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Pfizer’s push into gene therapy adds more jobs in Sanford

The world headquarters of Pfizer in New York. The company is expanding its push into gene therapies at its Sanford facilities.
The world headquarters of Pfizer in New York. The company is expanding its push into gene therapies at its Sanford facilities. AP

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is expanding its facilities in Sanford to accommodate the company’s push into gene therapy.

The state Department of Commerce announced earlier this week that Pfizer would invest $100 million in the site and create 40 jobs there within three years. The average annual salary for the new positions will be $97,500, much higher than Lee County’s average annual wage of $38,250.

If it meets those goals, Wyeth Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer’s, will receive a $250,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund and a local incentive of up to $1,412,715 over five years.

The announcement comes a week after Gov. Roy Cooper visited Pfizer’s facilities in Sanford and a year after Pfizer bought Bamboo Therapeutics, a Chapel Hill startup. Pfizer also bought Bamboo’s gene therapy manufacturing facility, which Bamboo had acquired from UNC-Chapel Hill in January, 2016.

Gene therapy is an emerging technology that attacks the disorder by repairing mutated genes. Pfizer will use technology to introduce genetic material into a patient’s body so as to compensate for defective or missing genes.

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