GREENVILLE, North Carolina (December 9, 2020) – Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, is expanding its site in Greenville for sterile drug product development and commercial manufacturing of critical medicines, therapies, and vaccines. As part of the approximate $500 million investment in Greenville, about 500 new roles will be hired over next 12 to 24 months. These jobs will add to its existing workforce of more than 1,500 employees.
“We are excited by the news of Thermo Fisher’s investment in their Greenville facility which further strengthens Greenville and Pitt County’s legacy as a hub of pharmaceutical production,” said Steve Weathers, president and CEO of the Greenville – Eastern North Carolina (ENC) Alliance. “Our area has more than 2,000 people working in pharmaceutical manufacturing occupations which is a concentration 12 times higher than the United States.”
The 1.5 million-square-foot Greenville site is a multi-purpose pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging campus with 29 buildings on 640 acres. The expansion will include a new standalone 130,000-square-foot facility with two live virus filling lines which will be operational in 2022.
“This announcement shows the strength of Thermo Fisher in the sterile drug development sector and will augment what is already a world class facility. The company’s investments will result in a large number of new, well-paying jobs for citizens of Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina,” said Greenville – ENC Alliance vice president of business development, Brad Hufford.
The site will also add six new lines in 2021 and 2022, including commercial scale liquid filling lines and a development line for liquid and lyophilized (freeze-dried) drug products.
"We have continued to invest strategically in capacity, technology and expertise across our global network so we can accelerate innovation and enhance productivity for our customers," said Mike Shafer, senior vice president and president, pharma services, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "This has enabled us to respond quickly and support our customers with unprecedented scale and depth of capabilities to meet high demand for new therapies and vaccines. By simplifying the supply chain and solving complex manufacturing challenges, we shorten development timelines in order to get high-quality medicines to patients, faster."
In addition to the Greenville site, other sites preparing for expansion include locations in Swindon, United Kingdom and Ferentino and Monza, Italy. These expansions and investments will add 15 development and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) commercial production lines, leveraging Thermo Fisher's robust quality standards as well as supporting a range of capabilities including live virus, aseptic liquid, and lyophilized vial filling. These projects are expected to be completed over the next two years and will create approximately 1,000 jobs at all sites combined.
The Greenville – ENC Alliance is actively working with various local partners to help develop the future workforce to meet the needs of Thermo Fisher and other regional pharmaceutical companies. Partners include the City of Greenville, Pitt County, NC Biotechnology Center, Pitt County Public Schools, Pitt Community College, and East Carolina University.
“We are collaborating with Thermo Fisher and our workforce partners to make strategic investments and create a tailored workforce pipeline to support their expansion. Details of that collaboration will be announced at a later date,” added Hufford.
Along with expansions in North America and Europe, the company recently announced significant projects in Asia-Pacific, including a new sterile manufacturing facility in Singapore and a new integrated biologics and sterile drug development and manufacturing site in Hangzhou, China.
"With these investments, we've nearly doubled our global footprint for drug development and commercial manufacturing, which allows us to support our customers with unmatched flexibility, expertise and scale at a time of unprecedented demand," said Shafer.
The activities underscore the rapidly growing global demand for injectable sterile drugs, which comprise 46% of the total dosage forms securing U.S. FDA approval in 2019. This is compared to 25% a decade ago, according to PharmaSource.
Thermo Fisher, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, established its presence in Greenville in 2017 when it purchased Patheon, a contract development and manufacturing organization, for $7.2 billion. Patheon also had facilities in Durham and High Point that became part of the Thermo Fisher purchase.
Thermo Fisher also has just over 700 employees at two operations in western North Carolina. These locations include a contact center and manufacturing site for cold-storage laboratory products in Asheville and a warehousing facility about 10 miles north in Weaverville.
The company has over 75,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue of more than $25 billion. Its pharmaceutical services brands include Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, and Patheon.
Media Relations Contacts:
Director, Global External Communications
Pharma Services, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Director of Marketing and Communications
Greenville - Eastern North Carolina Alliance