Abzena, a life sciences contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), will invest $213 million to open a new facility in Sanford, NC. The San Diego, CA-based company plans to locate in the 117,000-square-foot Shell Building #2 in Central Carolina Enterprise Park and will create 325 jobs at an average annual salary of more than $60,000.
“We are delighted to announce the investment of our newest site in Sanford, North Carolina,” said Jonathan Goldman, MD, CEO of Abzena. “Our goal is to support our partners and the patients they serve with this expansion in cGMP biologics manufacturing services. We are pleased to provide integrated asset development with a full suite of in-house services from discovery through clinical and commercial phases without the need for technology transfer. We are very pleased to be welcomed by North Carolina.”
“North Carolina offers great resources for access to a talented workforce and other resources for us as we bring the new facility on-line,” added Kimball Hall, President and COO of Abzena. “This will ensure we continue to offer our partners a site with advanced technologies and a world-class workforce. We are very appreciative for the entire team representing North Carolina for their partnership and Senator Tillis office during the decision process. We are looking forward to establishing Abzena as a new LifeSciences partner in North Carolina.”
Abzena, a contract manufacturer, collaborates with companies and academic groups all over the world, including most of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies. Multiple antibodies, which have been created using Abzena’s technologies, are currently being progressed through clinical development by their licensees.
Abzena’s range of services focus on antibody discovery and immunology assessment. The Lee County facility will accommodate phase 3 and commercial manufacturing, augmenting cGMP manufacturing capacity for mammalian biologics. The company also has a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry and extensive experience of custom synthesis and bioconjugation.
“Abzena recognized North Carolina as a leader in biotechnology and knew this was the right place to develop and manufacture new medicines and grow their business,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
Abzena’s project in North Carolina, which will be formally carried out by a new, wholly owned subsidiary company, will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.5 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $6,940,800, spread over 12 years. Over those 12 years, new state tax revenues generated by the new jobs will exceed $45 million.
Abzena’s JDIG agreement could also move as much as $771,200 into a fund that helps rural communities across the state attract business in the future. When companies select a site located in a Tier 2 county such as Lee, their JDIG agreements move some of the new tax revenue into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. Local communities in more economically challenged areas of the state use grants from the Utility Account to build public infrastructure projects, which can improve a community’s ability to attract companies to their regions.
“With their decision to locate in Shell Building #2 at CCEP, Abzena adds another valuable facet to Lee County’s already impressive life sciences manufacturing cluster,” said Sanford Area Growth Alliance (SAGA) CEO Jimmy Randolph. “Their operation will complement the globally significant gene therapy manufacturing hub anchored by Pfizer, one of Lee County’s largest and longest-tenured employers, and Astellas, currently completing the upfit of CCEP’s Shell Building #1, which they purchased just last year.”
Abzena was created through the incorporation of Antitope, PacificGMP, PolyTherics, The Chemistry Research Solution (TCRS) and Warwick Effect Polymers.
“We are delighted that Abzena chose Lee County, thus helping us to grow our local life sciences industry,” said Lee County Board of Commissioners Chair Kirk Smith. “We are blessed to be centered in the heart of North Carolina in close proximity to our premier research institutions that will help further accelerate the impact of Abzena on our county, state, and country. We look forward to the beneficial economic impact for our community as well the future tax relief for our citizens. We appreciate the foresight of our own Sanford Area Growth Alliance and local developers to provide state of the art shell buildings attracting new business and industries.”
“Congratulations to Abzena on the opening of their latest facility here in Sanford, North Carolina,” said Sanford Mayor Chet Mann. “Our city is thrilled with this announcement of such a high achieving and high quality company who is focused on the continued development of better treatments for patients. We are very pleased to have been selected as their new location and to add Abzena to our growing Life Sciences Community. We look forward to a strong and lasting relationship. We have worked hard as a City to create an environment that not only is business friendly but also a place where company team members can live, work, and flourish and this announcement validates that effort. Best wishes and a heartfelt welcome to Sanford.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, key partners in the project included the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NC State University Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), Duke Energy, Lee County, the City of Sanford, CC Enterprise Park, LLC and Samet Corporation.
“The Sanford Area Growth Alliance enthusiastically welcomes Abzena to the Sanford-Lee County community, where public and private sectors work together to grow and diversify the business community, increase opportunities for our workforce and improve the quality of life for our citizens,” said SAGA Board of Directors Chair April Montgomery. “Abzena’s decision to locate here is an endorsement of our organization’s team effort and our reputation at state, regional and national levels.”
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