US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles Transnational has officially opened its new 10-story headquarters in Durham, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP).

Quintiles committed in November 2006 to expanding in its home state, where it already employed more than 1,100 staff in Durham County and RTP. The CRO was persuaded not to shift its centre of operations to other territories such as Kansas or Missouri by state and local grants and tax incentives worth around US$23 million.

In return, Quintiles committed to creating 1,000 new jobs in North Carolina over a six-year period and investing US$10.1 million in the new headquarters, according to the State of North Carolina. Tri Properties, a private developer that leases the new building to Quintiles, put in around US$50 million on top of that.

According to local reports, Quintiles has already delivered on more than 400 of those jobs. And unlike many of its competitors, the company appears to be riding out the recession relatively unscathed.

“We’ve had double-digit growth for the last two years,” chairman and chief executive officer Dennis Gillings told The News & Observer. “And we’re continuing to grow this year. We’re growing our profit faster than our revenue but probably the leading indicator is the growth of our backlog, which is in the high [teens] … or low 20 digits.”

Quintiles has been “surprised by the high cancellation rates of some of our competitors”, Gillings added. “Our cancellation rate is in the low single digits.”