COVID Vaccine Manufacturer BioNTech Buys Facility in Gaithersburg

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BioNTech SE, a prominent coronavirus vaccine manufacturer in Germany, has acquired 930 Clopper Road, a 60,022-square-foot manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, Md., from Kite Pharma.

The company will also acquire Kite’s research and development platform focused on T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies for cancer, as part of the deal. Financial terms were not disclosed and the sale is expected to close near the end of July.

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BioNTech will use the facility to support clinical trials in the United States and expand its pipeline of novel cell therapies, including cancer product candidates based on its CAR-T Cell amplifying mRNA vaccine (CARVac).

“The development of individualized cancer therapies is at the core of our work at BioNTech,” Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of the biotechnology firm, said in a prepared statement. “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.”

When the deal is finalized, all Kite employees will be offered positions at the Gaithersburg facility.

According to a spokesperson for the company, BioNTech will further invest in the site, including hiring additional personnel.

Kite’s new manufacturing facility in Frederick, Md., is not part of the sale.

“In order to serve more patients that need cell therapy today, Kite is rapidly growing both through global expansion and seeking new indications for our existing approved CAR T-cell therapies,” Christi Shaw, Kite’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “This transaction will enable us to focus our energies and investment on accelerating the reach of our current CAR T-cell therapies and midterm pipeline.”

Keith Loria can be reached at kloria@commercialobserver.com.