Vaccine Company to Expand in Montgomery County With Up to $7.5 Million in Government Help

Vaccine Company to Expand in Montgomery County With Up to $7.5 Million in Government Help

Novavax announced Wednesday it will add up to 850 jobs with new Gaithersburg lab

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Novavax's Gaithersburg headquarters

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Novavax, a company developing vaccines for the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases, announced Wednesday it plans to add up to 850 new jobs in Montgomery County after leasing a laboratory space in Gaithersburg not far from its existing headquarters.

The expansion will be helped by $5 million in conditional loans from a state economic development fund, up to $2.5 million in conditional grants from Montgomery County, a $50,000 grant from the City of Gaithersburg and other state and county tax credit programs.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s office released a press release detailing the expansion plans Wednesday. The announcement coincides with the 2016 BIO International Convention occurring in San Francisco, a biotech industry conference where almost 70 Maryland-based companies and agencies are represented, according to the governor’s office.

Novavax signed a lease last month for 150,000 square feet of laboratory and manufacturing space at 1201 Clopper Road, about a mile away from its headquarters in an office park across Quince Orchard Road from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The company also has locations in Rockville and Sweden.

Novavax has 400 employees and will receive the state and county loans based on its progress in adding the promised additional 850 employees at its county facilities, according to the governor’s office.

The Nasdaq-traded company was founded in 1987 in Gaithersburg and reported revenues of $36.25 million in 2015. Its Ebola vaccine helped healthy people develop an immune response against the deadly virus in an early trial last year. In September, the company received a grant of up to $89 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its work on a vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that infects the lungs and breathing passages.

“Supporting the expansion of companies like Novavax helps reinforce Maryland’s leadership in the life sciences, and positions the state as an ideal place where companies can develop innovative treatments, diagnostics and cures,” Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said in a press release. “We are proud to support the expansion of one of Maryland’s home-grown companies and are pleased to see that Novavax is quickly becoming a significant player in the field of vaccine development.”

County Executive Ike Leggett said the expansion “adds another highly important stable and growing bio health asset to a hub of regional and national firms.”

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