$795 million gigafactory campus for vaccine production to be built in RTP; hundreds of new jobs coming – WRAL Tech Wire
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A 1-million square foot campus including a massive “gigafactory” for the manufacturing of vaccine and therapeutic prefilled plastic injectors in the event of a national emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be built in RTP at a cost of nearly $800 million, the company behind the project disclosed today.
The campus will cover 185 acres.
More than 650 jobs are coming with the project with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000.
ApiJect Systems, a medical technology firm focused on the pharmaceutical industry that is based in Connecticut, said it has received a $590 million loan from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to fund construction.
The firm is also required to raise another $195 million from non-US government sources for the project. It is working with Wall Street investment firm Jefferies Financial Corp. to raise the cash. Rich Handler, CEO of Jefferies, said the company “is proud to be an investor and looks forward to continuing to raise the additional capital to complete this important project.”
Called the ApiJect Gigafactory, the facility will include “the world’s largest pharmaceutical fill-finish facility, capable of producing annually up to 3 billion single-dose prefilled injectors,” the company said. It described “fill-finish” as “the process of converting bulk drug volumes into individual injectable doses.”
RTP “was selected after a nationwide search of outstanding potential sites and communities for our first multi-purpose campus location,” said Franco Negron, CEO of ApiJect
“In the end, RTP is a community with a strong pharmaceutical presence, a highly skilled workforce, and ready access to regional and nationwide transportation networks, among a long list of positives.”
The Triangle region already is home to several vaccine and biotech manufacturing facilities, including Seqirus in Holly Sprints, Grifols in Johnston County, and a planned Eli Lilly plant. The area also features one of the nation’s largest biotech industry hubs.
The company noted that “the U.S. Government has the right to reserve as many of the Gigafactory’s lines necessary to respond to any national health emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or any similar future event. The Gigafactory will also fill and finish other critical medicines for commercial pharmaceutical clients when not providing products for national health security.”
The gigafactory also will have the capability of packaging up to 15 drugs simultaneously and will use materials from a supply chain sourced 100% in the US, the firm noted.
ApiJect also is working with the government as part of the vaccine development program known as Operation Warp Speed, having upgraded a site for production in Columbia, SC.