Pfizer announced this week that it has formed a partnership with biologics research company Abzena and will acquire its manufacturing facility in Sanford, located near the Colon Road exit along U.S. 1 in the northern part of Lee County.

According to the companies, upon completion of the state-of-the-art facility on Enterprise Park Drive, Abzena and Pfizer’s CentreOne manufacturing organization will collaborate “to advance complex biologic products to market.” The facility, according to Pfizer, will have extensive capabilities for producing biologics (medications developed from blood, proteins, viruses or living organisms) and will allow provide additional manufacturing capacity for Pfizer.

The new site will mean an addition 200 jobs in Sanford by 2025 (300 employees total, including the current staff of 100), bringing Pfizer’s total workforce in the state to more than 4,500 employees. According to Pfizer, the site will employ experts in both biological pharmaceutical sciences and biological manufacturing, “enabling Pfizer to offer a comprehensive co-development capability.” Since 2017, Pfizer has invested more than $5 billion to support the ongoing growth of its manufacturing footprint in the U.S., with $1.4 billion invested in North Carolina.

“Biologics continue to be an integral part of Pfizer’s pipeline and this acquisition will expand our research, clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity and help us accelerate the development of our pipeline products as well as support our Pfizer CentreOne customers,” said Mike McDermott, chief global supply officer and executive vice president at Pfizer. “This site is located near our existing Rocky Mount and Sanford manufacturing sites, enabling access to turn-key services spanning large molecule drug substance through fill finish. We’re excited to welcome the site into our manufacturing network as we continue to enhance our expertise and offerings.”

Matt Stober, Abzena’s CEO, said, “I am very proud of the facility and our colleagues who worked tirelessly in its construction, and we look forward to building our future collaboration with Pfizer.”

The transaction is expected to close this spring. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.