Bethesda-based life sciences firm to add 170 jobs -- Gazette.Net


Bethesda-based life sciences company Precision for Medicine plans to add 170 new jobs in Montgomery and Frederick counties in the next few years, officials said Monday.

The business, which provides specialized services and infrastructure for biotechnology companies, will consolidate its headquarters in expanded space in Bethesda and build on lab and biorepository operations in Frederick. The company now has about 80 workers.

Precision is committed to an extensive growth strategy largely focused in Maryland, COO Chad Clark said in a news release. The business secured $150 million in private equity financing to support acquisitions and development earlier this year.

To assist with expansion costs, the state is offering a $750,000 conditional loan, while Montgomery County kicked in a $200,000 conditional grant and the city of Frederick approved a $50,000 conditional loan. Precision is also eligible for state and local tax credits.

Precision, which formed last year and also has an office in Cambridge, Mass., is the most recent venture launched by entrepreneurs Ethan Leder and Mark Clein. The pair formed a similar business in Bethesda, United BioSource Corp., which once employed about 1,600 researchers before being sold to Medco Health Solutions in 2010 for about $730 million.

The company recently added former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Eric Perakslis to its staff in the role of senior adviser for bioinformatics and information technology, which are key areas for drug development.

Perakslis was chief information officer and chief scientist of informatics at the FDA and was formerly an executive at Johnson & Johnson. He will work out of Cambridge, where he is also executive director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School.