AstraZeneca will invest $300M in new Rockville manufacturing facility

AstraZeneca building
AstraZeneca leased a building in Rockville and will invest $300 million in the new manufacturing facility. (Courtesy AstraZeneca)

British drug giant AstraZeneca will invest $300 million in a new manufacturing facility in Rockville, Maryland, and create 150 new jobs.

The building, completed in 2020, was originally leased to British biotech Autolus Therapeutics, which canceled its lease in 2021, choosing to expand manufacturing in the U.K. instead.

The new AstraZeneca manufacturing facility will initially focus on T-cell therapies for clinical trials around the world. The site may expand to support other disease areas, the drugmaker said in a statement.

“This new investment will accelerate our ambition to make next-generation cell therapy a reality, ensuring that we are ready to scale and meet the demands of patients,” said Pam Cheng, executive vice president of global operations for AstraZeneca.

Gov. Wes Moore said the new facility is expected to be operational in 2026.

“AstraZeneca and the State of Maryland share a deep commitment to innovation. It makes us the perfect pairing for this next-generation cell therapy facility,” Moore said in a Tuesday news release. “This significant investment in our life sciences sector will help maintain Maryland’s leadership in the industry and sharpen our competitive edge.”

The state’s department of commerce is working to approve a $500,000 conditional loan through the Advantage Maryland Program to help with project costs, according to the governor’s office.

AstraZeneca already has a large presence in Montgomery County. Its scientific campus in Gaithersburg has about 3,500 employees, one-fifth of its global research and development centers. The new facility is less than 5 miles away from that center, Moore said.

Around 150 employees will be hired at the new facility and Moore said the company plans to retain 4,500 employees who work at its other facilities in Montgomery County.

The drug giant first came to Montgomery County when it acquired MedImmune, one of the county’s biotechnology pioneers, in 2007 for nearly $16 billion.

Last year, AstraZeneca leased the 84,000-square-foot space on 9950 Medical Center Drive, which was one of the largest leases in Montgomery County in 2023, according to commercial real estate firm Colliers.

WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer contributed to this report.

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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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