Governor Cooper Announces New Gene Therapy Facility To Create New Jobs in Durham

Published December 17, 2020

Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric gene therapy company, has selected Durham as a site for its gene therapy manufacturing facility, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The site is expected to create approximately 200 jobs over the next two and a half years. The Research Triangle area project confirms North Carolina’s growing role in gene therapy, a promising approach for fighting a host of challenging genetic diseases.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of science and innovation to keep us healthy,” said Governor Cooper. “Companies like Taysha Gene Therapies continue to expand in North Carolina because we have the scientists, skilled workers and climate for innovation they need to tackle health care’s toughest challenges.”

Taysha Gene Therapies, headquartered in Dallas, is developing an extensive portfolio of gene therapies and expects to file as many as four Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for its product candidates next year. In Durham, the company plans to invest $75 million in capital expenditures over a period of two and a half years to build out and operate an approximately 187,000 square foot, commercial-scale manufacturing facility for preclinical, clinical, and commercial production of its gene therapy product candidates. The site will be developed to meet the rigorous FDA benchmark of a current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facility.

“North Carolina has a thriving life sciences ecosystem with significant expertise in gene therapy manufacturing, and we are delighted to establish our manufacturing center in Durham,” said RA Session II, President, Founder and CEO of Taysha. “With our management team with technical and manufacturing know-how leading the charge, this leading facility will serve as a center of excellence for gene therapy development, from preclinical studies through commercialization, and will further Taysha’s leadership position in gene therapy as well as support our next phase of growth.” 

“North Carolina continues to lead the way into new frontiers of medicine,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “Taysha Gene Therapies joins the nation’s most vibrant center for the life science industry, and I look forward to seeing their contributions add to the stellar reputation of North Carolina’s Research Triangle region.”

Taysha’s expansion 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 course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $772 million. The project will bring an annual payroll impact in excess of $22 million for the region once GMP production begins. The JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $4.8 million, dependent upon meeting hiring and capital expenditure milestones. In addition, Taysha will receive a training grant of over $360,000 over a two- to three-year period. 

State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company. 

Taysha Gene Therapies’ JDIG agreement also could move as much as $1,626,750 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account for use by rural communities elsewhere in the state. The Utility Account helps finance necessary infrastructure upgrades in more economically challenged areas of the state to attract future business.

Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Duke Energy, Durham County, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.