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.