Biotech Firms Expand in North Carolina's Eastern Region
Brooke Stuercke, research lab and culture specialist, works in one of the culture labs at UNC Wilmington's Center for Marine Science. The lab contains various species and toxicities of HABs, harmful algae blooms. Many of the laboratories at UNC Wilmington's Center for Marine Science are performing biotechnology research with organisms taken from the ocean.
Along with its pioneering work in marine science and biotechnology, North Carolina's Eastern Region is building a reputation for cutting-edge research and development in its life sciences sector.
Firms broadening their presence in the region include innovators such as Pioneer Surgical Technology, which designs and manufactures spinal and orthopedic implants and instruments. The company recently acquired Greenville-based Encelle and earlier this year relocated its biologics division, along with operations from its Michigan and Boston facilities, to its Greenville location. The move will allow the firm to increase its production capacity and expand its national and international reach.
"This expansion shows our commitment to the North Carolina area, as well as our commitment to being a top-tier provider of surgical products for bone and soft tissue procedures," says Shane Ray, General Manager of Biologics for Pioneer.
Other companies are also in the midst of expansion. Medical device maker BD just opened its new multimillion sterile syringe filling operation in Wilson, drug administration systems and components maker West Pharmaceutical Services is investing $29 million to install new state-of-the-art technology at its Kinston plant, and pharmaceutical maker Hospira announced it will invest at least $100 million to upgrade its Rocky Mount production facility.
Biotech firms can find a wealth of talent in the region. Through the Eastern BioEducation Consortium, public schools and community colleges and universities, such as East Carolina University, partner to develop and offer an integrated life sciences curriculum for students interested in working in the sector.
With its abundance of industry-rich resources, world-class researchers and educated biotech workers, it's no wonder the region continues to be a growing hot spot for individuals and businesses specializing in biotechnology and life sciences.