Bio-pharma company Argos Therapeutics will invest $56.6 million to expand in Durham County, North Carolina.. The company plans to build a 97,500 square foot commercial FDA compliant bio-manufacturing facility and create 236 jobs by the end of 2018.
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.
The company, which currently employs about 90 associates, will establish its bio-manufacturing facility in Durham to support continued research and, pending FDA approval, global marketing for its immunotherapy products. The company plans to expand its manufacturing as well as research and development jobs.
“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/CEO 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 project was made possible in part by an award to Argos Therapeutics from the state Job Development Investment Grant 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.
"Argos' cutting edge work in personalized immunotherapy may lead to new treatments for people living with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses,” said Governor Pat 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.”
“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.”
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.