BOULDER - Durham, N.C.-based KBI Biopharma, Inc., announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Merck & Co. Inc.'s microbial process development and manufacturing operations in Boulder in a deal that could bring dozens of local jobs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

KBI is a contract pharmaceutical research and manufacturing company with more than 170 clients globally in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, academia and the nonprofit world. Merck's operations reside in three buildings in Boulder, 2500, 2590 and 5797 Central Ave.

The acquisition allows KBI to ramp up its development and manufacturing operations.

In March, Colorado's Economic Development Commission approved a $1.4 million incentive package for KBI if it brought 123 jobs to Boulder. But KBI spokesman Andrew Cohen offered no comment or timeline for when any additional KBI jobs might come to Boulder.

Lainie Keller, director of global communications for Merck (NYSE: MRK), said all 30 Merck employees in Boulder have been retained by KBI. Keller said the Boulder facility provided analytical and technical support for Merck's biologics pipeline and produced R-Trypsin, an enzyme used in the manufacture of vaccines and other biologics.

Privately-held KBI employs about 220 people between its two North Carolina locations and Boulder, Cohen said.

"We are very pleased to continue to advance our partnership with Merck, and to welcome this very highly regarded team of scientists in Boulder to the KBI team," KBI president and chief executive said in a press release.

The company statement noted that KBI will continue to provide development and manufacturing services to Merck at the Boulder site as well as to third-party customers. KBI will continue to support Merck programs from its two plants in North Carolina.