Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, is expanding its site in Greenville, North Carolina. The $500 million investment will increase drug product development and commercial manufacturing of critical medicines, therapies, and vaccines.
The project is expected to create roughly 500 jobs over the next 12 to 24 months which will add to the company’s existing workforce of more than 1,500 employees.
"We have continued to invest strategically in capacity, technology and expertise across our global network so we can accelerate innovation and enhance productivity for our customers," said Mike Shafer, senior vice president and president, pharma services, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "This has enabled us to respond quickly and support our customers with unprecedented scale and depth of capabilities to meet high demand for new therapies and vaccines. By simplifying the supply chain and solving complex manufacturing challenges, we shorten development timelines in order to get high-quality medicines to patients, faster."
The 1.5 million-square-foot Greenville site is a multi-purpose pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging campus with 29 buildings on 640 acres. The expansion will include a new stand alone 130,000-square-foot facility with two live virus filling lines which will be operational in 2022. The site will also add six new lines in 2021 and 2022, including commercial scale liquid filling lines and a development line for liquid and lyophilized (freeze-dried) drug products, according to the Greenville – Eastern North Carolina Alliance.
“We are excited by the news of Thermo Fisher’s investment in their Greenville facility which further strengthens Greenville and Pitt County’s legacy as a hub of pharmaceutical production,” said Steve Weathers, president and CEO of the Greenville – Eastern North Carolina Alliance. “Our area has more than 2,000 people working in pharmaceutical manufacturing occupations which is a concentration 12 times higher than the United States.”
Thermo Fisher also has just over 700 employees at two operations in western North Carolina. These locations include a contact center and manufacturing site for cold-storage laboratory products in Asheville and a warehousing facility about 10 miles north in Weaverville.
“This announcement shows the strength of Thermo Fisher in the sterile drug development sector and will augment what is already a world class facility. The company’s investments will result in a large number of new, well-paying jobs for citizens of Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina,” said Greenville – ENC Alliance vice president of business development, Brad Hufford.
The Greenville – ENC Alliance said it is actively working with various local partners to help develop the future workforce to meet the needs of Thermo Fisher and other regional pharmaceutical companies. Partners include the City of Greenville, Pitt County, NC Biotechnology Center, Pitt County Public Schools, Pitt Community College, and East Carolina University.
Thermo Fisher, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, established its presence in Greenville in 2017 when it purchased Patheon, a contract development and manufacturing organization, for $7.2 billion. Patheon also had facilities in Durham and High Point that became part of the Thermo Fisher purchase.