RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Japan-based Fujifilm could announce the Research Triangle as the site for a massive, new $2 billion biotech manufacturing site as early as Thursday morning.

Fujuifilm already has a significant presence in Morrisville through its subsidiary Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

However, no immediate plans are in place for an announcement of the location, a Fujifilm spokesperson told Sarah Krueger of WRAL TV. The site may not be announced until May or June, Krueger was told.

North Carolina’s Economic Development Committee, which considers tax incentives for corporate expansions and facilities, has a meeting in Raleigh at 11 a.m. So far the N.C. Department of Commerce has only said that projects will be reviewed by the committee.

David Rhoades, a spokesperson for the NC Department of Commerce, said he could not “share information” about whether the state was talking with Fujifilm.

The plant is invoved in work for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine and was visited by President Trump late last year.

How many jobs would be generated by the project is unclear although it could be several hundred based on an earlier investment in NC and jobs promised as part of that project by Fujifilm Diosynth in Morrisville.

The company disclosed in an announcement made overnight that it has plans for the new plant and said it would be built “in the vicinity of an existing Fujifilm site.”

Fujifilm Diosynth image

Fujifilm Diosynth

It also said the United States as the site with operations set to begin in 2025.

Fujifilm Diosynth has two facilities in the US – Morrisville and College Station, Texas, the company noted in its announcement.

“The United States is the world’s biggest market for biopharmaceuticals. I am pleased that through this large investment in the U.S.A we are able to support the development and manufacturing of new drugs that can help fulfill unmet medical needs”, said Kenji Sukeno, president of Fujifilm, in the announcement issued in Japan. “Fujifilm will continue to promote human health and support the progress of the healthcare industry by using our cutting-edge technology and advanced facilities to provide a stable supply of high quality biopharmaceuticals.”

In 2019, Fujifilm announced plans to its biomanufacturing facilities in Morrisville and add about 100 new employees as part of a $90 million investment in its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business to meet growing customer demand for biopharmaceuticals.

Ground was broken for that project in 2020.

Fujifilm also announced plans on Tuesday for a new $40 million facility near Boston.

NC a hotspot for biotech growth

As Barry Teater reported for the NC Biotech Center and in a story published as well by WRAL TechWire, North Carolina has become a hot spot for life science company growth ans expansion.

Life sciences companies from around the state, nation and world announced expansions in 2020 that will bring nearly $2 billion in investment and more than 3,500 new jobs to the state, Teater reported Tuesday.

At least 16 companies announced expansions that will create construction jobs and then bioscience jobs in communities throughout the state including Clayton, Durham, Greenville, Maxton, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park and Sanford.

North Carolina earns 2020 ‘State of Year’ honor from economic development magazine