Argos Therapeutics has announced plans for development of a state of the art biomanufacturing facility in the Research Triangle Park area in Durham, North Carolina. The facility will be used to support automated production of the company’s Arcelis-based personalized immunotherapy product candidates, beginning with AGS-003, the company’s lead oncology product candidate, currently being evaluated in the pivotal ADAPT phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).
In support of the development and implementation of the nearly 100,000 square foot facility, Argos will receive approximately $9.5 million in incentives as well as logistical and planning support from the State of North Carolina, Durham County, the City of Durham, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
“Argos was initially formed based on groundbreaking research conducted at Duke University and has experienced significant growth in Durham over the past decade. We are pleased to be expanding our operations here with the construction of our new automated manufacturing facility which we believe is critical to the successful commercialization of personalized immunotherapies such as AGS-003,” stated Jeff Abbey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Argos. “Support for this project is a great example showing how our leaders in state, city and county government are committed to job growth and to enhancing North Carolina’s position as a leader in biotechnology.”
“Argos’ cutting edge work in personalized immunotherapy may lead to new treatments for people living with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses,” said Pat McCrory, Governor of the State of North Carolina.
“It is exciting to see this biopharma company continue to grow in North Carolina. We want to help more companies like Argos bring innovative new therapies and technologies to the commercial market.”
The incentive package from the North Carolina Department of Commerce to support the project totals $7.1 million, including a $4.5 million Job Development Investment Grant, $600,000 in education and on-the-job training assistance, a $1.8 million sales tax exemption on qualifying equipment, and a $200,000 Economic Development Award from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. In addition to NC Commerce, the City of Durham and Durham County awarded an incentives package totaling $2.35 million including a cash grant of $1.85 million and $500,000 in on-the-job training assistance. Argos has entered into a lease with The Keith Corporation of Charlotte, NC, to construct the facility on T.W.
Alexander Drive in Durham, NC.
“Durham, known as ‘The City of Medicine,’ prides itself on being on the cutting edge of personalized medical treatment and technology. Argos Therapeutics is one of the many forward thinking companies that maintain Durham’s position as a leader in medicine,” said Bill Bell, Mayor of Durham.
“I am excited to see Argos grow in Durham and I am particularly excited, as are my fellow commissioners, that the company plans to create 236 new jobs and keep 100 existing jobs, offering a broad range of employment opportunities for all segments of Durham’s workforce,”
said Michael Page, Chairman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners.
“The Durham Chamber of Commerce worked in close cooperation with our economic development colleagues with Durham County, the City of Durham, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham Technical Community College, Duke University, North Carolina Central University with its BRITE Program and North Carolina State University to make the case that Argos Therapeutics will be most successful here in Durham, North Carolina. We are ecstatic by Argos’ decision to remain here and we applaud their plan to expand and grow in Durham, NC!” said Lisa Yarborough, Durham Chamber Board Chair.
“The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has had a long relationship with Argos dating back to the late 1990s when they had just a few employees,” said Doug Edgeton, President and CEO of NC Biotech, referring to a loan that helped get the company started. “We consider Argos one of North Carolina’s great life science success stories, starting as a local university spinout. We are proud they chose to continue their growth here.”