(SOURCE: Maryland Tech Council)

Kite Pharma Recognized as Life Science Company of the Year at the 2023 ICON Awards

By Sarah Ellinwood
April 28, 2023

On April 27, leaders from around the BioHealth Capital Region came together for a night of celebration at the Maryland Tech Council’s 2023 ICON Awards. The ICON Awards honor the best in Maryland’s technology and life sciences communities.

Among the winners of the evening, Kite Pharma, a Gilead Company, took home the gold, having been named the 2023 Life Science Company of the Year. 

While Kite has offices and facilities across the globe, its Frederick, Maryland facility has garnered quite a lot of attention the past year, with no plans to stop anytime soon.

As other biopharmas and biotechs across the nation were feeling the impacts of the shaky economy at the end of 2022, Kite stood tall and steady. Mid-December Kite announced a global strategic collaboration with Gaithersburg-based Arcellx to co-develop and co-commercialize Arcellx’s lead late-stage product candidate, CART-ddBCMA, for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Soon after the Arcellx announcement, right before the holidays Kite also announced the acquisition of Philly-based Tmunity, which was completed earlier this spring. The acquisition not only gave Kite access to a new “armored” CAR-T technology platform, which can potentially give T-cells a boost in anti-tumor activity, but the deal also forged a new bridge between the BioHealth Capital Region, where Kite maintains its manufacturing capabilities in Frederick, and the Greater Philadelphia biohub.

And right on the heels of the acquisition came another announcement that Kite was expanding cell therapy manufacturing operations in Frederick, bringing an additional 100 jobs to the area.

Beyond these newsmaking announcements, we also can’t forget that Kite Pharma hasn’t just planted roots in the BioHealth Capital Region, but the company has made it a point to extend those roots to help others in the community thrive. The local Kite team has made it a priority to build strong relationships across a range of local Maryland colleges and organizations to boost workforce development efforts across the state. Kite is also well known across the region for its impressive and effective DE&I initiatives, including helping veterans find fulfilling careers in the life sciences.

The Life Science Company of the Year award adds another notch to Kite’s belt, as the company was also recognized as a BioBuzz award winner in 2021 for Workforce Champion of the Year, specifically for the company’s apprenticeship program with Hood College and Frederick Community College.

“We are excited to recognize these outstanding leaders and companies,” said Kelly Schulz, CEO of the Maryland Tech Council, in a statement. “In addition to growing their companies and raising the bar of excellence in Maryland, we are proud that these winners are passionate about giving back to their employees, students, and communities. On behalf of the entire Maryland Tech Council community, I congratulate this year’s ICON Award winners and nominees for their achievements.”

Besides Kite, other life sciences companies that were recognized include MaxCyte, Theradaptive, and SYNAPS Dx.