German-based BioNTech has announced that they will soon be joining Montgomery County, Maryland’s growing list of world-renowned international companies in the “Immunology Capital Next to the Nation’s Capital.” BioNTech is acquiring a Gaithersburg manufacturing facility and cell therapy R&D platform from Kite, a unit of Gilead Sciences, to support the development of BioNTech’s expanding pipeline of novel cell therapies.
With its widely used Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech has recently risen to international prominence and is looking to add an innovative neoantigen T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy to its portfolio of cutting-edge individualized cancer therapies with the Kite purchase. BioNTech’s new Montgomery County manufacturing plant will increase the company’s cell therapy production to strengthen its supply for U.S. clinical trials of its cancer treatments.
“The development of individualized cancer therapies is at the core of our work at BioNTech. The acquisition of the Kite facility and its individualized TCR platform allows us to accelerate the clinical development of our cell therapies in the U.S. and advance at the forefront of individualized cell therapies,” Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, said in their recent release. “It also strengthens our presence in the U.S.”
In addition to accelerating BioNTech’s work in its promising cancer cell therapy research, the deal also gives the company a life sciences manufacturing footprint in Montgomery County, Maryland, home of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI). BioNTech is expected to retain the existing workers at the site and hire additional employees there.
Guest feature: Kristin O’Keefe is the VP of communications and marketing at the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.