Gaithersburg’s Cartesian Therapeutics Inc. is expanding its local footprint and initiating an aggressive hiring spree as the company bolsters its leadership team — and looks to get a cell therapy candidate through the clinic.
The biopharma, which already occupies about 4,500 square feet at 704 Quince Orchard Road, is taking over another 3,500 square feet adjacent to its existing space in the building, Dr. Murat Kalayoglu, president and CEO of Cartesian, told the Washington Business Journal.
The company declined to disclose the projected cost of the expansion, citing confidentiality reasons per its contract with Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE), which in partnership with South Duvall — an affiliate of Rockville’s Scheer Partners — paid $6.9 million for the 80,000-square-foot office building in 2018. The building in the Gaithersburg biotech corridor is also home to a flurry of local players, including Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), miRecule Inc., VLP Therapeutics Inc. and others.
Cartesian’s footprint expansion is necessary, the company said Tuesday, to provide more space for manufacturing and clinical operations. And that’s critical to the biotech’s long-term strategy “to pioneer RNA cell therapy as a new therapeutic modality,” Dr. Metin Kurtoglu, co-founder of Cartesian, said in a statement. The biopharma has a pipeline of RNA cell therapies — yes, which are typically used in cancer — that it’s applying to other arenas, including autoimmune diseases and respiratory disorders.
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