BOULDER - The state of Colorado would pay a Durham, N.C.-based contract pharmaceutical research and manufacturing company $1.4 million if the company brings 123 jobs to Boulder.

The state Economic Development Commission approved the incentives March 13. Officials from KBI Biopharma Inc. were not immediately available for comment.

According to its website, KBI was founded in 1996 and has 160 clients worldwide, including pharmaceutical, biopharma and academic organizations.

Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, said he has met with KBI, but that it's not clear whether the company actually will choose Boulder for its expansion.

If KBI did open a facility here, it would be joining the ranks of such name-brand bioscience firms as Amgen (AMGN: Nasdaq), Covidien, LTD (COV: NYSE) and Array Biopharma Inc. (ARRY: Nasdaq), Harald said. "Bioscience is one of Boulder's key industries," he said.

Liz Hanson, Boulder's economic vitality coordinator, said KBI clearly would qualify for some of the rebates the city offers major employers, but that the city and the economic council have not had detailed discussions with the firm.

"When companies look to move here," Hanson said, "a lot of times the state application occurs first and then conversations with the city occur later."