RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Pisgah Forest-based Pisgah Laboratories is in an expansion mode, and that’s a plus for the economy and workforce of Western North Carolina.
The manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients is located about 30 minutes from Asheville, in Transylvania County. Pisgah announced that its parent company – Ipca Laboratories Limited – will spend $55 million to expand its manufacturing product line. The investment will be used to add a new pilot manufacturing facility for sterile injectables and liquid filling operations, as well as a quality control laboratory, warehousing and microbiological labs.
“We are excited to begin this expansion of Pisgah Labs,” said Dani Bailey, site manager. “We are grateful for the support from North Carolina and Transylvania County. Our parent company, Ipca Laboratories Limited, is making a large investment in Pisgah’s future.”
The expansion will eventually mean 57 new jobs – including analysts, technicians, supervisors and managers – with an average annual salary of close to $60,000. That’s about 50% higher the county’s current yearly wage of just over $39,000, according to an announcement from Governor Roy Cooper. Bailey said Pisgah’s current employment stands at 28.
The company also has committed to developing a life sciences training collaborative with local and regional colleges, universities and Transylvania County manufacturers.
“North Carolina’s life science industry is expanding all over our state, including rural areas like Transylvania County with the growth of Pisgah Laboratories,” said Cooper. “When North Carolina companies expand and reinvest in our state, it validates our ranking as the best state to do business.”
Already this month, North Carolina’s business climate has been ranked first in the nation by Business Facilities – a publication for corporate site selectors and economic developers. And CNBC, one of the world’s leading business news organizations, has named the Tar Heel state the country’s best for business.
“Pisgah Labs shares our economic development strategy, which prioritizes creative partnerships with an emphasis on workforce training,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “As a leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and with our robust network of research institutions, North Carolina has the right formula to support thriving life science companies.”
A broad range of support
The One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs, has made a performance-based grant of $50,000 to support the expansion. One NC grants require matching participation from local governments, and companies must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify.
In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key supporters of the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the state’s community college system, Blue Ridge Community College, Transylvania County and the Transylvania Economic Alliance.
“With the announcement of the Pisgah Labs expansion, Transylvania County now has two pharmaceutical manufacturing expansions in progress,” said Jonathan Snover, executive director of NCBiotech’s Western Office. Raybow USA, which focuses on early-stage R&D and process research through Phase 2 clinical trials, is investing close to $16 million at its Brevard facility over the next few years. That investment will create 74 new jobs. “We are working closely with the community partners and businesses to ensure that the workforce needs for both these facilities will be met,” Snover added.
About Pisgah Laboratories
Pisgah Labs was founded in North Carolina in 1981. Its roots were in x-ray film dye and agrochemicals. It received its first FSA approval to manufacture pharmaceutical active ingredients in 2022 and soon switched to developing pharmaceuticals exclusively. The company holds 31 patents and manufactures the active ingredients for pain medicines and therapies to treat disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and fibromyalgia.
Pisgah Labs was bought by Ipca Laboratories, headquartered in India, in 2018.
(C) N.C. Biotech Center