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Md. lures Vitreon to Baltimore; firm plans to create 200 jobs

(File photo)

(File photo)

Medicinal botanical company Vitreon America announced Monday it plans to move its corporate headquarters to Baltimore from Virginia, creating 200 full-time jobs over the next five years.

In addition to its new headquarters on Wicomico Street, the company also indicated it would open lab space, a research center and grow zones in the city.

“Baltimore offers all the business, scientific and medical attributes that we need in order to capitalize on the vast potential of this industry, said Dr. J. Randall Hoggle, chairman of Vitreon’s board, in a statement announcing the relocation.

Some of those scientific opportunities include collaborations with Morgan State University. The company will provide its plant database to the university’s on-campus greenhouse.

“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,” said Dr. Joseph Whittaker, the lead professor in the partnership between the university and Vitreon, in a statement.

The university also had its greenhouse space re-supplied with technologies that should help discover plant-based compounds within the Vitreon library. The new technology was provided through a partnership with the Abell Foundation.

Vitreon exclusively licenses Dr. James Duke’s plant database, a comprehensive list used by biopharmaceutical companies to create plant-based drugs.

As part of the move, Vitreon will take advantage of two Maryland tax credits: the 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 Gov. Larry Hogan, in a statement. “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.”

The One Maryland Tax Credit provides up to $5 million for projects in “distressed counties.” Those counties are Allegany, Baltimore City, Dorchester, Somerset and Wicomico.

The credit can help compensate for “qualifying costs incurred in connection with the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and installation of a project.”

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