New Biotech Company, Viela Bio, Launches in Maryland
Spin-out of MedImmune’s autoimmunity and inflammation biologics programs will continue development of potential medicines
BALTIMORE, Md. — Viela Bio, a newly-formed spin-out of MedImmune, one of Maryland’s largest life sciences companies and the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, will be based in Gaithersburg, MD and plans to create 100 new jobs within three to five years. The company will focus on advancing a number of potential autoimmune and inflammatory medicines from MedImmune’s biologics portfolio, making Viela Bio one of the leading biotech companies in Maryland.
“Viela Bio shows great potential, launching with a strong pipeline in inflammation and autoimmunity with the goal of providing important medicines to patients. We appreciate the state of Maryland’s commitment to our new company, and look forward to contributing to the state’s strong life sciences industry and helping to achieve their goal of becoming a top three biohealth cluster by 2023,” said Bing Yao, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Viela Bio.
“Promising startups like Viela Bio locating in Maryland reinforces our leadership in the life sciences industry and positions our state as a place where new companies can access the resources they need to ensure long-term success,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Viela Bio’s decision to open its headquarters in Gaithersburg also demonstrates MedImmune’s and AstraZeneca’s continued commitment to creating jobs in our state.”
“I am very excited that Viela Bio will take its place alongside the many successful biotech firms that call Montgomery County home,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “By pioneering critical advances in life sciences, these firms are easing suffering and saving lives – right here in America and around the world. They are doing well – and doing good.”
“We’re thrilled that Viela Bio is establishing its headquarters in Maryland to take advantage of our thriving life sciences sector, our highly-educated workforce, and our proximity to many federal research labs and world-class universities,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We are confident we will be able to work with more high-tech companies to help them start and grow in Maryland and become a leading bio-hub destination.”
“Viela Bio has made the right decision to launch in Montgomery County, in partnership with highly successful MedImmune and aligned with their mission,” said Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. CEO & President David Petr. “Our life sciences industry continues to demonstrate that we have the talent, physical assets, and legacy to contribute to important global health outcomes.”
To assist with project costs, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $2 million conditional loan through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). Additionally, Montgomery County is providing a $750,000 conditional grant for project costs, including lab equipment. The company is also eligible for various tax credits, including the state’s Job Creation Tax Credit.
Viela Bio is among the first spin-outs to form in Maryland since the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board issued recommendations in April 2017 to help position the state as a globally-recognized Top 3 U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. The recommendations were framed around four key themes – assets, connectivity, capital, and talent, or ACCT Now.
About Maryland Commerce
The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.