MedImmune spin-off Viela Bio to locate in Gaithersburg, create 100 jobs

The Baltimore Sun

MedImmune has spun out a new pharmaceutical company that will be based in Gaithersburg and create 100 jobs within three to five years.

Viela Bio will work to develop six specific molecules with potential autoimmune and inflammatory applications from MedImmune’s portfolio of biologics — medicines derived from biological sources.

The new company is being funded with up to $250 million from a consortium of investors led by Boyu Capital, 6 Dimensions Capital, and Hillhouse Capital, along with Temasek and Sirona Capital. MedImmune’s parent, the global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, will remain the largest minority shareholder of Viela Bio.

Bing Yao, formerly head of MedImmune's respiratory, inflammation & autoimmunity innovative medicines unit, was named Viela's first CEO.

“Viela Bio shows great potential, launching with a strong pipeline in inflammation and autoimmunity with the goal of providing important medicines to patients,” Yao said in a statement.

The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $2 million conditional loan to assist Viela Bio with project costs. Montgomery County is providing a $750,000 conditional grant for such costs, including lab equipment. The company is also eligible for various tax credits, including the state’s Job Creation Tax Credit.

“Promising startups like Viela Bio locating in Maryland reinforces our leadership in the life sciences industry and positions our state as a place where new companies can access the resources they need to ensure long-term success,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

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