The investment will be used to increase the production of dialyzers, a critical component used in hemodialysis therapy (HD).

Through the latest investment, the company will add 230,000ft² and several production lines in the Opelika site.

Baxter, which currently employs around 170 people at the facility, intends to create an additional 200 jobs by 2016, in order to support the expansion.

Baxter International chairman and CEO Robert Parkinson, Jr said the company’s expansion in Opelika will provide increased production of dialyzers, which are a critical component to the delivery of hemodialysis, a life-sustaining therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

"In addition to supporting a greater number of patients having access to therapy, the expansion is an investment in the communities where our employees live and work," Parkinson added.

"The collaboration with Governor Robert Bentley, Mayor Gary Fuller and the many other local officials was a key component of our expansion plan."

Baxter noted that there are nearly two million patients with ESRD globally.

Baxter, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products for hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions.

Image: Baxter’s hemodialysis dialyzer plant in Opelika, Alabama. Photo: courtesy of Baxter International Inc.