Medical diagnostics company bioMerieux is expanding manufacturing at its U.S. headquarters in Durham with a $48 million project expected to add 44 new jobs at the facility.

The France-based company will be adding a new production line for its BacT/ALERT 3D culture products, which are used in the detection and identification of blood borne infections, such as sepsis, the company announced today. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

“This new production line for our BacT/ALERT blood culture bottles represents a significant investment for our Durham manufacturing facility,” Stefan Willemsen, President and CEO, bioMérieux Americas, said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue to invest in our technologies to meet customer demands and work together to fight the growing threat of sepsis and of antibiotic resistance.”

Severe sepsis strikes about 750,000 Americans each year, bioMerieux said. Estimates of between 28 and 50 percent of these patients eventually die from this condition – eclipsing the number of U.S. deaths from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Sepsis results in as much as $20.3 billion in aggregate health care costs.

bioMérieux expects construction to be complete by late 2016.