Novo Nordisk's massive operation in North Carolina getting even bigger

Artist rendering of Novo Nordisk's administration building at its API facility under construction in Clayton, North Carolina. (Novo Nordisk)

Danish diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk is pumping an additional $65 million into the finished products plant in Clayton, North Carolina, even as it builds a $2 billion API facility there.

The latest expansion is expected to add 18 employees to the 1,000 that already work in Johnston County, North Carolina, and the 700 new employees likely to work at the API facility when it opens, a Novo spokesman said, confirming an announcement by Johnston County Economic Development. 

The ingredients facility Novo is building, which was announced in 2016 and is the company’s first API facility in the U.S., is designed to meet needs for more capacity, Chad Henry, VP and general manager for the facility, told the Triangle Business Journal. Novo is slated to get $1.9 million in incentives from the county over the next 13 years.

Construction on that plant kicked off in March of 2016 and marked the company’s first API facility outside of Denmark. The 833,000-square-foot project has a facility footprint of 417,639 square feet, roughly the size of seven football fields. It is located next to the finished products manufacturing plant that is 457,000 square feet and handles formulation, filling and packaging of diabetes medication.

The API plant is forecast to be completed in 2020 and will manufacture active ingredients for oral semaglutide, its experimental daily oral treatment for Type 2 diabetes, as well as other current and future Novo insulin products.

The company is also building a new production facility in Måløv, Denmark, that will handle tableting and packaging of oral semaglutide as well as other oral medications.

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