Novavax, a clinical stage vaccine company which is currently developing a COVID-19 vaccine, has chosen to expand its operations in Montgomery County, Maryland.
According to the Montgomery County Economic Development, plans include a new R&D, manufacturing and office facility. The clinical stage vaccine company has also purchased additional land in Gaithersburg.
The company, which has its headquarters in Gaithersburg, is planning to take 122,000 square feet of space at 700 Quince Orchard Road, also in Gaithersburg, to accommodate its growing pipeline of vaccine candidates. As part of the expansion, Novavax, which currently has more than 450 employees worldwide, including 142 in Montgomery County, has committed to add at least 400 new local jobs by December 2024. The company expects to add the majority of the new positions by March 2021.
“Novavax is proud to be part of Maryland's bioinnovation ecosystem that, in collaboration with the state's superb academic research institutions, is making important contributions in the fight against COVID-19,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO of Novavax. “Our swift response in developing one of the world's most promising vaccines for this pandemic reflects the value of our close regional relationships, and we appreciate the support from the State, County and City as we work to expand rapidly to fulfill our mission, which is more important today than ever.”
To assist with project costs related to the expansion, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $2 million conditional loan that is contingent on job creation and capital investment. In addition, the state has approved a $200,000 Partnership for Workforce Quality training grant, and the company is eligible for several tax credits, including the Job Creation Tax Credit and More Jobs for Marylanders.
In addition, Montgomery County has approved a $500,000 grant contingent on job creation and capital investment, and the City of Gaithersburg is anticipated to approve a grant of up to $50,000 from its Economic Development Opportunity Fund. Due to this project’s association with the public health crisis and Project Warp Speed, the City of Gaithersburg also expedited the planning approval process to accommodate Novavax’ timeline.
Novavax is among a number of U.S. life sciences companies developing a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Earlier this year, the company was awarded up to $1.6 billion through Operation Warp Speed to complete late-stage clinical development, establish large-scale manufacturing, and deliver 100 million vaccine doses as early as late 2020, as well as up to $388 million from the international Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and $60 million through a U.S. Department of Defense contract to support vaccine production. The major federal investment in Novavax is part of the $3 billion of public and private coronavirus vaccine research and manufacturing funding that has been invested over the last several months in local Montgomery County companies.
“Novavax has been on the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, and we are proud to support this expansion and the new jobs that it will bring,” said Governor Larry Hogan, who toured Novavax headquarters last month. “The work that Novavax is doing, right here in Maryland, will impact millions around the world as we continue on the road to recovery from this global pandemic.”
“Montgomery County has been home to Novavax since 1993 and we are honored that this outstanding company will continue to grow in our community. Novavax’ decision to expand its operations in Montgomery County shows how important we are as a life science hub and why companies are looking to expand their operations here,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “With assets like NIH and FDA along with our proximity to Washington, D.C., we have a lot to offer and companies like Novavax see the value of locating their businesses here in Montgomery County.”