Ozempic Maker Novo Nordisk to Double Footprint in N.C. With $4B Investment


More Ozempic is on its way to America.

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk earlier this week announced a $4.1 billion investment to expand its footprint in North Carolina, according to Business Journals, which first reported the news.

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The company, which, among other pharmaceutical manufacturing, produces trendy weight-loss and diabetes drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, will develop a new 1.4 million-square-foot fill and finishing manufacturing plant at 2641 Powhatan Road in Clayton, N.C., The project will effectively double the combined space of the three facilities it currently operates in the state in what is one of the largest expansions in Novo Nordisk’s history. 

“Through this expansion and continued investment in our global production, we’re building Novo Nordisk’s ability to serve millions more people living with serious chronic diseases in the future,” said Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO of Novo Nordisk, in a statement.

Novo Nordisk expects the expanded operations to create 1,000 new jobs, on top of the 2,500 workers already employed by the drugmaker in N.C. The company first set foot in Clayton in the 1990s, slowly expanding since. 

“Clayton was the first manufacturing site for Novo Nordisk in the U.S., and this new, large-scale investment confirms the continued importance of our production facilities there as cornerstones of our company’s growth,” added Henrik Wulff, executive vice president of the company’s product supply, quality and information technology.

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners earlier this week approved a new version of its 12-year incentive deal with the company, which it originally passed in 2022, to support its local expansion efforts, per Business Journals.

Novo Nordisk purchased and rezoned land on Powhatan Road, near its existing facility in Clayton, in anticipation of the expansion, Business Journals reported. Construction on the 56-acre facility, about 25 miles southeast of Downtown Raleigh, is already underway, and is expected to finish by 2029. 

“Thirty-one years ago, Novo Nordisk decided to make a new home here in Clayton,” said Butch Lawter, chair of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. “Then, in 2016, they announced a new facility right across the street — the single largest life sciences investment on state record at the time. Today, they’re breaking that record again … with a third facility, 1,000 new jobs and a vote of confidence in the partnerships we have forged in the community over the decades.”

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.