Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hometown Biotech

Columbia is home to some interesting companies; one is Martek Biosciences off Dobbin Road. The company turns vats of algae and fungi into nutritional supplements and its customers include some well-known brand names, such as Yoplait Kids, Breyers Yogurt and Horizon Organic Milk. There's even research underway to see if certain oils might help Alzheimer's patients. Last week, Martek reported that revenues were up for the most recent quarter compared to 2005. Higher expenses, however, pushed down profits some.

Biotech companies can be risky ventures, their prospects sharply up one day and down the next. Martek certainly has gone through its share of ups and downs. But at a time when many of the big names in Maryland's biotech industry --MedImmune, BioVeris, Digene -- are getting gobbled up by other companies it will be interesting to see what happens to hometown Martek.

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