SANFORD — Audentes Therapeutics, an Astellas company based in San Francisco, California, will open a new facility in Lee County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday, Feb. 18. The life-sciences company has purchased a recently-completed shell building located in Central Carolina Enterprise Park and will create 209 jobs at an average salary of $83,900. The company will be investing $109.4 million in Sanford over a five year period.
“With our powerhouse research centers and highly-skilled workforce, biotech pioneers recognize North Carolina’s role as a leader in the life sciences,” said Cooper. “Lee County is a perfect fit for Audentes as they seek to become a global leader in genetic medicines.”
Audentes Therapeutics Inc., an Astellas company, is an AAV-based genetic medicines company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies that can offer transformative benefits to patients. In addition to its gene therapy portfolio targeting serious rare neuromuscular diseases, the company states, “Audentes is leveraging Astellas’ global resources, industry leadership in immune biology, and deep scientific expertise to expand its reach and deliver valuable new genetic medicines to patients around the world.”
Lee County Board of Commissioners Chair Amy Dalrymple gave remarks during the announcement, saying, “Thank you to Audentes for recognizing the strengths of the Lee County community and for investing in us to create over 200 jobs for Central North Carolina. Lee County looks forward to working together and building a long-term partnership where Audentes and the Lee County community flourishes.”
Sanford Mayor Chet Mann stated, “We are overjoyed at having Audentes Therapeutics in our community. Their decision to locate here is proof that our Public / Private Partnership and the efforts toward making Sanford a desirable place to live and work have been a success. A company of this quality and the important work they do will have tremendous impact; creating a new Life Sciences cluster that will pay future dividends. We truly look forward to a great partnership with Audentes and we enthusiastically welcome them here.”
Sanford Area Growth Alliance Board of Directors Chair Kirk Bradley commented, “It’s been a little less than five years since Mark Sweeney, of the site selection firm, McCallum Sweeney, addressed a group of community and civic leaders on July 30, 2015, about how ‘Prepared Communities Win.’ This message resonated and the announcement of Audentes Therapeutics is the culmination of what can happen to a community that listens to experts and harnesses private and public capital for a common objective of economic growth. Today Sanford, Broadway and Lee County has one of the most, if not THE most, thriving economic development eco-system in the State of North Carolina. We are honored that Gov. Cooper would make this historic announcement. We welcome Audentes Therapeutics to our community as a new corporate citizen with open arms for a successful future!”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NC State University Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), Lee County, the City of Sanford, Central Carolina Enterprise Park, LLC and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance.