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KANNAPOLIS, NC-The developer of the North Carolina Research Campus aims to attract more private-sector tenants after signing Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. to a 40,000-sf lease. The new office is expected to attract 200 to 300 jobs over the next two to three years, with a focus on clinical research.

PPD, based in Wilmington, NC, will share space in the campus’ Medical Office Building with Carolinas Healthcare System. The new space will be occupied by researchers, project managers, and other medical and scientific personnel to collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

The 350-acre campus, now under construction and eventually totaling 500,000 sf of office and laboratory space in three facilities, seeks to bring together scientists from universities and corporations in a collaborative environment. Its goal, among others, is to allow for easier transfer of college-generated research to the private sector.

“It’s a big, strategic connection for us,” Clyde Higgs, vice president of business development for the North Carolina Research Campus, tells GlobeSt.com about the PPD lease. “It’s a good recruiter for us as well as for other industry partners.”

Researchers from Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College System will occupy space at the campus, providing a neutral site for collaboration to develop life-saving therapies. PPD will join several other non-collegiate tenants at the campus include Anatomics, Angiogen and Red Hat.

The North Carolina Research Campus is a $1.5 billion, public-private partnership established by David Murdock, chairman and owner of Castle & Cooke Inc. and Dole Food Co. Dole, a fresh-food supplier whose brand is mostly associated with pineapple and bananas, has a research and development center at the Kannapolis campus.

Murdock, in prepared remarks, stated that he had companies like PPD in mind when he launched the campus three years ago to discover cures for deadly and debilitating diseases. “The presence of PPD is only the beginning. The future is bright,” he added.

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