Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pisgah Laboratories, Inc., has announced a $55 million multi-phase expansion in Transylvania County, which will create at least 55 new local jobs by the year 2026.
Pisgah Labs was founded locally in 1981 and currently operates a 20,000-square-foot facility with 28 full-time employees off Old Hendersonville Highway in Pisgah Forest. The company received its first FDA approval to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients in 2002 before exclusively developing pharmaceutical products in 2005.
The business was purchased by Ipca Laboratories Limited in 2018 and the expansion will add a new pilot manufacturing facility in early 2023. Once that pilot facility is completed, the company will add an 80,000-square-foot commercial pharmaceutical manufacturing facility focused on the production of liquid oral medications and sterile injectables with a quality control laboratory, warehouses and microbiological laboratories at the Transylvania County location.
“We are very excited about the future of Pisgah Labs and have plans for the facility to accelerate our ability to innovate and introduce new products rapidly to U.S. customers,” said Ipca USA President Murali Sarma Monday when the plans were made public. “North Carolina and Transylvania County have been exceptional business partners and we look forward to a long relationship.”
Ipca Laboratories is headquartered in India and operates 11 formulation plants in that country in addition to other facilities in the United Kingdom. Pisgah Labs holds 31 patents and manufactures the active ingredients for pain medicines and the treatment of disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia.
“For Pisgah Labs, we’ll be tripling our workforce over the next four to five years and this gives us the capabilities to add sterile injectable final dose to our current business structure,” said Pisgah Labs Site Manager Dani Bailey. “Carving a space in the highly competitive pharmaceutical market is not an easy task, but we welcome the challenge and intend to see many years of company growth, job creation and education opportunities for Pisgah Labs and western North Carolina.”
The expansion plans include new full-time positions for analysts, technicians, supervisors and managers with an average annual salary of $60,088. Transylvania County’s average annual wage is $39,028 and these new jobs have the potential to create an annual payroll impact of more than $3.4 million for the region.
Monday night the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved $1,870,919 in economic incentive grants over the next 9 years to show their support for the expansion.
“This is not only a great project, but another investment by the pharmaceutical industry in Transylvania County,” said Board Chairman Jason Chappell. “We don’t think this is a coincidence, but an indicator that we are distinguishing ourselves as a destination for pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturing.”
The One NC Fund, which provides financial assistance for local governments to help attract economic investments and create jobs, is also offering a $50,00 performance-based grant for the expansion project which has the support of the N.C. Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina General Assembly.
“North Carolina’s life science industry is expanding all over our state including rural areas like Transylvania County with the growth of Pisgah Laboratories,” N.C. Governor Roy Cooper said in a news release Monday. “When North Carolina companies expand and reinvest in our state, it validates our ranking as the best state to do business.”
“Pisgah Labs shares our economic development strategy which prioritizes creative partnerships with an emphasis on workforce training,” added 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 sciences companies.”
Brian Traylor, chair of the Transylvania Economic Alliance Board of Directors, agreed.
“It’s exciting to see businesses that are founded in the county stay here, grow here and continue to thrive,” Traylor said. “The capital investment and the jobs being created here are going to leave a long impact in this area well into the future.”