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Rockville News

Posted on: March 18, 2020

Rockville Welcomes Aurinia Pharmaceuticals

 Biopharmaceutical Company to Bring up to 500 Jobs to the City of Rockville, and launch its U.S. Operations Headquarters

Rockville, Maryland, March 18 – The City of Rockville is proud to announce the selection of the city by Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. as the home of the company’s U.S. operations, a move that could bring up to 500 highly skilled, well-paying jobs to Rockville.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies to treat targeted patient populations that are impacted by diseases with a high unmet medical need. The company is developing an investigational drug for the treatment of lupus nephritis, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and dry eye syndrome. The company’s head office is in Victoria, British Columbia. The new Rockville site will support Aurinia’s plans for growth as it prepares for potential Food and Drug Administration approval and launch in 2021.

“The City of Rockville is thrilled to welcome Aurinia,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton.  "Rockville continues to be committed to serving as a launchpad for biotech innovation to improve health and address serious diseases. Aurinia will be an asset to our health, economy, and City.”

Aurinia’s selected site at 77 Upper Rock Circle in the City of Rockville will initially occupy approximately 30,000 square feet, with possible expansions to 120,000 square feet over time as the company grows its operations. The new Aurinia office is located within the I-270 life sciences and biotech corridor, which is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading sources of innovation and industry talent.

Aurinia expects to place up to 100 employees at the site in the first year and potentially provide   500 jobs over seven years if it receives approval for multiple indications of voclosporin.

Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation helped to coordinate and solidify Aurinia’s selection of its new commercial center of operations. Montgomery County is participating in this project with a $700,000 Economic Development Fund conditional grant, with the state of Maryland providing a $2 million Advantage Maryland conditional loan and the City of Rockville providing a $50,000 MOVE grant. As Aurinia expands operations, it is expected to be eligible for other state of Maryland programs including Job Creation Tax Credits. 

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of our U.S. commercial offices in Montgomery County, Maryland, as we continue to advance the development of voclosporin, which has the potential to become the first-ever approved treatment for patients suffering from lupus nephritis,” said Peter Greenleaf, president and chief executive officer of Aurinia. “This important milestone follows the recent build-out of our commercial leadership team, as we move swiftly yet responsibly toward commercial readiness. The state’s commitment to attracting and supporting leading innovators played a key role in our decision to establish Aurinia’s U.S. presence here. We look forward to joining and contributing to the ecosystem of top-notch biopharmaceutical companies and research institutions in Montgomery County, while we build a global company.” 

“We are excited to welcome Aurinia and all of the new life sciences jobs the company will bring to Maryland,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “Our highly educated workforce, proximity to many key federal agencies and labs, and critical mass of life sciences companies and resources makes our state the ideal place for a growing company like Aurinia to continue its life-saving work developing transformative therapies.”

“We take pride in the fact that another innovative international company has recognized that Montgomery County is a perfect location for its U.S. offices,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our highly educated, multilingual population provides companies with their most important ingredient: talent.”  

“Peter Greenleaf has an excellent track record in high level positions with major Montgomery County life science companies including Medimmune and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals,” said Montgomery County Council President Sidney Katz. “We are very confident in his leadership and are so pleased that the relationship will continue through Aurinia.”

“Aurinia brings their innovative medicines that give hope to those with lupus to Montgomery County. Coupled with the production of the first FDA-approved lupus therapy in 50 years, Montgomery County is fast being recognized as the treatment epicenter for lupus and other debilitating diseases,” said President and CEO of Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation Benjamin H. Wu. “Montgomery County continues to leverage its existing strengths to change lives as our biotech sector matures and the number of commercial-stage companies increases.”

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Marylou Berg
Director of Communication

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