Despite rumors to the contrary, the total investment that drug maker Novartis is making in its Holly Springs vaccine has not increased.
During an event this morning in Holly Springs, Jamie Iudica, senior director of technical operations for the Holly Springs plant, was introduced as an executive of a company that is investing $600 million in Holly Springs.
Iudica quickly clarified that the total investment being made in the plant is actually closer to one billion dollars.
Rob Ali, a Novartis spokesman who also attended this morning's event, said the one billion dollar figure is not new.
"I think there's a little bit of confusion," he said.
Ali said Novartis has made that figure public in the past.
Ali said Novartis still expects the vaccine plant to employ 350 people. It currently has 233 employees.
Novartis expects to begin commercial production of flu vaccines in Holly Springs by 2013, although the facility will be running before then to secure regulatory approval.
The recipient of more than $700 million in government contracts to make flu vaccine, the plant is the largest of its kind under construction in the country.
It will be able to produce 150 million doses within six months of the start of any future pandemic.
The project was a major economic development win for Holly Springs, which borrowed $8.3 million to buy Novartis 167 acres of land and spent $12 million on road improvements and other infrastructure upgrades.
Wake County and the state chipped in incentives that brought the total package to more than $40 million.