EDPNC: Illinois-based AveXis Plans $55M, 200-Job Gene Therapy Factory in Durham County

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AveXis, Inc., an Illinois-based clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for rare and life-threatening neurological diseases, will locate a new manufacturing center in Durham County, creating 200 new jobs.

The company is expected to invest approximately $55 million in the facility to produce potentially breakthrough therapies to address rare neurological genetic diseases. The announcement comes a month after AveXis, headquartered in Bannockburn, Illinois, was acquired by Swiss drugmaker Novartis for $8.7 billion.

“As a long-established biotechnology hub that attracts the nation’s top talent, Research Triangle Park was an optimal location to expand our footprint and complement our existing state-of-the art manufacturing site in the Chicagoland area,” Andrew Knudten, senior vice president of technical operations and chief technical officer at AveXis.

In announcing the company’s new manufacturing center in Durham County, Gov. Roy Cooper said: “We’re proud to be the place where cutting-edge work will happen on gene therapies to fight disease and improve people’s health. North Carolina has long been a leader in the life sciences, and AveXis’ decision further enhances the state’s expertise in this emerging field.”

“It’s notable that AveXis has chosen to expand its manufacturing operations in North Carolina,” said state Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Life science companies understand the many advantages our state offers manufacturers, particularly the investments North Carolina has made in education and workforce training for the biotechnology industry.”

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