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In the early 1980s, Genentech produced the first biotech drug – insulin. North Carolina’s leaders took note, and planted the seeds to grow a life science sector in North Carolina. In 1984, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center formed as a private, nonprofit company – the first state-funded effort to grow a state’s life science strengths.

Thirty-five years later, we have a lot to celebrate.

A handful of companies has grown to more than 700. Major names in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and contract research have grown – and changed names – and, along with cutting-edge startup companies, now employ more than 64,500 of us. The far-reaching ripple effects of this sector support 240,000 jobs for North Carolinians.

We have a lot planned this year – an anniversary celebration in October, some videos, and your stories – to celebrate a significant milestone and North Carolina’s global life science leadership.