On Monday, Novo Nordisk broke ground on its new $1.8 billion diabetes medicine production facility on Powhatan Road in Clayton. More than 100 community members, employees and elected officials attended a ceremonial event alongside Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and chief executive officer of Novo Nordisk, and NC Governor Pat McCrory.
The facility will produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for a range of Novo Nordisk’s current and future GLP-1 and insulin medicines. Once fully operational in 2020, the Clayton facility will ensure production capacity for diabetes medicines in the U.S. for the decade ahead.
Once complete, the new facility will measure 833,000 square feet and have a footprint of 417,639 square feet – the equivalent to approximately seven football fields. This expansion is expected to create close to 700 new jobs, with an average salary that is $68,000 – $22,000 higher than the current average salary, and $15,000 more than the median household income in Johnston County. At the same time, Novo Nordisk expects to create a significant employment effect during the construction period with up to 2,500 people working on the project at peak construction.
“Novo Nordisk’s investment here is evidence that Johnston County is a top global destination for 21st century companies of every kind from everywhere. We’re proud of our partnership with this leading international bio-manufacturing company,” said Johnston County Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell. “Johnston County will see over 5,100 full-time and part-time jobs, according to an economic impact study done by North Carolina State University. There will be more than one billion dollars coming into our local economy from the compensation paid to the workers who will build the facility. And once operational, Novo Nordisk’s new plant will produce $21.5 million dollars in payroll impact annually into Johnston County’s economy.
“As the prevalence of diabetes has grown in the U.S., so too has the demand for effective treatments,” said Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and chief executive officer of Novo Nordisk. “It gives me great pride to break ground on our new facility site in Clayton where we have an existing, strong organization. This site will play a vital role in enabling us to meet the needs of people living with diabetes in the U.S. for years to come.”
“Novo Nordisk’s billion dollar decision to bring this landmark manufacturing facility to North Carolina underscores its commitment to our state and confidence in our state’s talent,” said Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina. “This expansion of the current site and workforce highlights our ability to be a leader in bio-manufacturing at the global level.”
The new site is situated adjacent to Novo Nordisk’s existing 457,000 square foot Clayton facility. Expanded several times since it was inaugurated in 1996, Novo Nordisk’s current plant in Clayton is one of the company’s strategic production sites responsible for formulation, filling and packaging of diabetes medicines. The plant also assembles and packages the company’s FlexPen and FlexTouch prefilled insulin devices for the U.S. market.
Once the new site becomes operational, the diabetes API production organization in Clayton will be named DAPI-US (Diabetes Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients – US). It will be part of the Danish diabetes API production organization in Kalundborg, which will be named DAPI-Denmark.
Novo Nordisk has its US headquarters in Plainsboro, N.J. The company has more than 5,000 employees in the United States.