Nova chief aims to build area as biotech center

One on one

November 19, 1990

One on One is a weekly feature offering excerpts of interviews conducted by The Evening Sun with newsworthy business leaders. Hans Mueller is president and chief executive officer of Nova Pharmaceutical Corp., which researches and develops new drugs and drug delivery systems. The company this year completed an agreement with SmithKline Beechman Corp. to provide the marketing for four of SKB's psychiatric drugs.

Q. In your role as chairman of the Greater Baltimore Committee High Technology Forum, you recently coordinated Baltimore's first High-Tech week. What was the forum hoping to accomplish and what was the outcome?

A.The forum was formed about 15 or 18 months ago, and early on we recognized that we needed to achieve a few specific things. One of them was that we wanted to make an impact on the overall continuity of culture within the region. We recognized that we just needed to mobilize the forces within the region here to bring about a change toward more entrepreneurship. So that was one of our key objectives -- to achieve training for entrepreneurs, networking for entrepreneurs, to get them involved with role models. We had several other objectives including working on an incubator system, working on a bioprocessing center . . . A portion of the week was devoted to the venture capital fair, which provided a very unique forum for people who need money to meet people who have money and are willing to invest. It was events throughout the week, all of which were very highly attended. It started off with the High-Tech Dinner which . . . was a kind of celebration to bring out the positive things, to show the positive companies that are in the area, to show the positive impact that various people can make. And I think it provided a unique networking situation, and people in general felt very enthusiastic. And it also provided an opportunity to outline a platform for the next 12 to 15 months . . . focusing on the bioprocessing center as a key element in our effort. The purpose behind this bioprocessing center is to provide a resource that is a major hurdle for small companies, mainly the ability to scale up their process from a small lab scale level to an intermediate type step so that they can produce enough material for clinical testing. That's a major hurdle, and it's a very expensive hurdle and the small companies simply do not have the resources . . .

Q. The state seeks to promote the Baltimore area as one of the nation's emerging centers of high technology. Is that wishful thinking or is that an accurate assessment?

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