DURHAM, N.C. — United Therapeutics officially confirmed Tuesday its plans to build a new 100,000 square-foot facility in the Durham County portion of Research Triangle Park.

N.C. Governor Mike Easley announced on March 28 that United Therapeutics would pick RTP for the new facility. However, the company also considered a bid by the state of Maryland, where the company has its headquarters, for the new facility.

The company is expected to hire 160 new workers and invest more than $50 million in the new plant, according to Easley’s office.

United Therapeutics currently leases space in RTP for its N.C. operation.

The new facility should open by 2008. United Therapeutics focuses on drugs to treat cardiovascular disease, cancer and infectious diseases.

“With support from the Durham Chamber, Durham County, and the State of North Carolina, United Therapeutics is excited to begin the due diligence and planning needed to build our new administrative, research, and manufacturing facility in the Durham County portion of RTP,” said Roger Jeffs, the company’s president and chief operating officer, in a statement. “Being in RTP allows UT to be able to attract the workforce our company needs and allows us to tap into the resources and knowledge of the local universities and the creative forces present in RTP to continue developing a productive product pipeline for our company.”

The state and Durham County combined to offer United Therapeutics $825,000 in incentives to pick RTP.

United Therapeutics: www.unither.com