Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Global Life Sciences Company Selects Lee County for First North American Manufacturing Center of Excellence Kyowa Kirin will invest $200 million and bring more than 100 new jobs to Sanford

Raleigh, N.C.
Feb 27, 2024

Kyowa Kirin has selected Lee County to build its first North American pharmaceutical manufacturing operation, creating 102 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $200 million to establish a biologics manufacturing Center of Excellence in Sanford.

In October of 2023, the Governor met with Kyowa Kirin during his participation in the annual Southeastern United States/Japan (SEUS/Japan) Economic Development Conference in Tokyo. Since the Governor’s participation at the Conference in Tokyo, Kyowa Kirin is the third Japanese company to select North Carolina for its operations.

“I am pleased to welcome Kyowa Kirin to Lee County for its next phase of growth,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolina’s leadership as a life sciences powerhouse for research and manufacturing aligns well with this company’s reputation for creating innovative treatments, and we believe they will find great success here.”

Kyowa Kirin is a Japan-based global specialty pharmaceutical company, focused on the discovery and delivery of medicines with life-changing value. The company is planning to purchase land in the new Helix Innovation Park for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to support the production and supply of targeted clinical and commercial biologic therapies. The new Sanford facility will become part of Kyowa Kirin’s global manufacturing network, which the company is investing in to increase global capacity, create more resilient and efficient supply lines, and produce the drug supply needed for planned clinical trials and future product launches. Kyowa Kirin expects to complete the project in four years.

“Kyowa Kirin has a long and proud history of advancing novel discoveries from bench to bedside. Establishing a new center of excellence for biologics manufacturing in North America is a testament to the promising potential we see in our pipeline,” said Paul Testa, Executive Vice President – Supply Chain & Manufacturing, North America. “We believe the Sanford facility will become a vital part of our global manufacturing network - helping us train employees, deliver medicines with life-changing value, and support our future growth as a region and as a global business.”

“Kyowa Kirin will be in great company in North Carolina with its thriving pharmaceutical industry that is twice as large as the national average,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Even more importantly, our Tier 1 research institutions and unique training partnerships, as supported by our First in Talent plan, will help the company recruit the highly skilled talent they need to continue developing novel medicines.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process.

Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average salary for the new positions will be $91,496, which exceeds the current average wage in Lee County of $51,683.

Kyowa Kirin’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) awarded to Kyowa Kirin North America Manufacturing, LLC, which was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.05 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs and the capital investment, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,611,000, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

The project's projected return on investment of public dollars is 443 percent, meaning for every dollar of potential cost, the state receives $5.43 in state revenue. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Because Kyowa Kirin chose a site in Lee County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $179,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 2 county such as Lee, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.

“This is outstanding news for Lee County and the entire state,” said N.C. Senator Jim Burgin. “Kyowa Kirin’s arrival is just more validation that North Carolina is a leader in life sciences and helps further diversify our ecosystem.”

“Kyowa Kirin could have expanded anywhere in the world, but they chose Sanford,” said N.C. Representative John Sauls. “The great paying jobs and millions of capital investment will help shape Sanford’s burgeoning life sciences cluster.”

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, N.C. Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, Carolina Core, Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, Lee County, Sanford Area Growth Alliance, and City of Sanford.

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