A major announcement in Austin Tuesday came with implications from Brazos County to every corner of the country.
The Texas A&M System and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline will partner on a $91 million facility to manufacture millions of vaccines in Bryan/College Station.
Within the next few months, this new facility is set to be able to do limited things for the federal government, but when it's completely up and running, it will be on the front lines of keeping people safe in the case of a pandemic outbreak, by nature or by act of terror.
In just a four month period, the A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing will be able to put out 50 million vaccine doses if needed. The center will also develop and create treatments for a variety of threats that could emerge.
Economically, a study by the Perryman Group puts more than 6,800 jobs in Texas, many of them in our area over the 25-year contract. The revenue to local governments is an estimated $340 million over that quarter century.
Last year, A&M was chosen as one of three entities to get an innovation center from the federal government, and it appears to be paying off for the Brazos Valley in a big way.
Right now, GlaxoSmithKline produces 30 vaccines worldwide. Eleven are licensed by the F-D-A.
The following press release was issued by the Governor's office:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today was joined by Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, Dr. Brett Giroir and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vaccines Senior Vice President Antoon Loomans to announce a major partnership creating a state-of-the-art influenza-vaccine manufacturing facility in College Station. This $91 million facility will anchor the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM), which will play a major role in securing our country from bio-terrorism and global pandemic through the rapid development and manufacturing of vaccines to protect human life.
“Over the past decade, we have invested in innovative programs to prioritize research in our state at both our universities and in the private sector. This combined with Texas’ workforce and business climate have made us a leader in high-tech innovation, research, development and commercialization,” Gov. Perry said. “Not only will this center keep Americans safer from epidemic, it will bring in more than $41 billion to the state over the next 25 years and contribute to the creation of more than 6,800 jobs in Texas.”
This announcement builds on a series of significant investments the state has made over the last decade to elevate Texas to the forefront of biotech research and development, beginning in 2005, with the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine at Texas A&M University. Later, the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing was established to create a skilled bio-pharmaceutical workforce proficient in therapeutics manufacturing.
“We are honored to welcome GSK to Texas A&M as a key partner in the Center for Innovation,” Chancellor Sharp said. “GSK’s dedication to public service is well-aligned with the Texas A&M tradition of serving the nation and defining its future through research and scholarship. Equally important is the cultural and philosophical match between GSK and the A&M System, as reflected by GSK’s desire to collaborate with academia and the U.S. government, and their ongoing commitment to helping address global health scourges such as pandemic influenza and malaria.”
The foundation established by these investments helped create the infrastructure necessary for Texas A&M to be designated by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department as one of three centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing aimed at enhancing the nation’s emergency preparedness against emerging infectious diseases. The Texas A&M CIADM represents the largest commitment of a global biopharmaceutical company to partner in Texas, and is the only one of the three centers to be led by an academic institution.
“GSK is privileged to deepen our commitment to U.S. public health, as part of this unprecedented public-private collaboration to protect against pandemics and bio-threats,” Loomans said. “In Texas A&M we have found a partner with a rich tradition of service, and with pioneering technologies that will benefit the entire pharmaceutical industry in making vaccines available and accessible to all in need.”