Clinical-Stage Gene Therapy Company Will Add More Than 200 Jobs in Durham County

Published January 7, 2021

Adverum Biotechnologies Will Invest Over $80 Million at New Facility

Governor Roy Cooper announced today that Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc., a California-based gene therapy company targeting unmet medical needs in ocular and rare diseases, will invest $82.8 million for a new gene therapy manufacturing facility in Durham County. This investment will create more than 200 new jobs.

“Our state’s dynamic workforce continues to propel life-changing innovation and keeps North Carolina at the forefront of biomanufacturing through life sciences companies like Adverum,” said Governor Cooper. 

Adverum Biotechnologies (Nasdaq: ADVM) is a clinical-stage gene therapy company targeting unmet medical needs in serious ocular and rare diseases. The Redwood City, Calif.-based biotechnology company is developing its lead gene therapy candidate ADVM-022 in ongoing clinical trials for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). ADVM-022 is administered as a potential one-time, intravitreal injection for the treatment of wet AMD and DME, ocular diseases that impact millions of patients worldwide.

“Today’s announcement culminates a robust site selection process to determine the best fit for our future GMP commercial manufacturing needs for ADVM-022,” said Laurent Fischer, MD, chief executive officer of Adverum Biotechnologies. “With its reputation as a strong viral vector manufacturing hub, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park offers a highly skilled and diverse workforce crucial for advancing our novel and transformative gene therapy.”

Positions at the new facility will include production staff, quality control specialists, facility engineers and other personnel and will create an annual payroll impact of $19 million for the Research Triangle Region.

“North Carolina’s global leadership in biotechnology was established years ago — and we continue to build on our reputation, not rest on it,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “Congratulations to Adverum Biotechnologies for the success that has positioned it at the frontier of gene therapy, and my thanks go out to the state and local partners supporting the company’s arrival in North Carolina.”

Adverum Biotechnologies’ new presence in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the 12-year life of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by nearly $1.36 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3 million over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs occur upon verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets.

By law, JDIG-driven projects must result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to the recipient company. The provision ensures all North Carolina communities benefit from the JDIG program. Moreover, Adverum Biotechnologies’ choice of Durham County, a Tier 3 county under the state’s Tier system, will result in the allocation of as much as $1 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps economically distressed communities modernize infrastructure to attract new jobs and business. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) led a collaborative effort to recruit Adverum Biotechnologies, which also considered other national destinations. Key partners and allies include the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham County, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Duke Energy.