(Photo by Chris Cooper)
Baltimore’s Paragon is adding more space for biotech manufacturing in Maryland.
Through a partnership with Paragon Gene Therapy parent Catalent Biologics, the gene therapy-focused unit is assuming two clinical development and manufacturing sites currently operated by Gaithersburg-based vaccine developer Novavax and acquiring manufacturing equipment for $18 million in cash, the companies announced on Thursday.
Located in Gaithersburg and Rockville, the facilities offer Paragon more space for contract manufacturing and development operations, which have been expanding in the last year. More than 100 Novavax employees who work in manufacturing and quality will also join Paragon in the deal, but will continue to provide some services for Novavax. Paragon also expects to be able to manufacture commercial quantities of Novavax vaccines at the site.
It adds another expansion this year for Paragon. The University of Maryland BioPark-based company was acquired by New Jersey-based Catalent in a $1.2 billion deal that closed in May and is one of the largest of the latest decade. The company also opened a new manufacturing facility near BWI and has been growing its team.
“Novavax’ advanced GMP development and manufacturing capabilities and, even more importantly, its very strong team of experts, will help accelerate our gene therapy manufacturing strategy and rapid growth,” Pete Buzy, president of Paragon’s gene therapy business, said in a statement.
Publicly-traded Novavax is currently developing a seasonal flu vaccine called NanoFlu and ResVax, a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus. The company’s CEO Stanley C. Erck said in statement that the deal represents a “strategic and cost-effective approach to addressing its manufacturing needs into the future.”-30-
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