PRINCETON, N.J., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, developer of medications for opioid addiction and other chronic neurological diseases, will proceed with plans to develop a manufacturing and research facility in Durham County, North Carolina, despite the enactment of HB2, the controversial law that overturns local ordinances to prohibit discrimination against the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. Braeburn's decision to move forward with its $19.9 million investment is expected to create at least 52 jobs in the area.
According to a recent poll, there is minimal support for HB2 among North Carolina voters and most voters believe it is having a negative impact on the economy. Durham County's strong record on non-discrimination against the LGBT community, including the Durham Chamber of Commerce's public statement against HB2, proves that advocacy for civil rights is highly valued in the County.
"Diversity and non-discrimination are core to the identity of Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and we consider our own organization's diverse make-up to be a competitive advantage," said Behshad Sheldon, President and CEO of Braeburn. "We proudly stand with the growing list of national and local businesses who have spoken out against the injustice of HB2 and in favor of LGBT rights. We seriously considered moving our manufacturing facility to another state to send a clear message about the depth of our commitment. Ultimately, however, we concluded that abandoning Braeburn's job creation plans in Durham County would unfairly penalize a community that shares Braeburn's commitment to equality."
In a recent meeting between Sheldon and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who shares the view that HB2 is unjust and needs to be overturned, the Attorney General argued that Braeburn could help more by advocating from within North Carolina than by protesting through departure. In addition, Braeburn is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit filed on May 9, 2016 in North Carolina federal court seeking a determination that HB2 violates federal non-discrimination law and the Obama administration's guidelines issued to public schools on May 13, 2016.
As North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory explained in a recent meeting with Sheldon in which he also encouraged Braeburn to stay in North Carolina, it now appears that federal courts will move swiftly to rule on the legality of HB2, which means that the issues presented by HB2 are now national in scope rather than unique to North Carolina. Braeburn expects that the DOJ will ultimately prevail and that eventually all states will be prohibited from enacting and enforcing laws like HB2.
"Braeburn is committed to leading by example. We will build an inclusive workforce in Durham that respects the rights and dignity of all of our employees as well as the surrounding community," said Sheldon. "We will also advocate for progressive public policy, do our part to help overturn HB2, and support those who share our commitments to diversity and non-discrimination. Battling stigma is central to our mission as we develop medicines for people with opioid addiction, we cannot and will not support stigmatization of any member of our society."
About the Durham Manufacturing Facility
Braeburn's manufacturing and research facility will be responsible for manufacturing finished product for all of Braeburn's pipeline products, including clinical and commercial supply. The 33,940 square-foot facility, which is projected to be operational in early 2017, is located in Morrisville, North Carolina. The quality of talent in Research Triangle Park and a strong pharmaceutical presence is the reason Braeburn selected this location for its facility. Braeburn will employ highly-skilled bio-manufacturing workers as well as research and development specialists. Compensation will vary but is expected to average $75,769 annually, well above the county average of $66,913.
About Braeburn Pharmaceuticals
Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, an Apple Tree Partners company, is a pill-free pharmaceutical company delivering precision medicine in neuroscience. Long-acting therapeutic treatment options can be essential to improving patient outcomes and facilitating recovery in chronic, neurological and psychiatric conditions, which are often complicated by stigma and present significant public health challenges. Braeburn's investigational product pipeline consists of long-acting implantable and injectable therapies for opioid addiction, pain and schizophrenia. Candidates include: Probuphine®, a six-month buprenorphine implant for treatment of opioid addiction; CAM2038, weekly and monthly subcutaneous injection depot formulations of buprenorphine for treatment of opioid addiction and pain; a risperidone six-month implant for treatment of schizophrenia; and a novel molecule, ATI-9242, for treatment of schizophrenia. More information on Braeburn, can be found at www.braeburnpharmaceuticals.com.
Sherry Feldberg or Rachel Gross
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SOURCE Braeburn Pharmaceuticals