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Australian Covid-19 Testing Company Opening U.S. HQ In Maryland Biotech Hub

A rendering of one of Matan Cos.' Progress Labs buildings on the I-270 corridor.

Maryland’s budding life sciences sector received a big boost this week when an Australian firm announced plans to move into a soon-to-open development in Frederick.

Ellume, which specializes in diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and recently signed a $232M Department of Defense agreement to produce at-home coronavirus tests, will occupy 180K SF in two full biomanufacturing buildings at Progress Labs at Center 85, a development by local firm Matan Cos.

It joins other area firms, such as Novavax, that have received substantial federal funding to fight the pandemic. Gov. Larry Hogan's office said Ellume’s expansion will create 1,500 jobs by 2022

Matan has an extensive array of projects in the Interstate 270 Corridor underway. Ellume will occupy the first two buildings at Progress Labs, which will eventually contain four buildings and cover 650K SF. It’s part of a total of 2M SF of speculative biomanufacturing space Matan plans to deliver over the next three years. 

Overall, the I-270 Corridor boasts more than 500 biotech firms, 2,000 life sciences companies, as well as an array of federal laboratories, agencies, and top-tier medical centers and universities. Maryland was ranked the fourth-most-attractive market for life sciences investors in JLL’s 2020 Life Sciences Real Estate Outlook, behind the big three of Boston, San Diego and the Bay Area.

“The Maryland I-270 Corridor has become a tier one target for bio users and investors and the demand continues to increase,” Matan Cos. principal Mark Matan, said in a statement.