DURHAM – KBI Biopharma is expanding its footprint in the Triangle, announcing plans Tuesday to build a $150 million manufacturing facility that will have positions for more than 200 jobs in operations and quality assurance.

It’s the latest in a series of life science-related facilities to be built in the Triangle, including a “gigafactory” for ApiJect Systems and a plant to be built by Eli Lilly.

KBI is constructing the facility in partnership with a “pharmaceutical partner” it did not identify for the project.

The facility is to be used for “manufacturing of their therapeutic protein programs,” KBI said.

“Expansion of our US-based cell culture operations is a key investment to support our clients’ commercialization strategies,” said KBI CEO Dirk Lange in the announcement. “This state-of-the-art facility will leverage the latest innovation in automation and digitalization to best meet the needs for our clients.”

KBI Biopharma taking office and lab space in RTP Venture at Imperial Center

KBI already operates a mammalian drug development lab in the Patriot Park industrial park.

The expansion is the latest growth spurt for KBI, which originated as a spinout of Atlanta life sciences company Kinetic Biosystems and located in Durham in 2003 with the help of a $1 million startup loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The new RTP location will house up to six 2,000-liter, single-use bioreactor systems and associated harvest and purification equipment, which can produce more than 100 commercial batches annually. In tandem with the manufacturing operations, KBI will employ advanced analytical services for commercial product characterization and release testing capabilities to support commercial launch and routine supply.

“KBI has helped to advance more than 300 molecules in more than 70 unique indications. By expanding our commercial manufacturing footprint with this facility, we are able to provide our partners with launch material and market supply,” Lange said. “We chose to build this new facility in the Research Triangle Park because it gives us access to highly-specialized resources. The combination of talent, technical and academic training in this region is outstanding, which is critical as we are expanding our impact by serving more clients and patients from this new facility.”

‘Gigafactory’ campus for vaccine production, hundreds of jobs coming to Triangle