Company Profiles

From GlaxoSmithKline, to DSM, to Quintiles, North Carlina is home to a large number of leading firms within the biotechnology sector. The companies operating in North Carolina are a mix of corporations who have their main headquarters in the state as well as regional or national offices of foreign-based firms. The following five companies are top employers in the biomedical industry in North Carolina based on employment data from Dun and Bradstreet and CGGC communications with officials in the relevant firms:

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) researches, develops, and manufactures pharmaceutical products. It is one of the few companies focused on finding cures to the World Health Organizations’ three priority diseases: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Headquarters: Brentford, England (World); Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)
Total Employees (2012): 99,488
NC Employees (2013): 5,000
NC Locations: RTP, Zebulon
Total Revenues (2012): ~$13.5 billion
Year Established: 1830
Primary NAICS: 325412
Sources: (1; 2; 3)

Brands & Market Segments

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company that has developed a diverse range of pharmaceutical products and brands, including Advair, Lucozade, Sensodyne, Aquafresh, Ribena, Horlicks, Panadol, and Turns. With nearly 100,000 total employees, it is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Strategy & Competitiveness

GSK invested more than $5 billion on research and development in 2012. Its R&D priorities are the creation of new medicines and vaccines that will offer treatment for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illness. The company’s strategic priorities are to provide diverse, quality products while also simplifying their operating model (1). The company’s large size and its vast library of patent-protected drugs is one of its primary competitive advantages—GSK’s product offerings span most major therapeutic classes and provide it with a layer of security against individual competitors.

Global Footprint

GSK boasts of having a presence in more than 100 countries, with 87 different manufacturing sites and R&D centers in the United Kingdom, US, Spain, Belgium and China (2). GSK’s nearly 100,000 employees are spread throughout the world, with Europe representing its largest single source of labor (38,788). The company has another 17,000 employees in the US at hubs in Philadelphia and North Carolina.

  1. GSK. (2014). Retrieved February 17 from
  2. GSK. (2012). Annual Report 2012. Retrieved from
  3. GSK Public Relations. (2014). Personal communication, February 2014.

Quintiles bills itself as the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development services and commercial outsourcing services. It is a contract research organization that provides clinical and product development services for pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, and medical devices.

Headquarters: Durham, NC
Total Employees (2013): 28,200
NC Employees (2012): 2,600
NC Locations: Durham
Total Revenues (2012): $4.87 billion
Year Established: 1982
Primary NAICS: 541711
Sources: (1; 3; 4)

Brands & Market Segments

Quintiles focuses on Phase II-IV clinical trials and related laboratory and analytical activities. Its Integrated Healthcare Services offering provides a range of services: contract pharmaceutical sales forces; outcome-based consulting; real-world research; and other healthcare solutions. According to the company’s annual report, product development accounts for 77% of total revenue while the Integrated Healthcare Services represents 23% (2).

Strategy & Competitiveness

The company has a substantial number of medical doctors and employees who have a Ph. D. degree, taking advantage of the high number of workers with advanced degrees near their global headquarters in North Carolina. The company uses its statistical, scientific and medical expertise to drive innovation.

Global Footprint

Although its headquarters is in North Carolina, Quintiles has a presence in roughly 100 countries (3). Of those, the company has a significant presence in Europe, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China (2).

  1. Quintiles Public Relations. (2014). Personal communication, February 2014.
  2. Quintiles. (2013). 2013 Annual Report. Retrieved from
  3. Quintiles. (2014). Retrieved Feb. 17 from
  4. Hoover’s. (2012). Quintiles Transnational Holdings, Inc. Company Profile. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)

RTI’s mission is to first and foremost improve the human condition. The way they plan to make this happen is through dedicated research and analysis of major industries within the United States and around the globe.

Headquarters: Research Triangle Park, NC
Total Employees (2012): 3,740
NC Employees (2012): 2,200
NC Locations: RTP, Durham, Raleigh
Total Revenues (2012): $734 million
Year Established: 1958
Primary NAICS: 541712
Sources: (1; 2; 3; 4)

Brands & Market Segments

RTI makes its revenue from running state-of-the-art tests and studies. Then with all of the proprietary data they create original case studies. These studies have covered a plethora of different industries and curriculums from: International Development, Discovery Science, Engineering, Statistics, and Health Solutions (1).

Strategy & Competitiveness

With RTI’s early beginnings in North Carolina, the company has always had a strong connection to the state and the rest of the United States. Their strategy includes strong partnerships with the nearby universities, such as Duke, UNC and NC State (1). With these powerful educational institutes by RTI’s side, they have a strong edge with new and factual data. On top of all of the educational institutes, RTI makes a large commitment to the US government and domestic businesses (1). With this national presence RTI has created a strong bubble of educational, technical, and research development.

Since RTI has such a powerful research team, they are able to take a lot of their current abilities across the globe. Just in the year 2012, RTI has begun to work on data analysis of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD’s) (2). They are currently focusing on 15 different countries and 7 different diseases, with over 300 million people treated. This was all made possible because of the ENVISION award that was given to RTI by USAID (2).

Global Footprint

While RTI’s headquarters is located in North Carolina, it has 11 branches in the US, including San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago (1). Internationally, RTI has offices in nine countries (Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, China, Indonesia, Kenya, India, and El Salvador).

  1. RTI. (2014). Retrieved Feb. 17 from
  2. RTI. (2012). Annual Report. Retrieved from
  3. Hoover’s. (2013). Research Triangle Institute Company Profile.
  4. Martin, E. (2012). “A world of knowledge: RTI International thinks it can continue to flourish by using minds over matters.” Business North Carolina. Retrieved from
DSM Pharmaceuticals

DSM Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Royal DSM N.V., is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of pharmaceutical products across the globe. DSM internally supports all this with state-of-the-art technology, from production and quality processes, to project management systems, and regulatory support. Within Royal DSM, the DSM Pharmaceuticals subsidiary is headquartered in Greenville, NC and is focused in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Headquarters: Heerlen, Netherlands
Total Employees (2012): 23,498 (Total); 1,200 (DSM Pharmaceuticals)
NC Employees (2012): 1,061
NC Locations: DSM Pharmaceuticals (Greenville, NC)
Total Revenues (2012): $12.1 billion; $171 million (DSM Pharmaceuticals)
Year Established: 1902 (as a coal company)
Primary NAICS: 325412
Sources: (3)

Brands & Market Segments

DSM manufactures many different forms of finished dosages of medicines. They add value to their manufacturing through their ability to efficiently produce, research, and then deliver their commercialized product. They are the only contract manufacturing organization (CMO) to be able to cover all of the Pre-Clinical, Phase (1, 2, 3) and commercialization segments.

Strategy & Competitiveness

Efficiency is what allows the company to stay ahead of its competitors with faster production times and more product diversity. As mentioned earlier, DSM is strong in keeping the entire manufacturing process in-house.

As a major global pharmaceutical manufacturer, DSM plans on keeping its competitive edge through creating a high global quality of life. Their four main business model drivers are Quality, Reliability, Traceability and Sustainability. In an industry that is constantly adapting, it is DSM’s focus to create a product that will sustain its environment and its customer.

Global Footprint

DSM has a highly efficient manufacturing plant in Greenville. The company has 38 U.S. sites, 49 in North America, and its global headquarters is in the Netherlands. Within the state of North Carolina, the facility in Greenville, NC is focused on pharmaceutical chemicals and offers full-scale cGMP primary and secondary manufacturing and pharmaceutical dosage form manufacturing (4). The facility is considered the largest contract manufacturing facility in North America (5). The 1.5-million-square-foot complex, spread across 29 buildings on 640 acres, is a leading facility for the manufacture of aseptic liquid fill, lyophilized products and oral dosage forms, along with related services (5). Since 2001, DSM has invested more than $160 million in the Greenville facility (2).

In November 2013, Royal DSM announced a merger with Patheon, a Durham-based company that bought Banner Pharmacaps in High Point for $255 million in December 2012 (5). The new company will be headquartered in Durham, NC. With some 8,300 employees, it will be one of the top three contract manufacturers in the industry (5). Banner reportedly has about 500 employees at its High Point headquarters campus and is the world's second-largest pharmaceutical business focused on delivering proprietary soft gel formulations that make oral medications easier to swallow (5). Banner’s headquarters are in High Point with additional research labs and manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, Canada and Mexico (6). Patheon moved from Canada to Durham in 2008 (7).

  1. DSM. (2014). Retrieved Feb. 17 from
  2. Summers, J. (2013, March 7). DSM Named Pitt County Industry of the Year. Retrieved from
  3. Hoover’s. (2014). Royal DSM N.V. Company Profile. Retrieved Feb. 17.
  4. DSM. (2014). About DSM – Facilities. Retrieved Feb. 18 from
  5. Shamp, J. (2013, Nov. 21). DSM/Patheon Deal Hits 3 NC Regions. Retrieved from
  6. Patheon, Inc. (2013). Form 10-K/A for the Year Ending 10/31/13. Retrieved from
  7. Patheon. (2014). Patheon: About: Our History. Retrieved Feb. 24, 2014 from
Novartis AG

Novartis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. As of 2011, it has the second highest sales in the industry (1). As a global organization, their mission is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to prevent and cure diseases, to ease suffering, and to enhance the quality of life (2).

Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland
Total Employees (2012): 127,724
NC Employees (2012): 1,663
NC Locations: Wilson, Holly Springs, Durham, Greensboro
Total Revenue (2012):   $57.6 billion
Year Established: 1996 (merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz)
Primary NAICS: 325414
Sources: (2; 3; 4)

Brands & Market Segments

Novartis’s North Carolina headquarters is in Greensboro. This is the location of their animal health products production facility. These products are used to treat pets for ailments such as parasites, arthritis, behavior, etc. This segment of Novartis is what also includes mass healthcare products for livestock. These products include vaccines all the way from cow farms to fish farms (2).

Strategy & Competitiveness

As one of the largest global pharmaceutical companies, Novartis’s strategy is to become as large and influential as possible (1). It is predicted that with all of the acquisitions that the firm is making, it should be the largest pharmaceutical firm, by sales, in 2018 (1). This growth mindset is what is keeping Novartis ahead of all of its competitors. Instead of internal growth and innovation, they are looking for companies that have the latest technology and patents and buying them out.

Since Novartis Animal Health is located in Greensboro, NC, they are in a prime location to test and sell their product to local farms in the state. North Carolina has a thriving hog farming industry that is a prime example of a customer that could purchase Novartis’s pharmaceuticals for their livestock (2).

Global Footprint

Sandoz, Inc., a generic pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company, employs about 450 workers at its production site in Wilson and a smaller number at a facility in Durham (4). Novartis Animal Health has 250 workers at its Greensboro headquarters and almost 500 at a facility in Holly Springs (4). Worldwide headquarters are located in Basel, Switzerland.

  1. Novartis on track to become world’s biggest drug maker.
  2. Novartis. (2014). Retrieved Feb. 17 from
  3. Hoover’s. (2013). Novartis AG Company Profile. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  4. Novartis AG Public Relations. (2014). Personal communication, February 2014.