Paragon Bioservices, a Baltimore-based contract drug maker, said Tuesday that it would expand with a new manufacturing facility for gene therapies near BWI Marshall Airport that will employ more than 200 people.
The new 150,000-square-foot facility, expected to open in 18 to 24 months, will nearly triple the space Paragon has for manufacturing.
The company works with biotech and drug clients to develop and manufacture gene therapies, vaccines, oncology immunotherapies, therapeutic proteins and other complex biologics.
Officials said demand is increasing and they need more space. The private equity-backed firm now operates an 80,000-square-foot facility in the University of Maryland BioPark in West Baltimore and plans to expand it by another 10,000 square feet.
“The expansion of our biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities via our new site, including the ability for commercial manufacturing, is a key strategic initiative for Paragon,” said Pete Buzy, Paragon’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Paragon is one of the few gene therapy manufacturers that has the expertise to develop and successfully manufacture complex biotherapeutics using commercially-scalable processes. We have become a center of excellence for both gene therapy and novel vaccine manufacturing and are trusted by top biopharmaceutical companies.”
The new facility will house research laboratory space as well as bioreactors used in clinical trials and eventually in commercial material production. Both Paragon facilities will comply with European and U.S. manufacturing requirements for biopharmaceuticals.
The company has expanded rapidly in the past three years, with employment rising to 225 from 100.
Gov. Larry Hogan said the expansion means the company will add more than 200 new jobs.
“This new location will enable the company to take their work with gene therapy to the next level, and we are excited to help them continue to grow in Maryland,” Hogan said.
The Maryland Department of Commerce said it is working with the company on incentives to expand in the state.