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ProKidney drops $25.5M on North Carolina manufacturing site for cell therapy prospect

ProKidney is the latest company to join the bustling North Carolina manufacturing scene with a $25.5 million initial investment.

The company has purchased 22 acres of land and a 210,000-square-foot facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, and will begin preparing it to produce its lead drug. The renal autologous cell therapy, known as REACT, is currently in phase 3 development to treat diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The deal represents “an important component of our strategic manufacturing buildout,” CEO Tim Bertram said in the company’s statement. “If approved, we intend, along with our current Winston-Salem facility, to supply enough REACT to match initial commercial demand.”

ProKidney is eyeing a 2026 FDA submission for the therapy, with a potential launch to follow later that year, according to Bertram. In the meantime, the company is “developing our infrastructure in preparation for ProKidney’s potential shift to a commercial organization,” the CEO added.

The city of Greensboro, Guilford County and the North Carolina State Economic Investment Committee chipped in up to $13.3 million in tax credits for the project. Those funds will be based upon ProKidney completing certain milestones, including the creation of at least 330 new jobs before the end of 2028.

In addition, the tax credits require the company to spend about $483 million in total on the project by the end of 2027.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.

The company’s REACT gene therapy is designed to delay or end the need for dialysis in patients with diabetic CKD. ProKidney picked up the candidate through its $62 million buyouts of Twin City Bio and inRegen in 2019. The company recently completed enrollment in a phase 2 study and anticipates reporting preliminary data later this year, it said in its first-quarter earnings release.

With the project, ProKidney will join the likes of Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, which are both pouring money into their North Carolina manufacturing operations. Earlier this year, Lilly revealed a $450 million expansion to its plant in Research Triangle Park plant.

Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk in March added another 104 acres to its Clayton presence, which includes two production facilities.