Autonomous Therapeutics, Inc. , an antivirals company, will locate its new headquarters, manufacturing and R&D Campus in Rockville, Maryland.
The new ATI Rockville headquarters will be home to the manufacturing and R&D studies that will move its therapeutics into clinical trials and eventually the marketplace. Currently the company has 15 employees, with plans to hire more than 50 scientists and engineers within the next three years.
ATI is developing a suite of first-in-class “Therapeutic Interfering Particles” to prevent respiratory pandemics, including influenza and COVID-19. The company’s lead candidates include therapeutics that are designed to prevent infections by any coronavirus strain, from COVID-19 to the next pandemic. ATI has raised millions of dollars in capital from public and private partners to transition its antiviral candidates into first-in-human clinical trials.
“Expanding to Montgomery County has been an excellent outcome for our growing company. We needed to get up and running quickly, and the City of Rockville and Montgomery County could, and did, make that happen,” said Dr. Ariel Weinberger, CEO of Autonomous Therapeutics. “We worked together to identify an ideal lab and manufacturing space from which to source top talent and to accelerate our COVID-19 work in a world-class biotech hub adjacent to leading organizations like NIH, BARDA, and the Department of Defense.”
As a new company to the County, Autonomous Therapeutics will receive an $80,000 Montgomery County MOVE grant, and has applied for REDI’s Rockville MOVE grant. The company is also eligible for Job Creation Tax Credits through the State of Maryland.
“Being so closely located in Montgomery County to Autonomous Therapeutics’ major federal partners and regulators, such as the Department of Defense, BARDA, and FDA, made their headquarters choice of Rockville a logical decision,” said Benjamin H. Wu, President and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. “We’re also an epicenter for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math talent. A recent report from the Information Technology Industry Council confirmed that Montgomery County is a national leader with triple the national median of STEM workers, giving the company access to one of the strongest talent pools in the country.”
“We appreciate ATI’s choice of the City of Rockville for its new home,” said Cindy Stewart Rivarde, CEO of Rockville Economic Development, Inc. “The company worked closely with the City during its build-out, and we are thrilled to assist as they join our high-tech community.”
According to Rockville, Economic Development, “ATI chose to relocate from New York City to take advantage of Rockville’s proximity to leading U.S. researchers, regulators, and funders. Their new 17,700 SF home at 1530 E. Jefferson Street is also in an Opportunity Zone, which offers an advantage for the company in attracting future investment.”
In New York City, Autonomous Therapeutics incubated and maintains a lab at JLABS@NYC, a Johnson & Johnson Innovation network of life science incubators. The company was recently named to the first cohort of “Blue Knight” companies, “for their promising work to fill gaps in the current set of available COVID-19 diagnostic, therapeutic, vaccine and other technology potential solutions.” Blue Knight is a collaboration between J&J and the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).