RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. plans to create up to 180 jobs by expanding its vaccine manufacturing facility in Durham.
Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement Thursday that Merck plans to invest about $300 million in the project. Plant manager John Wagner said the expansion will support Merck's growing global business.
The New Jersey-based company makes several vaccines including Gardasil, which helps protect young women against cervical cancer.
Merck completed initial construction on the facility this year. Construction is now under way for a sterile processing facility, quality testing labs and high speed packaging line.
The third phase of construction is scheduled to begin next year if a grant is approved by the Durham County Commission.