitreon on its relocation project. The company is eligible for the state’s Job Creation Tax Credit and One Maryland Tax Credit.

“We are very pleased to welcome Vitreon America to Baltimore, with access to our highly-skilled workforce, top-rated universities and research institutions, and unparalleled reputation for innovation,” said Governor Larry Hogan in a press release. “This relocation, and the 200 new jobs it will create, is a win for Baltimore City and our entire state as we continue to make Maryland a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“Maryland has an outstanding reputation as a place of groundbreaking medical breakthroughs and discoveries, and the innovative research that Vitreon is doing to develop new plant-based medicines will be a great addition to our community,” said Mike Gill, Maryland Secretary of Commerce, in the release. “We look forward to continuing to work with Vitreon and connecting them to potential partners to ensure their success in Maryland.”

“We’re excited that Vitreon is relocating its global headquarters to Baltimore City,” said William H. Cole, president & CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation, in the release. “Potential partnerships with 13 colleges and universities as well as two established bioparks makes Baltimore very attractive to companies in medical, biotechnology, and now botanical research and development. We wish Vitreon continued growth and success here.”

“We saw this as an opportunity to build on Morgan State University’s historic leadership in botany and support a new generation of scientists who can leverage the power of plants to secure research funding and create new knowledge,” said Abell Foundation President Robert C. Embry Jr. in the release. “Vitreon will catalyze that process with its plant database and ability to generate commercial applications.”

“This partnership, and the capabilities inherent with each of its members, will afford significant growth and advancement in research and training in STEM disciplines at the university,” said Dr. Joseph Whittaker, Morgan State University/Vitreon America, Inc. partnership lead professor, in the press release. “Faculty and student collaborations with Vitreon scientists will not only expand MSU’s research capacity and skills inventory, but also foster cultivation of a unique, multi-disciplinary training environment that will support the state of Maryland in realizing its R&D potential.”

Other companies at the approximately 400,000 sq. ft. Wicomico St. building in Pigtown include Harbor Designs, which has a 45,000 sq. ft. office, and Federal Hill Solutions, which has as a 2,000 sq. ft. office. The building is also home to Under Armour’s first Baltimore office..

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