Kyowa selects NC for $200m manufacturing plant

Kyowa Kirin has picked Lee County, Sanford to construct its first North American biologics manufacturing facility.

Millie Nelson, Editor

March 6, 2024

2 Min Read

Japan-based pharmaceutical company Kyowa said it is planning to buy land in the Helix Innovation Park in Sanford, North Carolina to build a manufacturing facility to support the production and supply of clinical and commercial biologic therapies.

The Sanford facility will be the firm’s first biologics site in North America and Kyowa expects to complete the project in four years. Once completed, the plant will be part of the firm’s global manufacturing network and aims to increase capacity, create efficient supply chains, and manufacture the drug supply required for upcoming clinical trials and product launches.

“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 at Kyowa.

“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.”

The facility will create 102 jobs and the firm said while wages will adjust depending on the position, the average salary for the jobs will be $91,496. Kyowa claimed this surpasses the current average wage in Lee County, which sits at $51,683.

A Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) has been awarded to Kyowa North America Manufacturing and will be partially responsible for facilitating the project. Over a 12-year period, the project is anticipated to increase the state’s economy by over $1 billion.

JDIG has considered the tax revenues created by the new jobs and capital investment and thus has authorized the potential reimbursement to the firm of up to $1.6 million over the 12 years.

“I am pleased to welcome Kyowa Kirin to Lee County for its next phase of growth,” said Governor Roy 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.”

North Carolina is home to various players in the space. In January 2023, Pfizer acquired Abzena’s drug substance manufacturing plant in Sanford to expand capacity and support its CentreOne clients.

Amgen began building a $550 million plant in Holly Springs in March 2022 and the firm said it expects the facility to be operational in 2025. The company will be neighbors with contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, which broke ground on a $1.8 billion mammalian cell culture site in October 2021.

In October 2023, the firm acquired Orchard Therapeutics for $477 million with an aim of maximizing the value of gene therapy Libmeldy.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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