Biotechnology / Funding / Partnerships / Science

A new cell therapy center aims to strengthen Baltimore’s position in ‘DNA Valley’

With a $5 million matching grant from the State of Maryland, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Orgenesis are partnering to build the Maryland Center for Cell Therapy Manufacturing.

Orgenesis. (Courtesy photo)

Johns Hopkins Medicine and biotech company Orgenesis are partnering to launch the Maryland Center for Cell Therapy Manufacturing, supported by a $5 million matching grant from the State of Maryland.

The facility will close the loop on the biotech ecosystem in Maryland while allowing for lab and patient trials to be done in Baltimore instead of outsourced to another city, like Boston or Philadelphia, which would keep dollars flowing inside the city instead of leaving it.

The dream is to make Baltimore a life sciences hub akin to Gaithersburg or Frederick, and allow the city to reap the benefits of the vaunted “DNA Valley” along the I-270 corridor. Luke Thorstenson, director of business development at Orgenesis and former director of corporate partnerships at John Hopkins, is working to make that dream a reality.

“For years, a lot of the great discoveries that have come out of John Hopkins has been out licensed to out of state,” he told “It’s great that Hopkins and the State of Maryland are really focused and devoted to creating an ecosystem for Baltimore specifically.”

The new facility will be located in the Rangos Building on Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore medical campus. The 7,000-square-foot lab is expected to be finished in the first half of 2023.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Johns Hopkins University / State of Maryland

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