London Biotech Company Plans First U.S. Branch off I-270

London Biotech Company Plans First U.S. Branch off I-270

Autolus would open in Shady Grove life sciences center, add 200 jobs

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A European biopharmaceutical company is looking to plant roots in Rockville.

Autolus, a London-based cell therapy company developing cancer treatments, is seeking to develop a one-story, 85,000-square-foot office, lab and manufacturing facility on Medical Center Drive.

Set to be considered by the county Planning Board early next month, the plans were designated by former County Executive Ike Leggett as a “strategic economic development project,” because of the potential to “become a transformative bioscience real estate development,” according to the project’s site plan.

The company expects to have as many as 200 workers at the center, according to county estimates.

Included in project plans are a dining terrace, 291 parking spaces and a plaza buffered by landscaping.

The facility,  Autolus’ first United States location, would be west of Interstate 270, part of a regional life sciences center near Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.

Founded in 2014, the company is developing and testing technology to fight cancers using the body’s blood system T cells. The company, with more than 100 employees, had its initial public offering last summer, raising $160 million. Its stock trades on Nasdaq.

The region’s talent pool was identified as a key factor in choosing Montgomery County as its U.S. hub, according to BioBuzz, a biotech trade publication.

“After analyzing the different markets, in the end, it came down to Maryland and one other market,” Matthias Alder, senior vice president and chief business officer for Autolus told BioBuzz. “Our analysis showed that this area is at par, or better, for many of the skill sets we’re looking for, particularly for the biomanufacturing staff and leadership talent, but also just the general biotech business skills that we will need for a biomanufacturing and commercial operation.”

The company also considered sites in North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts, BioBuzz reported.

A U.S.-based publicist for Autolus could not be reached for comment.

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