Gaithersburg, MD – In a deal negotiated by Scheer Partners executives, Novavax Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide, has inked one of this year’s largest life sciences leases in the Washington, D.C., region.

Rockville-based Scheer Partners, the leading provider of fully integrated commercial real estate services for the health science industry in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas, announces today that it has negotiated on behalf of Novavax a long-term lease of 74,209 square feet of laboratory, manufacturing and office space in Gaithersburg.

Robert Scheer, the founder and president of Scheer Partners, played a key role in representing Rockville-based Novavax. Company Senior Vice President Henry Bernstein and Vice President Matt Brady also participated in this project, while Associate Jamie Rash provided financial modeling and analytical support.

Novavax is using innovative virus-like particles (VLP) and recombinant nanoparticle technology to produce potent vaccine candidates to combat infectious diseases. Novavax will occupy the entire 53,000-square-foot lab and manufacturing facility at 20 Firstfield Road. This building will become the publicly traded company’s primary commercial-scale plant for the production of vaccines following minor modifications that are expected to wrap up by mid-2012.

Additionally, Novavax will lease 21,209 square feet at 22 Firstfield Road. This space will serve as its new corporate headquarters. Both Firstfield Road buildings are owned by Pasadena, Calif.-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

“We are thrilled to have completed this successful transaction on behalf of Novavax, an extremely promising company that is developing, and seeks to commercialize, new vaccines that will significantly improve human health around the globe,” Scheer says.

Tony Tomasello, deputy city manager for the City of Gaithersburg, says that the buildings at 20-22 Firstfield Road are an ideal location for Novavax. “Gaithersburg is a premiere site for biotech and pharmaceutical development in the mid-Atlantic region,” he says. “We are pleased to welcome Novavax to Gaithersburg and look forward to seeing this growing company continue its expansion here.”

Earlier this year, Novavax received a contract worth up to $179 million from the Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for the advanced clinical and manufacturing development of recombinant vaccines to prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company’s new space on Firstfield Road will help support and fulfill this federal-government contract, Scheer says.

Currently, Novavax leases roughly 50,000-square-feet at 9920 Belward Campus Drive in Rockville, which Scheer Partners also secured for the company. Novavax is assessing its long-term needs for this Rockville facility, which currently houses its pilot-scale manufacturing plant.

In announcing the Gaithersburg transaction, Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said that “the very favorable terms of this new lease would allow us to operate both this new facility and our pilot-scale facility at no additional expense over the next several years.” He adds, “With Robert’s hard work completed, we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Alexandria for many years to come.”