Biopharma company bringing 325 jobs to Sanford, $60,000 average salary

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An employee and researcher works in the laboratory of the Oncodesign biopharmaceutical company on March 12, 2018 in Dijon, central eastern France. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — Abzena, a life-sciences group headquartered in San Diego, California with other sites across the US and Europe, will open a new facility in Lee County, Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

The company plans to locate in the 117,000 square foot Shell Building #2 in Central Carolina Enterprise Park and will create 325 jobs at an average annual salary of more than $60,000.

The company will be investing $213M in Sanford.

Abzena, a contract manufacturer, collaborates with companies and academic groups all over the world, including most of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies. Multiple antibodies, which have been created using Abzena’s technologies, are currently being progressed through clinical development by their licensees.

“Congratulations to Abzena on the opening of their latest facility here in Sanford, North Carolina. Our City is thrilled with this announcement of such a high achieving and high quality company who is focused on the continued development of better treatments for patients. We are very pleased to have been selected as their new location and to add Abzena to our growing Life Sciences Community. We look forward to a strong and lasting relationship. We have worked hard as a City to create an environment that not only is business-friendly but also a place where company team members can live, work, and flourish and this announcement validates that effort. Best wishes and a heartfelt welcome to Sanford,” Sanford Mayor Chet Mann said.

Abzena’s range of services focus on antibody discovery and immunology assessment. The Lee County facility will accommodate phase 3 and commercial manufacturing, augmenting cGMP manufacturing capacity for mammalian biologics.

“With their decision to locate in Shell Building #2 at CCEP, Abzena adds another valuable facet to Lee County’s already impressive life sciences manufacturing cluster. Their operation will complement the globally significant gene therapy manufacturing hub anchored by Pfizer, one of Lee County’s largest and longest-tenured employers, and Astellas, currently completing the upfit of CCEP’s Shell Building #1, which they purchased just last year,” Sanford Area Growth Alliance (SAGA) CEO Jimmy Randolph said.

The company also has a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry and extensive experience in custom synthesis and bioconjugation.

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