Rockville, MD – Biotechnology companies in Maryland remain committed to their facilities, evidenced by four recent lease deals, a bright spot considering the economic recession has forced employers across many industries – including the life sciences sector – to shut down offices and give back space.

Scheer Partners Inc., a leading provider of commercial real estate services in the greater Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas, announces today four biotech-related lease transactions in Montgomery County involving MedImmune, CoGenesys, GenVec and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.

MedImmune, the most profitable and successful biotech company in the Washington area, renewed its lease of 21,000 square feet at 55 W. Watkins Mill Road in Gaithersburg. Adam Nachlas of Scheer Partners represented the landlord, while Matt Brady of Scheer Partners represented MedImmune in the transaction.

MedImmune, which was sold to British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in 2007, has three marketed products, including blockbuster drug Synagis to prevent serious lung infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus in children.

Its headquarters is in Gaithersburg, and MedImmune plans to nearly double the size of its 361,000-square-foot corporate office to accommodate the hundreds of new employees it hired in 2008 and envisioned for this year.

CoGenesys, which spun off from Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences in 2006 as an independent company, renewed its lease of 48,000 square feet at 9410 Key West Ave. in Rockville. Robert Scheer, the founder and president of Scheer Partners, represented CoGenesys in the lease negotiation.

In January 2008, CoGenesys, which is focused on the development of peptide and protein-based medicines across broad therapeutic categories, entered into a definitive acquisition agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Jerusalem, Israel, a large generic pharmaceutical company.

GenVec, which is developing novel gene-based drugs and vaccines, renewed its lease of 42,900 square feet at 65 W. Watkins Mill Road, also in Gaithersburg. This space serves as GenVec’s corporate headquarters. In the transaction, Adam Nachlas and Matt Brady of Scheer Partners represented the building’s landlord, RREEF.

GenVec’s lead product, TNFerade, is currently in a pivotal, Phase III clinical study for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. GenVec is also evaluating TNFerade for its potential use in the treatment of several other cancers. In addition, the company is developing vaccines for infectious diseases including HIV, malaria, foot-and-mouth disease, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.

Nabi, which is focused on developing products to prevent and/or treat nicotine addiction and gram-positive bacterial infections, renewed its lease of 25,000 square feet at 12276 Wilkins Ave. in Rockville. This space serves as Nabi’s headquarters. Robert Scheer and Matt Brady of Scheer Partners represented Nabi in the deal.

Nabi relocated its corporate office from Boca Raton, Fla., to Rockville in 2007, after the company completed the sale of assets constituting its biologics strategic business unit to Biotest Pharmacueticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Biotest AG, for $185 million in cash.

“We are pleased and excited to have worked with some of the most well-known biotech companies as well as a premier landlord, RREEF, in these lease renewal transactions,” Nachlas says. “Montgomery County, and by extension Maryland, continues to see its biotech sector flourish.