Biotechnology is often rooted in business “clusters” around major metropolitan areas, but Maine has become a cluster in its own right.
The state is now home to more than 200 bioscience businesses and organizations. They range from Maine’s second-largest public company by revenue, Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), to one of the smallest, ImmuCell Corp. (Nasdaq: ICCC), of Portland.
Both IDEXX and ImmuCell develop products for the animal health industry. Both were founded in the 1980s, but have made shifts in their scientific focus over the years. IDEXX, for example, responded to the pandemic by adapting a veterinary diagnostic test for use in humans.
Maine’s bioscience businesses draw on the state’s long history of cultivating scientific research. It includes iconic institutions such as the Jackson Laboratory and MDI Biological Laboratory, both in Bar Harbor, and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in East Boothbay.