Gene therapy company to create 200 new jobs in Durham County

Durham County News

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020, file photo, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper arrives for a news briefing on the coronavirus at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. With reported coronavirus cases rising rapidly in many states, governors are getting lots of advice on how to respond. Cooper announced a statewide mask rule and three-week pause on further reopenings, moves that were supported by a nurses association. But Cooper has faced pushback from Republican lawmakers and small businesses that are still shuttered, including bars, gyms and bowling alleys, which have tried to overturn the governor’s orders through legal action or legislation. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, File)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Jaguar Gene Therapy will invest more than $125 million to help build a facility in Durham County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday.

The Illinois-based company will create 200 new jobs as part of the investment with an average pay above Durham County’s average of $75,892, Cooper said.

The RTP facility will add $18.5 million of annual payroll growth to the region.

“North Carolina’s diverse life sciences presence continues to attract innovative biopharmaceutical companies,” said Cooper. “Jaguar’s expansion into biomanufacturing in Research Triangle Park, together with its process sciences laboratory in Cary, reinforces North Carolina’s reputation as a premier location for these companies.”

Jaguar Gene Therapy works to create therapies for larger patient populations affected by severe genetic diseases.

“Once fully converted to Jaguar’s gene therapy manufacturing specifications, the GMP facility in Research Triangle Park will support future clinical and commercial production of the company’s initial programs, including: galactosemia; a specific genetic cause of autism; and Type 1 diabetes,” a release from Cooper’s office said.

This will be Jaguar’s second North Carolina location. A process sciences lab belonging to the company already exists in Cary.

“Our new GMP facility represents a major step forward for Jaguar in our mission to accelerate gene therapy breakthroughs in patient populations with large unmet need,” said Andrew Knudten, M.S., MBA, Chief Operating Officer of Jaguar Gene Therapy. “North Carolina is known for its innovation in biotechnology and its highly talented workforce, both of which are crucial as we strive to raise the bar for manufacturing safe and effective gene therapies.”

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