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Is the bloom off the Biopolis rose?

The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, the brain child of billionaire David Murdock of Dole Foods, was hailed at its opening four years ago as a centerpiece of the state’s new biotech economy.

The state chips in $20 million a year of public funding to support the endeavor and the local government has spent money too on what has become known as Biopolis.

Just over a year ago, PPD, Inc. CEO Fred Eshelman announced that the contract drug research company was opening a site on the campus that could employ as many as 300 people when fully staffed.

Murdock proclaimed at the time,

The presence of PPD is only the beginning; the future is bright.

The future dimmed a little Wednesday. PPD officials announced that the company was leaving Biopolis, though it was never really there.  A PPD spokesperson cited the state of the economy for the decision but her statement also doesn’t bode well for the Center’s future.

Progress in developing, constructing and recruiting tenants to the North Carolina Research Campus has been much slower than we expected

If it doesn’t work out can we get our money back?

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