NC: Argos Therapeutics to Invest $56M, Expand in Durham, Add 236 New Jobs
7 Oct, 2014
Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced Argos Therapeutics will be expanding in Durham County. The company plans to create an additional 236 jobs by the end of 2018 and invest $56.6 million to build a commercial FDA compliant bio-manufacturing facility.
Argos Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. The company’s proprietary Arcelis technology platform is designed to induce a potent immune response that is specifically targeted to each patient's disease.
"Argos' cutting edge work in personalized immunotherapy may lead to new treatments for people living with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses,” said Governor McCrory. “It is exciting to see this biopharma company continue to grow in North Carolina. We want to help more companies like Argos bring innovative new therapies and technologies to the commercial market.”
Argos Therapeutics will build a 97,500 square foot bio-manufacturing facility in Durham to support continued research and, pending FDA approval, global marketing for its immunotherapy products. The company plans to expand manufacturing as well as research and development jobs over the next four years.
“North Carolina’s business friendly environment and partnership with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center make us an attractive fit for Argos,” said Secretary Decker. “We look forward to watching this company’s unique product develop and succeed.”
“Our Arcelis technology platform was developed based on landmark research conducted right here in North Carolina, and we are very pleased to be expanding our operations in one of the world’s leading centers for medical research,” said Jeff Abbey, president and chief executive officer of Argos. The support for our new facility from Governor McCrory, Durham County, the City of Durham and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center are a great example of industry and government working together to support innovation and job growth.”
The company currently employs approximately 90 people. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by work function and experience, but the average annual wage is expected to be slightly more than $79,000. The annual average wage in Durham County is $65,746.
“Today’s announcement helps to further cement Durham’s reputation as being on the cutting edge when it comes to the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Senator Floyd McKissick. “I congratulate Argos Therapeutics for expanding in Durham County and creating these new jobs.”
“The bio pharma industry is an important part of Durham County’s economy, and this announcement by Argos Therapeutics is welcome news,” said Representative Mickey Michaux. “It is always great when one of our existing companies is able to grow and expand.”
The project was made possible in part by an award to Argos Therapeutics from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, Argos Therapeutics is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 56 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Argos Therapeutics of $4.6 million upon the creation of 236 jobs.
An estimated $1.5 million in additional funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded to a company whose site is located in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Durham, 25 percent of the company’s grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties. For more information on the county tier designations, visit: http://www.nccommerce.com/research-publications/incentive-reports/county-tier-designations
Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of N.C., NC Community College System, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NC State University Economic Development Partnership , Durham County, City of Durham, Durham Chamber of Commerce and NC Central University's BRITE Program.
For more information about Argos Therapeutics, its products and job opportunities, visit http://www.argostherapeutics.com/.