2 companies announce NC expansions in Pitt, Durham counties, creating several hundred jobs

MarketsAssociated Press

Two Durham-based pharmaceutical companies said Friday they'll add several hundred jobs in North Carolina through the rest of the decade.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced a business unit of DPx Holdings will create 488 more jobs at its Greenville location by the end of 2019 as part of a $159 million capital investment. The Patheon subsidiary, which provides contract development and manufacturing assistance to the pharmaceutical industry, also will make Pitt County — already home to more than 1,000 company workers — the site for its North American sterile dosage facility.

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The governor also said Argos Therapeutics will create another 236 jobs by the end of 2018 as it builds a new biomanufacturing facility in Durham County. The company current employs 90 people and develops immunotherapies to treat cancer and other disease.

McCrory's office said the average annual wage for the new Argos jobs will be roughly $79,000. No average wage was given for Patheon jobs except that its total payroll from the new jobs would be $26.4 million annually.

"To know that a growing company like DPx Holdings has chosen to expand its Patheon facility in North Carolina is a great sign that we are on the right track in building our state's economy," McCrory said in a prepared statement.

Both companies can receive cash grants over 12 years based on a percentage of state income tax withholdings from the new positions if they meet investment and job targets. The Job Development Investment Grants could reach more than $6.3 million for Patheon and $4.6 million for Argos, McCrory's office said. In a company statement, Argos said its total local and state incentives package is $9.5 million.

The announcement came in conjunction with national "Manufacturing Day." McCrory visited Greenville for the Patheon announcement after visiting a Harnett County truck parts manufacturer. The state Department of Transportation uses some of those parts.