Rare Daily Staff

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said that gene therapy developer AveXis will build a $55 million manufacturing facility in Durham County to produce therapies to address rare neurological genetic diseases.

The Novartis-owned company’s lead product candidate, AVXS-101, is a gene therapy in development for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, Type 1, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality.

AveXis will create a variety of positions in Durham County, including engineers, manufacturing and quality control personnel, and supply chain specialists. When all new positions are filled, the state the total payroll impact is anticipated to be more than $20 million annually.

AveXis’ expansion in Durham County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $2.2 million.

The state is also expected to move as much as $744,000 into a special fund that helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract business. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center also provided funding support for the project through a jobs-based grant.

May 23, 2018
Photo: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper