Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced plans to expand its global cell therapy supply chain operations in Frederick County. This year, the California-based company will begin construction on an approximately 70,000 square-foot centralized raw materials warehouse that will serve Kite’s global manufacturing network and will be located adjacent to its existing facility in the Urbana Corporate Center. The expansion will bring an additional 100 jobs to the area, with the company expecting to employ more than 500 full-time staff between its two facilities by the end of 2026.
“As the global leader in cell therapy, it is important to continue to streamline our manufacturing processes to meet the needs of people living with difficult-to-treat blood cancers. Centralizing our raw materials storage and testing will enable us to bring control of materials in-house to increase the speed and efficiency of our global manufacturing operations so we can continue to grow to meet patient demand,” said Chris McDonald, SVP & global head of technical operations, Kite. “Additionally, by locating these global operations in Maryland, we can serve both our European and California manufacturing operations in the same day. With three major airports in the area, we have increased flexibility in receiving and shipping materials, which is critical for patients who are waiting for our therapies.”
Kite’s CAR T-cell therapy uses the power of a person’s own immune system to recognize, attack, and destroy certain types of cancer with a one-time, individualized treatment. In April 2019, Kite announced its first operations in Maryland: a new biologics manufacturing facility in Frederick County to produce innovative cell therapies for people with cancer. The site joined Kite’s existing manufacturing facilities in California and the Netherlands – forming the largest dedicated in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing. “We are excited that Kite, which first established operations in Maryland nearly four years ago, is now planning this important expansion and expects to have 500 employees in our state by the end of 2026,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland remains a recognized leader in the life sciences industry, offering Kite and other global companies a highly-educated workforce, proximity to many federal agencies and labs, and a critical mass of life sciences companies and resources.”
“We are thrilled that Kite chose Frederick County as the home of its newest facility,” said Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater. “Kite’s cutting-edge work is changing the way cancer is treated. Adding to the company’s capabilities locally helps support their global manufacturing network, and the jobs they are creating here is great news for our economy.” To assist with project costs, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $1.5 million conditional loan through the Advantage Maryland Fund. Also, Kite qualified for Frederick County’s Commercial and Industrial Tax Credit, which is phased in over 10 years. Additionally, the project is approved for Turbo Fast Track Permitting. The company is also eligible for various state tax credits, including the Job Creation Tax Credit and the More Jobs for Marylanders Tax Credit, which incentivizes manufacturers to create new jobs in the state.