Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

North Carolina is one of the few places in the country offering both the people and the infrastructure to take your ideas from the lab to the manufacturing line, all from a single location.

Why NC

It’s more than our idyllic locales that attract so much biotech to the region.

In addition to our high quality of life, North Carolina boasts some of the best competitive advantages, workforce and research infrastructure out there. Here are just a few of the reasons so many biotech and pharmaceutical companies have settled in our state:

Person operating bio manufacturing equipment

Resources | N.C. Biotechnology Industry

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The highest concentration of Tier 1 research universities

  • Three within 25 miles of one another:
    • North Carolina State University
    • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Duke University
  • All three contribute to local businesses by:
    • feeding the workforce pipeline
    • creating and maintaining industry partnerships
    • fueling an innovative business environment

The lowest corporate income tax rate in the U.S.

  • 2.5% corporate tax rate
  • NC is ranked No. 1 for lowest state and local tax burden in the United States by Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation

Unrivaled industry concentration & growth

  • 31 percent industry growth since 2001
  • 60,000 industry employees in NC
  • 600+ life science companies in the state

The largest research park in the U.S.

  • Research Triangle Park (RTP) includes:
    • 200+ companies
    • 50,000+ employees
    • A substantial biotech and pharma presence
    • The North Carolina Biotechnology Center
    • The First in Flight Venture Center

A leading center for life science R&D

  • NC had close to $2 billion in academic life science R&D expenditures in 2012
  • 21 percent increase in these expenditures between 2009 and 2012


More than 61,000-strong workforce

  • Highly skilled and educated workers employed in fields ranging from biosimilars R&D to pharmaceuticals manufacturing to crop genetic engineering

13,000+ STEM graduates each year

  • Nearly 40 percent of these graduates are in biological sciences and agricultural and natural resources

Industry-leading workforce development

  • BioWork—a program developed in 2001 by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina Community College System
  • NCBioImpact—a recently established $100 million public-private initiative

Customized training programs

  • NCWorks, the state’s comprehensive workforce development platform, offers customizable training for new and existing businesses in the state

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

  • First state-sponsored biotech initiative in the U.S.
  • Provides industry support and advocacy via biotech research, business, education and strategic policy

North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC)

  • A collaboration between industry, universities and healthcare organizations
  • Created to find innovative new ways to encourage healthy lifestyles and address diet- and lifestyle-related disorders, such as obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’sGolden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training & Education Center (BTEC)

Operates training and cGMP pilot plant facilities at N.C. State University

  • Provides hands-on learning of the latest biomanufacturing technologies for working professionals and students

ASSIST Center at N.C. State University

  • A National Science Foundation-sponsored Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC)
  • Focuses on ultra-low power electronics, sensors for innovative wearable health monitoring systems and nanotech-enabled energy harvesting and storage

Biomanufacturing Research Institute & Technology Enterprise (BRITE)

  • Located at North Carolina Central University
  • Provides hands-on training in process analytical technology and development, quality assurance and quality control for students

Biotech and pharma companies in North Carolina: 

BASF logo

Bayer logo

Biogen logo

BD logo

Iqvia logo

Glaxo Smith Kline logo

Grifols logo

Merck logo

Novartis logo

LabCorp logo

Novo Nordisk logo

PPD logo

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