2021 | Business

German biotech company acquiring Gaithersburg manufacturing facility

BioNTech partnered with Pfizer on COVID-19 vaccine

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BioNTech, a biotechnology company based in Germany, is acquiring a manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg to develop a pipeline of cell therapies, the county’s economic development agency said.

BioNTech has recently become prominent due to its partnership with Pfizer on the production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The company is acquiring the manufacturing plant of Kite Pharma, a biotechnology company, to help increase its cell therapy production. The goal is to strengthen clinical trials of cancer treatments, according to a press release on Wednesday from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC).

The 55 Kite employees in Gaithersburg can continue working in the facility, Kite spokeswoman Mary Lynn Carver told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday.

Additional employees will be hired at the facility, according to the press release. BioNTech representatives could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said in the press release that the acquisition of the Kite facility will allow the company to “accelerate the clinical development” of its cell therapies in the United States and strengthen its American presence.

BioNTech is the latest of several international life science companies that have expanded to Montgomery County. MCEDC President and CEO Ben Wu said in the press release that BioNTech’s decision to locate in the county “signals our growing maturation as a world immunology capital.”

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this month.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com