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Department of Housing and Community Development

Hogan Administration Announces $5 Million Committed to Biopharmaceutical Company through State Small Business Credit Initiative

Clene Nanomedicine to Match Funds from the Department of Housing and Community Development for Ongoing Clinical Trials and Manufacturing Operations in Elkton

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (October 31, 2022) The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced $5 million of its State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds have been committed to Clene Nanomedicine, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company with manufacturing operations in Elkton that is dedicated to improving the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The commitment is the state’s second from the $198 million in SSBCI funds announced earlier this year, and the first from DHCD, one of three state agencies administering SSBCI programs.

“The commitment to Clene Nanomedicine demonstrates the importance of working with the private sector to improve the lives of Marylanders,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “I congratulate Clene Nanomedicine and look forward to the creation of pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs thanks to the SSBCI programs.”

As part of the program, Clene Nanomedicine investors will match the $5 million, using the investment to advance its clinical research to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The investment is through the SSBCI Venture Funds Program, which is a loan program designed to assist businesses with high potential job growth that have already raised equity from early-stage investors and are seeking new investors.

“These funds, along with existing cash-on-hand, enable Clene to advance its pipeline in difficult-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases, focusing immediately on ALS,” said Rob Etherington, CEO and President of Clene.

Created by Congress in 2010, SSBCI received a $10 billion allocation as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Maryland was the first state in the nation to submit its SSBCI deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department and was one of the first five states to be approved. The nine programs funded by SSBCI support businesses with limited opportunities for growth whether due to the pandemic or historic disinvestment. Maryland’s statewide SSBCI initiatives target communities and areas with a high concentration of small, micro, and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) businesses to support ongoing state investments in underserved communities.

“DHCD’s first SSBCI commitment not only helps a business expand in Maryland, but advances Clene Nanomedicine’s mission to improve lives through its research,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. Through the state’s aggressive pursuit of these federal funds and administration of the SSBCI program, the department is able to leverage its partnerships and processes to assist new and expanding businesses across Maryland, like Clene Nanomedicine.”

In addition to the SSBCI Venture Funds Program, the Department of Housing and Community Development has two other SSBCI programs it is administering. Through DHCD’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, the Loan to Lender initiative directly supports Community Development Financial Institution revitalization and investment efforts, providing funds for them to re-lend to local small businesses. Through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Participation Program, eligible businesses can get assistance with working capital, and investment in equipment and other assets, including the real estate used for business operations.

The Maryland Department of Commerce and TEDCO also received SSBCI funding to administer through their programs. For more information about the nine Maryland business assistance programs supported by SSBCI and how to apply, visit