ProKidney LLC, a Winston-Salem-based clinical-stage biotechnology company founded in 2015 and targeting chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a proprietary cell therapy, plans to create up to 330 jobs and establish a new manufacturing facility in Greensboro by 2027.
On Tuesday, the NC Department of Commerce and Gov. Roy Cooper announced that ProKidney will invest up to $485 million into the project, of which $25.5 million will be invested to establish a 210,000-square-foot facility on about 22 acres in Greensboro. The facility will support the future commercial manufacturing of REACT (REnal Autologous Cell Therapy), the company’s lead product candidate targeting CKD.ProKidney logo
“Innovative life science companies like ProKidney understand that North Carolina offers the key ingredients for business success,” said Cooper, in a news release. “Our leadership in this important industry sector is recognized around the world, thanks to the specialized workforce training and education systems that support North Carolina’s biotech companies.”
Regional strength in cell and gene therapy
Nancy Johnston, executive director for North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office, said, "The Piedmont Triad region’s strengths align with North Carolina’s leadership in biomanufacturing, including cell and gene therapies contributing to the state’s competitiveness in this sector.
“This notable investment in a homegrown company demonstrates the interconnectivity of our regional life sciences community and our skilled workforce infrastructure to support long-term company growth and high-paying jobs.”
The region’s strength in cell and gene therapy was on display only two weeks ago in downtown Winston-Salem during the World Stem Cell Summit and Regenerative Medicine Essentials Course combined meeting at Wake Forest Biotech Place, home of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM).
The state’s announcement comes on the heels of incentive packages approved earlier this month by Guilford County and Greensboro. On June 1, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved giving ProKidney, currently located in Winston-Salem, more than $15 million in incentives to be paid out over 10 years. On June 6, the Greensboro City Council also unanimously approved giving ProKidney more than $13 million in incentives. These incentives are based on ProKidney hitting certain milestones, including the creation of at least 330 new jobs on or before Dec. 31, 2028.
“We considered many factors in determining where best to build future commercial manufacturing capacity for REACT,” said Tim Bertram, PhD, chief executive officer of ProKidney, in the state’s news release. “Because of North Carolina’s depth and breadth of biotechnology talent, the advantage of locating the plant near our headquarters and pilot manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, NC, and the state’s interest in continuing to grow its biotechnology industry, we determined that adding manufacturing capacity here in Greensboro would be in the best interest of ProKidney, its shareholders and its local stakeholders. We look forward to continue growing our business along with the state that we have called home since our founding.”