Novo keeps adding capacity, and jobs, to its North Carolina drug plant  

Novo Nordisk keeps adding capacity and jobs to its 457,000-square-foot finished products manufacturing plant in Clayton, North Carolina. (Novo)

Just months after announcing a $65 million expansion that will boost capacity at the North Carolina facility where it makes diabetes medications, Novo Nordisk says it needs yet more and will top it off with another $22 million and another 22 jobs.

A Novo spokesman Wednesday confirmed an announcement by development officials in Clayton, North Carolina, saying the extra money will add production lines to its 457,000-square-foot finished products manufacturing plant where it does formulation, filling and packaging of diabetes drugs.

The county is offering up some undisclosed incentives for the 22 jobs the expansion will bring, which is on top of 18 jobs tied to the $65 million investment. Novo already has more than 1,000 employees at the facility.

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Both projects are slated to be complete by 2020, coinciding with the completion of a massive, $2 billion API facility Novo is building nearby. Novo has said the API facility, its first outside of Denmark, will need about 700 workers when it is up and running.  

The backdrop to these expansions has been significant job losses across other parts of the business of the diabetes drug specialist. CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen acknowledged that job losses would tally about 1,300 this year after Novo reported that severance costs were much to blame for an 8% hit to its third quarter net profit.

Still, sales growth in the first nine months stayed positive at 4% in local currencies, to DKK 82.1 billion, mainly thanks to its GLP-1 franchise, the stalwart Victoza and brand-new longer-acting drug Ozempic.

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