More than 370 life sciences companies have settled in Maryland, which is home to the National Institutes of Health and other government research laboratories. And both Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland are building massive biotechnology parks in the state.
Yet, with the exception of MedImmune and a few others, the state's biotech firms have been largely unsuccessful at bringing blockbuster products to market, said John Holaday, chief executive of QRxPharma, a biotech firm based in Australia but run locally.
He pledged to help new companies establish themselves by investing $60 million and increase incubator space for startups by 50 percent.
The state should also invest $300 million into life science facilities, he said.
In addition, O'Malley wants the state to create a Maryland Biotechnology Center, a "one-stop shop" that will house state, academic and private sector ventures to help expand the relationships between the groups.
"The center will unveil the entire pathway to the marketplace," said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of Maryland Technology Development Corp., a state-funded organization that aids the transfer and commercialization of innovations from Maryland-based universities and research labs.