Central Carolina Enterprise Park

Central Carolina Enterprise Park, photo courtesy of Sanford Area Growth Alliance

Abzena, a San-Diego based life-sciences group, will open a new facility in Sanford, Gov. Roy Cooper announced April 13.

The company plans to invest $213 million, locating in a 117,000 square foot building in the Central Carolina Enterprise Park. The facility, located adjacent to U.S. 1 and Colon Road in Lee County, will create 325 jobs that pay an average annual salary of more than $60,000.

“We are delighted that Abzena chose Lee County, thus helping us to grow our local life sciences industry,” said Lee County Board of Commissioners Chair Kirk Smith. “We are blessed to be centered in the heart of North Carolina in close proximity to our premier research institutions that will help further accelerate the impact of Abzena on our county, state, and country. We look forward to the beneficial economic impact for our community as well the future tax relief for our citizens.”

Smith also acknowledged the foresight of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance (SAGA) and local developers to provide state of the art shell buildings attracting new business and industries.

In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include Central Carolina Community College in addition to North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NC State University Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), Duke Energy, Lee County, the city of Sanford, CC Enterprise Park, LLC and Samet Corporation.

Abzena, a contract manufacturer, range of services focus on antibody discovery and immunology assessment. The Lee County facility will accommodate phase 3 and commercial manufacturing, augmenting cGMP manufacturing capacity for mammalian biologics. The company also has a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry and extensive experience of custom synthesis and bioconjugation.

Abzena was created through the incorporation of Antitope, PacificGMP, PolyTherics, The Chemistry Research Solution (TCRS) and Warwick Effect Polymers.

“With their decision to locate in Shell Building #2 at CCEP, Abzena adds another valuable facet to Lee County’s already impressive life sciences manufacturing cluster,” said SAGA CEO Jimmy Randolph. “Their operation will complement the globally significant gene therapy manufacturing hub anchored by Pfizer, one of Lee County’s largest and longest-tenured employers, and Astellas, currently completing the upfit of CCEP’s Shell Building #1, which they purchased just last year.”

Sanford Mayor Chet Mann also offered his congratulations to Abzena.

“Our city is thrilled with this announcement of such a high achieving and high quality company who is focused on the continued development of better treatments for patients. We are very pleased to have been selected as their new location and to add Abzena to our growing Life Sciences Community. We look forward to a strong and lasting relationship.”

Mann said the city of Sanford has worked hard to create an environment that not only is business friendly “but also a place where company team members can live, work, and flourish and this announcement validates that effort. Best wishes and a heartfelt welcome to Sanford.”

SAGA is a public-private partnership created by bringing together economic development and the Chamber of Commerce to expand and diversify the economic base of Lee County, Sanford and the town of Broadway.

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