Drug company may kill NC plant project over transgender issue

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals may back out of plans to build a manufacturing plant in North Carolina after the legislature passed a law last week considered discriminatory against transgender people.

New Jersey-based Braeburn released a statement saying that because of the "unjust legislation," it was reevaluating its options, WNCN in Durham, NC, reported. That comes just two weeks after announcing plans for $20 million plant in Durham, with the promise of more than 50 jobs.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a hastily passed law last week that eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and required transgender people to use public bathrooms according to their biological gender and not their gender identity. The passage has sparked widespread backlash from companies and organizations both locally and nationally. The Obama administration said it was looking into whether the law would make the state ineligible to get federal aid.

Gov. McCrory lauded Braeburn in March for its plan to build a 35,000-square-foot, $20 million plant in Durham and hire 52 workers. The company was looking at getting $275,000 in incentives from local groups and the state to build the facility. In January, Braeburn and partner Titan Pharmaceuticals ($TTNP) won an FDA advisory committee recommendation for approval of its long-acting subdermal implant to deliver buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction.

But last week the company said it is "extremely disappointed" with the passage of the law. According to WNCN, the statement said "Braeburn Pharmaceuticals believes in fair treatment and equality for all individuals in their communities. We oppose any legislation that discriminates against the LGBT community."

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