NJ-based Braeburn Pharma to hire 52 in Durham County

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based developer of pill-free drugs for psychiatric disorders, announced Wednesday that it will locate a manufacturing and development plant in Durham County and create 52 jobs over the next 5 years.

The company plans to invest $19.9 million in the new facility. Braeburn has signed a lease with Longfellow Real Estate Partners for 35,000 square feet of lab and office space at Keystone Technology Park on Davis Drive.

The vacant property was formerly leased as temporary space by Fidelity Investments. Breaburn chose Durham County over several sites in New Jersey.

The company is eligible to receive a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund if it meets investment and job-creation milestones. The grant is to be matched by $50,000 from the N.C. Biotech Center, $50,000 from Longfellow Real Estate Partners and $75,400 from the N.C. Community College System for workforce training.

The new jobs will focus on biomanufacturing and research and development. The average annual salary of the facility’s workers will be $75,769, above the Durham County average of $66,913, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office said Wednesday.

Braeburn focuses on implantable and injectable treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as addiction, pain and schizophrenia. The company is developing its first drug, Probuphine, an implant to treat opioid dependence. The drug was recommended for approval by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee in January and the FDA is expected to rule by May 27 as to whether doctors can prescribe the drug to their patients.

The four-year-old company is affiliated with Apple Tree Partners, a New York venture capital firm that launches companies and invests in existing companies. Apple Tree’s investment total in Braeburn is not disclosed, but two of Braeburn’s five directors are Apple Tree partners.

According to the company’s website, Braeburn is also developing an injection for treating opioid addiction and pain, a six-month implant for treating schizophrenia, and a novel molecule for treating schizophrenia.

The company does not disclose its total employees.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski