In August 2017, Pfizer committed to building a $100 million gene therapies plant in North Carolina and, in exchange, North Carolina committed to providing the drugmaker with a quarter-million dollars’ worth of help.

Pfizer will expand an 11,000-square-foot plant in Sanford, North Carolina that it acquired last year when it bought gene therapies biotech Bamboo Therapeutics in a deal valued at up to $688 million. Bamboo bought the facility last year from the University of North Carolina about the time that Pfizer made its initial investment in the company.

In August, a Pfizer spokeswoman said in an email that it was too early in the process to provide any details about the size of the expansion or when it might be producing materials. However, there was a dedication of the plant in late September featuring Charlene Cowell, Executive Director of Hemophilia of North Carolina, as a speaker. She reviewed the history of ground-breaking achievements in hemophilia research at UNC-Chapel Hill, including seminal studies in gene therapy for hemophilia. In the 1990s was chosen as the first site for a clinical trial of a recombinant therapeutic product for hemophilia. A UNC patient, George McCoy, received the first dose. Sadly, Mr. McCoy died in August of pancreatic cancer.

To watch Ms. Cowell’s short speech, please use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXigIovFvZk&feature=youtu.be