Novavax, a clinical stage vaccine company that works to deliver novel products to prevent a broad range of infectious diseases, announced plans to expand its presence in Montgomery County. The company, which has its headquarters in Gaithersburg, is planning to build out its research, development and clinical trial support operations. As part of the expansion, Novavax plans to retain its current 400 full-time employees and add up to 850 new jobs to accommodate its growing pipeline of vaccine candidates.
The announcement coincided with the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, where the state was represented by nearly 70 Maryland-based companies, agencies, and organizations.
Novavax has initiated more than 20 clinical trials targeting infectious diseases, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), seasonal influenza, pandemic influenza and Ebola virus (EBOV). In May 2016, Novavax signed a lease for approximately 150,000 square feet of facility space located at 1201 Clopper Road in Gaithersburg. Novavax selected Maryland and the Clopper Road location for its expansion through a competitive process and made a concerted decision to grow within the local area. The new space will support laboratory and manufacturing activities. In addition to its Gaithersburg headquarters, the company also has locations in Rockville and Uppsala, Sweden.
“The primary focus of our administration is to help foster greater economic opportunity for our citizens and create jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “This expansion, along with the addition of 850 new jobs, is a win for hardworking Marylanders and our state as a whole. Innovative companies like Novavax – that choose to grow their business right here in Maryland – underscore our administration’s commitment to strengthening our economy.”
“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,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “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.”
"Montgomery County is proud to have Novavax in our county, which adds another highly important stable and growing bio health asset to a hub of regional and national firms,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Novavax's research helps save lives and blazes new trails in the life sciences industry."
“We thank Novavax for choosing to stay and grow in Gaithersburg,” said Mayor Jud Ashman. “Our city has unique attributes that support emerging biotechnology. Chief among those traits is our talented workforce, represented by the many current employees of Novavax. We extend a warm welcome to the hundreds of people who will fill the company’s new jobs here.”
To assist with project costs related to the expansion, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a total of $5 million in conditional loans for the three phases of the project through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF) program. The loans are based on the company’s job creation and capital expenditure as part of the expansion. Montgomery County has approved a conditional grant of up to $2.5 million and the company is eligible for the county’s New Jobs Tax Credit. In addition, the City of Gaithersburg has approved up to a $50,000 grant from its Economic Development Toolbox program. The company is also eligible for a number of state tax credits and programs.