Jaguar Gene Therapy, a biotechnology company based in Illinois, will open a manufacturing facility in Durham County after landing incentives from the state, the company said Tuesday.
The $125 million manufacturing facility could employ 200 people by 2028, and the state offered the company a Job Development Investment Grant worth up to $2.4 million over the next 12 years. Durham County added $525,000 worth of incentives for the project as well.
Jaguar was founded two years ago by former executives at Avexis, another gene therapy company that has a large manufacturing presence in Durham.
The Research Triangle has become a hot bed for gene therapy manufacturing in the last few years, with several startups and established companies, like AskBio and Biogen, all opening gene therapy operations in the area.
Though still experimental, gene therapy is one of the most promising forms of treatment in recent years for diseases like cancer and some inherited disorders. The treatment uses a variety of methods to replace mutated genes that cause disease with healthy ones, knock out mutated genes, or even add a new gene to counteract a disease.
Jaguar has three potential treatments that are still in the pre-clinical trial phase. Its treatments are focused on Type 1 diabetes, galactosemia and autism spectrum disorder with a specific genetic cause.
In just a few short years, the biotech company has raised a significant amount of capital for its experimental therapies.
Earlier this year, the company raised $139 million from investors like Eli Lilly, Deerfield Management and Goldman Sachs, Fierce Biotech reported.
The average wage at the new manufacturing facility in Durham is expected to be around $92,000, the N.C. Department of Commerce said.
Durham competed against Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis for the Jaguar plant, according to an executive summary written by the Commerce Department.
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