Advanced Biotechnologies, a company that specializes in supplying viral reagent products for scientific and medical research and development, is relocating to Eldersburg.
The company will be moving into what was formerly the Friendship School located on Progress Way and the site is being leased to the company by Merritt Properties. Melissa Teague, head of the marketing team for Merritt, said the complex is 20,000 square feet, and consists of a 2,000 square-foot auditorium, a 1,200 square-foot gymnasium, and 27 classrooms which will be modified by Merritt's construction teams to accommodate the new tenant. According to Teague, the company will take occupancy of the site Oct.1.
Teague said she could not release the terms of the lease due to their tenant's desire for privacy and to limit the number of companies who may want to court their tenants once the lease was almost expired.
Rhonda Schwartz, spokeswoman for the company as well as the director of operations and administration, said the move was made for several reasons.
The company's old headquarters was located in a 28,000-square-foot complex on Guilford Road in Columbia, but they shared the site with multiple tenants. At the new location, they will have all 20,000 square feet to themselves. They also plan on making a full equipment upgrade at their new headquarters. Just like cell phones, cameras, and computers, which have grown more compact and functional, a lot of equipment specific to their fields of interest have undergone the same transformation, especially the electron microscopes the company uses, Schwartz said.
"A lot can be done in a space of that size," she said.
The company also needed to update their facilities. Advanced Biotechnologies has grown rapidly in recent years, to the point that they now have become a leading international biotechnology company, Schwartz said. The first step is to increase the size of their medical incubators, which grow and store viral reagents, including RNA, DNA, proteins, antibodies, blood products and purified viruses. This will give them the possibility of increasing production runs and improving overall yields.
"We are moving to what will be a state-of-the-art facility to meet the demands of our customers," she said.
Schwartz said these changes are part of their plan to create a new model which will drastically increase the company's efficiency, ultimately giving them a competitive edge. Part of this plan calls for an increase in the company's headcount. Currently, Advanced Biotechnologies employs 20 people, and they plan on hiring two more by year's end, with even more growth scheduled for next year.
"We are in a position to play a larger role in the bio-tech market in the future," Schwartz said.
The company was founded in 1982 by Dr. Dave Whitman and his wife Esther, after their child succumbed to an illness. Dave Whitman envisioned a change in the health care system, Schwartz said. He wanted to make the supply of raw materials more readily available to scientists researching methods of inhibiting the growth of viruses, newer and safer drug treatment methods, and the development of vaccines.
Part of what the company does is researching more efficient ways of product development, Schwartz said. The new headquarters size and updated equipment will also help heighten their capabilities in that department. The new location will enable the company to expand their product diversity, operate at a far more efficient level, and continue to expand their global markets, Schwartz said.
"We are looking forward to a bright future in our new home," she said.
Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or email him at email@example.com.