In the early 1980s, Genentech produced the first biotech drug – insulin. North Carolina’s leaders took note, and planted the seeds to grow a life science sector in North Carolina. In 1984, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center formed as a private, nonprofit company – the first state-funded effort to grow a state’s life science strengths.
Thirty-five years later, they have a lot to celebrate.
A handful of companies has grown to more than 700. Major names in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and contract research have grown – and changed names – and, along with cutting-edge startup companies, now employ more than 64,500 directly. The far-reaching ripple effects of this sector support 240,000 jobs for North Carolinians.
They are producing a video series, launching a new podcast and sharing stories - and on November 5th they formally celebrated 35 years of life science in North Carolina.