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California’s Kite Pharma will create more than 400 jobs in Md.

"As we advance our industry-leading cell therapy pipeline and seek to help a growing number of people with cancer, expanding and investing in our manufacturing capabilities is essential," said Tim Moore executive vice president of technical operations at Kite. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Los Angeles-based Kite Pharma, which develops personalized T-cell cancer therapies, will build a biologics manufacturing facility on a 20-acre site in Urbana, Maryland, and will create hundreds of jobs in exchange for state incentives.

Kite Pharma was acquired by Foster City, California-based Gilead Sciences in 2017 in a deal that was valued at $11.9 billion. Kite currently has about 700 employees at facilities in California and The Netherlands.

“As we advance our industry-leading cell therapy pipeline and seek to help a growing number of people with cancer, expanding and investing in our manufacturing capabilities is essential,” said Tim Moore, executive vice president of technical operations at Kite. “With the Urbana site, we will have the opportunity to build and design the facility tailored to our own innovative processes and with state-of-the-art features that will enable us to meet the future needs for cell therapies.”

Kite Pharma will get a conditional $2 million loan and a $200,000 workforce training grant. In exchange for incentives, it agrees to employ a minimum of 352 employees at the Urbana site and an additional 72 employees elsewhere in Maryland by December 2025.

The company also agrees to spend a minimum of $85 million in project related expenditures.

Frederick County will also provide tax credits granted to manufacturing companies that locate or expand in the county.

Kite Pharma is expected to complete its Urbana manufacturing facility, at 9021 Bennett Creek Blvd., just off I-270, by late 2021.

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