Biologics and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 

North Carolina is home to one of the largest concentrations of biologics and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world.

There are currently 80 biopharma manufacturing sites in North Carolina that are producing life-saving treatments. Companies from all over the world value the state's extensive community support and expertise in workforce development. N.C. is home to some of the largest biopharma companies in the world, as well as startup companies that are at the forefront of today's most innovative technologies.

 

We use the term “biopharma manufacturing” to describe the breadth of North Carolina's community. It encompasses biopharmaceutical and small-molecule pharmaceutical manufacturers as well as the manufacturers of industrial enzymes and R&D products.

NC biopharma manufacturing mapNC: A Thriving Manufacturing Hub

North Carolina biopharma manufacturing sites produce an array of products, including small-molecule therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, industrial enzymes, and vaccines. In recent years, N.C.'s biopharma manufacturing industry has expanded as novel technologies including cell- and gene-based therapies have moved from research laboratories to commercial manufacturing.

North Carolina is also home to more biological product manufacturing employees than any other state. N.C.'s statewide network of industry-driven workforce solutions provides students and companies with hands-on training in state-of-the-art facilities.

Biopharma Manufacturing Landscape in NC

building icon
80

sites across the state

people icon
26,800+

employees

number 1 icon
biomanufacturing

workforce in the U.S.

 

Cell- and Gene-based Therapy Manufacturing

North Carolina has quickly established itself as a leading hub for cell- and gene-based therapies. As innovative approaches and curative therapies emerge and bring new hope to patients with rare diseases and cancer, North Carolina’s established life science ecosystem is well-positioned to move these life-changing therapies from idea to market.

The state’s cell- and gene-based therapy sector is supported by world-class research, a strong foundation in biopharma manufacturing, numerous resources, top talent, and an exceptional business climate.

Below are some companies across the state that are manufacturing cell and gene therapy products.

Audentis Therapeutics

Sanford
Audentes is establishing a $109.4 million, 209-employee gene therapy production facility in Lee County. Expansion phases are planned for the next two years. Hiring will start in 2020 and grow through 2026.

bluebird bio

Durham
bluebird bio's 125,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Durham will produce clinical and commercial supply of lentiviral vector, a critical component of the company’s gene and cell therapies. 

cellectis

Raleigh
In 2019, Paris-based biotechnology company Cellectis announced plans to invest nearly $70 million and create 200 jobs in Raleigh, at what will become its first North American manufacturing facility.

novartis logo

Durham
Novartis Gene Therapies, formerly known as AveXis, intends to use its new Durham facility to manufacture ZOLGENSMA, its first FDA approved gene therapy to treat three types of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. SMA Type 1 is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality.

Pfizer

Sanford & Durham
Following Pfizer’s 2016 acquisition of Bamboo Therapeutics, its gene therapy footprint in North Carolina has continued to grow. Pfizer began to build out gene therapy manufacturing capacity at its Sanford vaccine production site in 2017, and has since announced plans to invest another $500M and create 300 more new jobs to strengthen its gene therapy capabilities. Additionally, a 60,000-square-foot building will be renovated to house Pfizer’s Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product facility in Durham.

Precision Biosciences

Durham
Precision BioSciences recently opened its production facility for in-house manufacturing of its unique technologies. The facility is the first in-house cGMP-compliant manufacturing facility in the U.S. dedicated to genome-edited, off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy products.

Industry Leaders Across the State

Alcami
Aurobindo
Baxter
BD
Biogen
BioMerieux
bluebird bio
Cambrex
Cook Medical
Corning Life Sciences
Fresenius Kabi
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Glenmark
Grifols
GSK
KBI Biopharma
Mayne Pharma
Merck
Novartis logo
Novonordisk
Novozymes
Pfizer
Precision Biosciences
Seqirus
Thermo Fisher

Statewide Training

A career in biopharma manufacturing is rewarding. These well-paying jobs contribute to the creation of products that positively impact lives around the globe. As biopharma manufacturing companies continue to expand operations in North Carolina, the need to fill a variety of roles remains critical.

Below are a few training institutions across the state that specialize in biopharma manufacturing training.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Whether you are looking to jumpstart your career out of high school or a working professional seeking to update your skills, North Carolina has created a variety of opportunities to succeed in this sector.

The Biopharma Manufacturing Education Resources is a compilation of educational offerings across the state organized by education level and region.

View the Biopharma Manufacturing Education Resources page.

people icon
5,000

projected new jobs

money icon
$97,575

average annual salary

building icon
80

sites across the state

  • NC BioNetwork

    BioNetwork is the N.C. Community College System’s life science training initiative that includes:
    • BioWork Certificate Program - The BioWork certificate program is a 136-hour course that teaches the foundational skills needed to begin a career as a process technician for a biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing company. Process technicians are responsible for the production of chemical and pharmaceutical products.
    • Open enrollment and customized courses and workshops for incumbent employees and transitional workers
    • Hands-on activities for students and professional development for K-14 teachers
    • Capstone Center - Industry-grade tools and a certified cleanroom suite mirror a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The Capstone Center is located in the Golden LEAF BTEC building on NC State's Centennial campus in Raleigh.
  • Biomanufacturing Technology & Education Center (BTEC)

    Biomanufacturing Technology & Education Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State University uses the latest biomanufacturing technologies to provide hands-on learning opportunities including:
    • Undergraduate minor, Professional Science Master’s degrees, and both undergraduate- and graduate-level certificates
    • Open enrollment and customized short courses for industry professionals
    • Contract bioprocess and analytical services
  • Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE)

    Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) at North Carolina Central University provides hands-on learning opportunities including:
    • Undergraduate and graduate degree programs
    • Internship and on-campus research experiences
    • Outreach and community programs for students and teachers
  • National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce

    The National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce is a Forsyth Technical Community College and NC Community College System program that prepares workers for in-demand jobs in advanced technologies to help maintain U.S. competitiveness in a global economy.

     

  • The North Carolina Pharmaceutical Services Network (PSN)

    The North Carolina Pharmaceutical Services Network (PSN) is a collaboration between East Carolina University and Pitt Community College providing a continuum of training including:
    • Oral Solid Dose short course for students and new and incumbent pharma employees
    • Graduate level GMP courses
    • Analytical services for government, academia, and industry

  • NCBioImpact

    NCBioImpact combines the resources of North Carolina's university and community college systems to meet the growing demands of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The training programs partner closely with NCBiotech, NCBIO, the Department of Commerce and industry to form a unique academic, industry and government collaborative.

  • Biomanufacturing and Process Development (BPD)

    BPD’s mission is to provide a forum for process development and manufacturing scientists and engineers to discuss bioprocessing issues. The group meets approximately eight to ten times a year with speakers from academia, industry, technology vendor experts, and regulatory experts. This is one of the 20-plus Exchange Groups that are supported statewide by NCBiotech.

  • BioPharma Crescent

    The BioPharma Crescent is a five-county region located in Eastern North Carolina, about halfway between Raleigh and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is home to major biopharma manufacturers such as Grifols, Novo Nordisk, ThermoFisher Scientific, Pfizer and more. Colleges, universities, and a biopharma-specific training network provides local businesses with a highly educated and well-trained workforce.

  • National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)

    The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce, fundamentally advancing U.S. competitiveness in this industry. 

  • North Carolina Biosciences Organization (NCBIO)

    NCBIO is the trade association for North Carolina’s life science industry. Members include companies and research institutions working in the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, clinical research and agricultural biotechnology sectors, as well as firms and nonprofits that provide support services to life science companies. 

    NCBIO coordinates regular meetings of the Biotech Manufacturers Forum (BMF) to help late-clinical and commercial-phase biopharma manufacturing companies and related firms, including vendors and service providers, share information and address common concerns.  

  • North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR)

    NCABR plays a leading role in North Carolina and the nation by providing objective, timely and authoritative information to students, educators, government representatives, the media, members of the research community and the general public.

Looking for more info?

Download these materials for more information about North Carolina's biopharma manufacturing sector and related workforce initiatives.

Overview of Biomanufacturing in North Carolina

Window on the Workplace 2020

Durham Biopharma Career Pathways

Novartis Gene Therapies site in Durham
Novartis has renamed its previously acquired AveXis gene therapy arm. It's now called Novartis Gene Therapies.
bluebird bio photo
bluebird bio, a global gene therapy company with a new manufacturing facility in Durham, has unveiled positive results in clinical trials of its treatment for boys with a rare and deadly neurological disorder.
Beam logo
A young Boston-area gene therapy company, Beam Therapeutics, has joined a cluster of gene and cell therapy startups with plans to build an $83 million biomanufacturing facility in Durham that could employ more than 200 people over five years.
Grifols in Clayton
Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with major operations in North Carolina, has delivered the first batches of a therapeutic product manufactured in Clayton that could help prevent and treat COVID-19 infection.
bioMASON logo on wall made of its biocement bricks
bioMASON is adding a new brick-and-mortar headquarters to its Research Triangle Park brick-and-mortar biotech business.
Medicago manufacturing vaccines
An ancient relative of tobacco is at the heart of a new COVID-19 vaccine under development by Medicago and GSK.
BIOMILQ founders
A Durham startup, BIOMILQ, has a mission to replicate the nutritional profile of breastmilk with mammary cells outside the body.
Production worker at Grifols in Clayton
Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with major operations in North Carolina, has begun producing the first specific COVID-19 drug at its manufacturing campus in Clayton.
Aerial view of Grifols Clayton campus
Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with more than 2,000 employees in North Carolina, is adding 300 more to its Clayton workforce as part of a $351.6 million expansion there.
NIIMBL logo
A grant to help train military service members in North Carolina and Texas for biopharmaceutical manufacturing careers has been approved by the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL).