INC Research, one of the largest CROs, is planning to move its headquarters to a new site in North Carolina, invest $38 million and add 550 jobs over the next five years.
The move, as reported by local newspaper The News & Observer, was announced at a news conference with Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina. It includes moving INC Research’s 1,000 or so employees from the current Raleigh, North Carolina-based headquarters to the nearby Perimeter Park office complex in Morrisville, N.C., and as a result, allow the CRO to house all its 1,375 workers in one place.
The company stands to receive more than $8.4 million from the state government if it meets its 550 hiring goals within the five-year time frame, and another $1 million may also be provided by Wake County and the town of Morrisville if the incentives plan passes both levels of government settings. That's likely, since Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman said he has no doubt that the town council will unanimously approve it, says the local paper.
It is a victory for the state of North Carolina, according to Adrienne Cole, Greater Raleigh Chamber economic development director, who said the company could have chosen to move to other areas including Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts or even outside the country to Singapore or the U.K. But there’s something in that North Carolina area INC Research found hard to resist—The Triangle.
That's a triangular eight-county research area supported by known institutes like Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, which provides “an educated and skilled workforce,” according to Chrisopher Gaenzle, INC’s general counsel and chief administrative officer.
The Triangle not only harbors Big Pharma companies like GlaxoSmithKline and big tech firms like IBM and Lenovo, but is also a national hub for CROs. Besides INC, Quintiles (now QuintilesIMS) and PRA Health Sciences are also located in that region. The state of North Carolina has in total about 63,000 employees working for 125 companies in the contract research business, said the state Commerce Secretary John Skvarla.
Founded in 1985, INC moved to Raleigh, N.C., in 2000 and currently employs more than 6,700 employees in about 50 countries worldwide, and its business footprints cover more than 110 countries, according to information provided by the company. It has been focusing on offering clinical development services in therapeutic areas like central nervous system, oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, etc. The company went public with an IPO in 2014, with 8.1 million shares of common stock offered to the public at a price of $18.50 per share.
The company enjoyed a revenue increase of 14% to $767.4 million for the last three quarters combined, thanks to sales in central nervous system and oncology offerings, according to its third quarter financial report. Its current stock is valued at around $51 apiece.
The company plans to move its headquarters in mid-2018, while the hiring has already started. After everything settles down, INC will be one of Morrisville’s top five employers and top 10 taxpayers.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the full name of PRA Health Sciences.