RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (WTVD) -- More expansion is being planned in Research Triangle Park bringing additional high-paying jobs.
North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced Thursday that BioAgilytix Labs LLC, a Durham-based bioanalytics firm, will create 878 jobs and invest $61.5 million in Durham. The project marks a major expansion of the contract research organization's RTP operations.
BioAgilytix, which was founded in 2008, offers employee safety screening for COVID-19 and other bioanalysis and plans to add the jobs between 2023 and 2027.
"North Carolina is a world-class location for companies that lead in research and development to treat and prevent diseases like the coronavirus," Gov. Roy Cooper said. "Companies like BioAgilytix expand here because they know North Carolina can provide the skilled workers and the stable business environment they need to succeed even during a global health crisis."
The average salary for the jobs will reach $96,477, bringing a payroll impact of $84.7 million to the region every year. The average wage in Durham County is $71,756.
"Through great cooperation with the state, led by Governor Cooper and Secretary Copeland, our decision was swayed to invest tens of millions of dollars into expanding our team and facilities in Durham County," said Jim Datin, President and CEO of BioAgilytix. "Also, but more importantly, the area is rich with life sciences expertise and a great place to live. Since our founding, this access to exceptional talent has enabled us to thrive in North Carolina."
The company already has 350 employees in North Carolina.
"North Carolina invented the Contract Research Organization model, an innovation that revolutionized the process of drug discovery and development," Copeland said. "BioAgilytix's expansion validates our state's continued relevance for this important sector of the life science industry."
Copeland added that during his visits to Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the past three years, he often heard the Durham/RTP area referred to as the "Cambridge of the South."
"I think with this announcement, they are the Durham, or the RTP of the North," Copeland said.
In February, "Hub RTP" was announced as a 43-acre, $1.5 billion project featuring retail and office space. The site plans for apartments and a four-star hotel. "Boxyard RTP" was announced in 2019 as a repurposed business space designed from old shipping containers.
In July, President Donald Trump toured a FUJIFILM facility in Morrisville to be briefed on scientists' work toward a COVID-19 vaccine.