InternationalMaryland Economy

Brazilian pharmaceutical company to invest $200 million in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 3, 2013) – On a trade mission to Brazil, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Brace Pharmaceuticals, an investment company created by EMS S/A, Brazil’s largest domestic pharmaceutical company, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation. The company, which is located in the Rockville Innovation Center, develops and commercializes products in the late stage of clinical development and helps research and development companies successfully finish their developments and obtain FDA market approval. Brace recently entered into its first venture investment in a U.S. company with Gliknik, a Baltimore-based biopharmaceutical company that is creating new therapies for cancer and immune disorders. The announcement came after Governor O’Malley visited EMS headquarters near Sao Paolo and met with the company’s CEO Carlos Sanchez and President of U.S. Operations Vinzenz Plorer.

“Brace Pharmaceuticals’ decision to establish its U.S. headquarters in Maryland reaffirms the State’s position as one of the world’s leading locations for life sciences innovation,” said Governor O’Malley. “We welcome Brace and are pleased that they will be able to benefit from our highly-educated workforce and our proximity to key federal labs. Their work with a wealth of cutting-edge companies will help to cure diseases and develop new therapies to save lives across the globe.”

“By establishing Brace’s operations in Rockville, Maryland, we have access to one of the U.S.’s top life sciences communities,” Brace’s Plorer said. “There is a talented pool of industry experience to draw upon as we expand our footprint. Moreover, there is established infrastructure and support from companies, universities, NIH and FDA.”

Governor O’Malley also announced that DK Diagnostics, a Sao Paolo, Brazil-based biotechnology company, is planning to expand its presence in Maryland and grow to 20 employees over the next two years. Founded in 2004, the company manufactures and markets a parasite testing kit called PARATEST. Currently, the company has four employees in an office in Frederick and recently began manufacturing the product in Maryland.

“It is our goal to become an export company to NAFTA’s market from our plant in Maryland and help fortify the concept of biotechnological innovation that is the State’s mark,” said Jose Carlos Lapenna, DK Diagnostics President & CEO.

Earlier today, Governor O’Malley addressed the Federation of Industries of Sao Paolo, which represents more than 30,000 industrial companies. As part of the presentation, called “Doing Business in Maryland,” the Governor highlighted the State’s top-ranked education system and leadership in the Innovation Economy, including biotechnology, cyber security and advanced manufacturing.

About EMS

EMS is the largest pharmaceutical company in Brazil, and the second largest pharmaceutical company in Latin America. With a 50-year corporate history, EMS focuses on over 2,500 prescription, generic, branded generic, and over-the-counter products for a wide variety of indications. EMS has full production capabilities, including manufacturing, packaging and quality control, as well as state-of-the-art research and development facilities. EMS is continually expanding its capacity through internally-funded investment in its core competences. In 2013, EMS formed Brace Pharma to invest in pharmaceutical innovation in the United States and to expand global efforts for development and commercialization. For additional information, please visit

About Brace Pharma

Brace Pharma is the U.S. investment company of EMS, Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical company. Brace Pharma invests in companies developing innovative therapies for life threatening diseases with insufficient treatment options. Brace Pharma’s partnership model funds late stage clinical programs with the potential for commercialization within three to five years. For additional information, visit

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Karen Glenn Hood

Karen Glenn Hood