NORTH EAST – Principio Business Park tenant Clene Nanomedicine was awarded half a million dollars in state funding to jumpstart an operational expansion, just as company leaders are gearing up for growth within the next two years. Clene Nanomedicine has designs to expand its 21,0000-square-foot manufacturing facility sometime by 2021, according to Mark Mortenson, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Clene Nanomedicine is exactly the kind of innovative, forward-thinking business we are trying to attract to Maryland’s Opportunity Zones,” DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt said in a official statement. Clene Nanomedicine Inc., launched as a start-up company in 2012, had its clinical operations in Salt Lake City but has flourished in one of Cecil County’s premiere economic development spots in Principio Business Park since 2017. The state loan funding will help offset critical operations as the company continues is second phase of testing its multiple sclerosis medication, Mortenson explained. The state’s $500,000 investment in Clene follows a series of initiatives and legislation announced by Gov. Larry Hogan to further expand Maryland’s opportunity zone program. Mortenson hopes to leverage the opportunity zone into expanding Clene within the next two years, as the company aims to continue into the third phase of drug trials.