By Katie Arcieri – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal
London-based Autolus Therapeutics said Monday it plans to create up to 170 jobs at its new U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Rockville over the next three years and invest about $28 million in the 85,000-square-foot project planned for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center.
The project will get a boost from a $200,000 Economic Development Fund conditional grant from the county, while the state of Maryland is providing a $525,000 "Advantage Maryland" conditional loan.
Autolus' new Montgomery County facility is part of a plan by the company to roughly double its work force from 200 employees today to nearly 400 in the next 12 to 18 months, said Matthias Alder, senior vice president and chief business officer of Autolus, who is leading efforts to establish the new headquarters.
Founded in 2014, the rapidly growing company specializes in developing programmed T-cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.
Autolus went public in 2018 and currently has a pipeline of product candidates in development for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors.
"It's all driven by the growth of our business operations in terms of our development programs," said Alder, who will be based at the Rockville headquarters. "We have seven clinical studies going on parallel and so that requires a lot of development staff but also manufacturing staff to make the product."
Alder declined to provide a salary range for the 170 new jobs but noted that the positions will be filled by white-collar professionals as well as skilled lab technicians. Autolus expects to attract employees from Montgomery College and other local educational institutions. Hiring has already begun, with a total of 20 people in the U.S. already, Alder said.
The U.S. headquarters will be home to corporate functions as well as Autolus' first commercial scale manufacturing center, where cancer therapy products will be made. Autolus has signed a 15-year full building lease with Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE) for the development and construction of the facility at 9950 Medical Center Drive.
Alder expects ARE to begin construction this quarter and complete the project for occupancy by 2021. Manufacturing could begin in 2020.
"This is a long-term commitment that we are making to the region here, and depending on how the business grows, this is going to be a very sizable operation," Alder said.