Grifols Adds $352 Million, 300-Job Expansion to 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.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced the latest investment after state officials agreed earlier today to provide economic incentives to the Barcelona, Spain-based company. Grifols plans to build a specialized blood plasma facility and logistics center at its sprawling Johnston County campus.
Grifols has more than 24,000 employees in 30 countries and regions, and its products are sold in more than 100 countries through four divisions: bioscience, diagnostic, hospital and bio supplies.
The company is known for its work in plasma-derived and transfusion medicines. It operates a network of donation centers worldwide and transforms collected plasma into medicines to treat rare, chronic and, at times, life-threatening conditions.
Plasma, the "water" portion of blood, is rich in proteins, some of which have therapeutic value. Grifols uses a process called fractionation that separates proteins so they can be purified and sterilized for use in medicines that restore or replace missing proteins.
Grifols opened a $400 million plasma-fractionation plant in Clayton in 2014 and is building a new, $90 million fractionation facility there that is scheduled to open in 2021.
The company is also building a $120 million purification and filling facility in Clayton that will mainly produce immune globulin and factor VIII protein therapies. That three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility, is scheduled to begin operating in 2022.
The expansions are making the Clayton site one of the world’s largest manufacturing plants for plasma-derived medicines. With more than 1,600 employees, the site is the largest employer in Johnston County.
Grifols also has a bioscience division headquarters facility in Research Triangle Park that employs more than 400 people.
In March the company announced plans to produce and test a potential COVID-19 therapy derived from the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.
Production and testing of the therapy, hyperimmune globulin, will be expedited in a formal collaboration with the federal government. If it passes clinical trials, the therapy, which contains antibodies against COVID-19, could become the first approved treatment for the infection, Grifols said in a news release.
In addition, Grifols said it would provide support for another potential COVID-19 therapy: the use of convalescent plasma for transfusion. The company will provide its viral inactivation technology, methylene blue, to ensure safe plasma units for treatment use. Grifols said it is building this new specialized blood plasma facility and logistics center in Clayton for the methylene blue work.
“Companies like Grifols continue to choose expansion in North Carolina because our workforce can meet their needs of this important facility,” said Cooper. “During this public health crisis, we have seen the value of manufacturing close to home and this expansion means new, life-saving medicines will be manufactured in Clayton.”
"It’s a challenging time in our state and our nation as the coronavirus pandemic impacts our lives, but today’s decision confirms the fundamentals of the North Carolina economy remain strong,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “I welcome Grifols’ vote of confidence to expand their business in our state.”
Grifols Therapeutics’ 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 $1.72 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 $5,161,500, spread 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 Grifols chose a site in Johnston County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $1,721,000 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 Johnston, 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 welcome this expansion from one of our area’s major employers,” said said N.C. Senator Rick Horner. “Grifols is a valued corporate citizen and their decision to expand in Johnston County brings new energy to one of our community’s most important partnerships.”
“Many people and organizations in our community worked behind the scenes and collaborated closely to make this announcement happen today,” said N.C. Representative Donna McDowell White. “As the chair of the Life Science Caucus in the North Carolina House of Representatives, it’s gratifying to see the important lifesaving programs Grifols provides. The research and development that will be enhanced with this expansion is especially important as we learn to live with COVID-19. Everyone in our area stands ready to support Grifols and keep Johnston County as one of the premiere regions for North Carolina’s biotechnology industry."