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June 29, 1996


Baltimore, MD—The Parenteral Drug Association( PDA) of Bethesda, Maryland has agreed to launch its new training institute for laboratory-based pharmaceutical education at the UMBC Technology Center.

"UMBC is an ideal site that is easily accessible for our members and conveniently located to important bioprocessing resources such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), UMBC's own biotechnology programs, the Maryland Bioprocessing Center, the Columbus Center, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins University, and our headquarters,” says PDA President Edmund M. Fry. " We're very excited about the possibilities.”

Specifically, PDA's partnership with the UMBC Technology Center will draw on the university's faculty expertise in structural biochemistry, molecular biology and FDA bioprocessing standards, commonly referred to as Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs).

The UMBC Technology Center is adjacent to I-95, just 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore, 30 minutes from the Washington, DC beltway and only a few minutes from Baltimore-Washington International Airport and AMTRAK's BWI railway station. This makes the institute especially accessible to the pharmaceutical industry's traditional base in the Delaware Valley and southern New Jersey. PDA estimates half of the institute's attendees will come from this area.

PDA's new training institute will also showcase the Baltimore-Washington region's opportunities for biotechnology research and manufacturing by bringing 50 to 75 students during each of the 75 teaching days PDA will offer this coming year. These students--high level scientists, researchers and manufacturers from pharmaceutical companies worldwide, as well as the FDA and other agencies--will also stay in Baltimore hotels and be shuttled to and from the institute, with an average stay of three days.

"Through the PDA Training Institute, pharmaceutical professionals from the U.S. and abroad will gain exposure to the wealth of biotechnology expertise in the Baltimore-Washington corridor,” says Baltimore County Executive C.A Dutch Ruppersberger. "I am delighted to see Baltimore County gain a vital resource that will not only enhance the skills and opportunities of a sophisticated work force, but also strengthen the Baltimore region's position as a leader in biotechnology development.”

Last year, PDA's continuing education program served over 2,700 professionals, but that number could grow in size and scope, since the program is relatively young and 30 percent of the membership--which has doubled to more than 7,000 over the past five years--comes from outside the U.S., largely from Europe and Japan. Once initial renovations for laboratory, classroom and office space are completed this year, the institute will provide a dedicated, 11,000 square-foot training facility.

"Locating the PDA Training Institute at UMBC's Technology Center is an exciting example of the collaboration that can take place between industry and education,” says James T. Brady, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, which is joining Baltimore County to fund renovations required by PDA. "It's a win-win deal that will clearly benefit both PDA and the business climate of the region.”

PDA was introduced to UMBC through Antonio Moreira, associate provost for Academic Affairs and a biotechnology expert who has also taught in PDA's education program. After several lecture-only seminars at hotels, Moreira understood PDA's need for a permanent, laboratory-based training facility in pharmaceutical industry practices. Working with UMBC, the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development and State Department of Business and Economic Development developed a package of incentives that brought PDA to the UMBC Technology Center.

"It was an excellent opportunity for the private and public sector to combine their resources to produce positive economic benefits for the county,” says Robert L. Hannon, executive director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. "We hope that our support in providing financing to bring the facility to the standards required by a top flight training center will contribute to the success of PDA's activities, and will attract additional technological firms to Baltimore County.”

"As a magnet for high-tech incubator and emerging technology companies, UMBC's Technology Center is serving the region and the stat"” adds Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park, which is scheduled to break ground in 1997. "PDA's Training Institute is a wonderful addition to the facility that will generate increased visibility and interest for both the UMBC Technology Center and the planned Research Park.”

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Posted by dwinds1 at June 29, 1996 12:00 AM