February 19, 2020 -- Audentes Therapeutics has announced that it plans to invest $109 million to build a new 135,00-sq-ft gene therapy manufacturing facility in Sanford, NC, that is expected to be operational by 2021.
The fundraising phase of the project will take approximately 18 months and the remaining investment will take place over two additional planned expansion phases.
Audentes, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical developer Astellas Pharma, focuses on developing adeno associated virus (AAV)-based genetic medicines. Its extensive gene therapy portfolio targets rare neuromuscular diseases. The company uses its AAV gene therapy platform and manufacturing expertise in three areas: gene replacement, vectorized exon skipping, and vectorized RNA knockdown.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce, along with other partners, led the state's support for the company's decision to build. The facility will create over 200 new jobs in Lee County in North Carolina.