Irish biotech plans big Montgomery Co. expansion

Rendering of future Alexandria Center at the Traville Gateway in Rockville.

Fresh off one of the largest acquisitions in the D.C. area last year, Dublin-based Horizon Therapeutics will make Maryland’s Montgomery County its U.S. East Coast hub, with the signing of a full-building lease in Rockville.

Horizon Therapeutics will occupy 192,000 square feet at the new Alexandria Center at the Traville Gateway, in the first of what will eventually be several buildings at the 18-acre life sciences campus.

The biopharmaceutical company will start occupying its new building in 2023.

Alexandria Center, being developed by California-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., will eventually increase Montgomery County’s life sciences capacity by more than 500,000 square feet.

Horizon Therapeutics’ expansion will include more jobs, though it has not said how many. It did not disclose financial details of its investment in the expansion in Montgomery County.

Last March, Horizon Therapeutics acquired Gaithersburg-based Viela Bio, a company developing treatments for autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases including COVID-19 lung damage, in a deal worth nearly $3.1 billion. Viela Bio was spun off by Gaithersburg-based Medimmune in 2017.

Horizon Therapeutics is developing therapies for rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases.

“Maryland has one of the fastest growing biotechnology communities in the country with a world-class talent pool of scientists and researchers,” said Tim Walbert, president and CEO of Horizon Therapeutics.

“With this new facility, we are more than quadrupling our current Maryland footprint and creating a hub that will support job growth, drive our company’s continued efforts to develop new medicines … and meet the needs of our expanding pipeline.”

It was unclear what county or state incentives the company is receiving as part of its expansion.

“Horizon has stated that they are aware of economic development incentive programs at the state and local level, but there is nothing determined at this time,” the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation said in an email statement to WTOP.

Horizon Therapeutics was represented in the lease transaction by CBRE’s Kevin Reap and Frank Graybeal..

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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