Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Governor Cooper Announces Nearly 400 New Jobs in Durham as Multi-Cancer Early Detection Company Chooses New Laboratory Location GRAIL, Inc. will invest $100 million in coming years to support new facility

Raleigh, N.C.
Jun 2, 2020

GRAIL, Inc.., an innovative healthcare company pioneering a test that detects more than 50 cancers with a single blood draw, will invest $100 million and over time create 398 new jobs in Durham, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The project will bring a new state-of-the-art laboratory facility with office and warehouse space to North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

"Even in tough economic times, companies like GRAIL see that North Carolina is ready to support the life sciences sector with a strong workforce,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolina had a solid foundation for job growth before the virus, and that will make the road to recovery faster in the coming months.”

GRAIL, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, has developed a testing approach supported by evidence from a population-scale clinical study program believed to be the largest ever conducted in genomic medicine. GRAIL's team of leading scientists, technologists, and clinicians are working urgently to revolutionize cancer detection.

“We want to thank Governor Cooper, Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland, and our local Durham partners for their leadership and support of GRAIL’s expansion to North Carolina, known for its large pool of skilled talent and innovative spirit that is critical to the success of our mission to detect cancer early and save lives,” said Uplaksh Kumar, Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations and Scale at GRAIL. “This expansion is an important step forward in making our pioneering, multi-cancer early detection blood test widely available to patients and healthcare providers across the country.”

The unmet need for early cancer detection is significant. The five cancers with existing screening recommendations in the U.S. today represent less than 50 percent of the cancers in individuals 50 to 79 years of age. Current screening critically improves cancer outcomes, but nearly 80 percent of cancer deaths are attributable to cancers with no recommended screening tests, according to GRAIL estimates.

Although wages will vary depending on position, the average salary will be in line with the current average annual wage in Durham County of $71,756.

"The coronavirus pandemic heightens our awareness of the critical role science and research play in keeping us healthy,” said Secretary Copeland. “North Carolina and our culture of innovation will support GRAIL as it brings hope to many people with its innovative approach to early cancer detection.”

GRAIL’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of 12 years, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.2 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $5.2 million over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. 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 GRAIL chose a site in Durham County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreements also call for moving as much as $1,717,000 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 3 county such as Durham, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here..

“We are excited to welcome GRAIL to our world-renowned life sciences community,” said Wendy Jacobs, Chair of the Durham County Commissioners. “We look forward to them joining other companies here in collaborating with workforce development and educational institutions to utilize our diverse local talent in their life-saving work.”

“Durham’s momentum in economic development continues to build, despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus,” said N.C. Senator Natalie Murdock. “GRAIL’s decision to locate this major facility in the Research Triangle Park brings new jobs and new economic opportunities to our region.”

“Many people and organizations in our community collaborated closely to make this day possible,” said N.C. Representative Zack Hawkins. “Everyone in our area stands ready to help GRAIL succeed in North Carolina and believe they’ll be an incredible asset to the Triangle. I am excited about their work and potential positive economic and employment impact on our community.”

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System and its N.C. BioNetwork, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham County, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Duke University, Alamance Community College, Durham Tech, Wake Tech, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and Duke Energy.


GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is focused on alleviating the global burden of cancer by developing pioneering technology to detect and identify multiple deadly cancer types early. The company is using the power of next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop its multi-cancer early detection blood test. GRAIL is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. It is supported by leading global investors and pharmaceutical, technology, and healthcare companies. For more information, please visit www.grail.com.

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