Kyowa Kirin to build first U.S. manufacturing plant

June 11, 2024

Kyowa Kirin is building a new biologics manufacturing plant in Sanford, North Carolina — the Tokyo-based drugmaker's first North American facility.

The drugmaker will invest up to $530 million to build the 171,700-square-foot two-bioreactor facility, which Kyowa Kirin says will be scalable to its plant in Takasaki, Japan in order to ease tech transfer between the two sites. The drugmaker is scheduled to break ground in the third quarter of this year.

The new facility will manufacture innovative biologic therapies, including next-gen antibodies for Kyowa Kirin’s planned clinical trials and future commercial use. The company says it has purchased additional land for future expansion.

The plant will be strategically located within the new Helix Innovation Park, which is about 40 miles south of Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the U.S.

Kyowa Kirin has been strengthening its foothold in the U.S. market, paying approximately $387.4 million to finalize the acquistion of London-based gene therapy specialist Orchard Therapeutics earlier this year. Orchard, along with its California manufacturing facility and newly FDA approved gene therapy for metachromatic leukodystrophy (the most expensive drug in the world), is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyowa Kirin.