The first crucial piece of Texas A&M's new National Biodefense Center is now open.
It'll be instrumental in developing vaccines for disease outbreaks.
The Texas A&M National Center For Therapeutics Manufacturing building will bring thousands of jobs to the region and state and save lives in the future.
It's a new fight against infectious diseases.
The Texas A&M Center for Innovation In Advanced Development and Manufacturing will help create mass vaccinations for the nation.
"What today means is that Bryan / College Station officially opened as one of the most important biotechnology hubs within the country," said Dr. Brett Giroir, the principal investigator for the center.
Giroir is also the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for the Texas A&M University System.
"In about five years on a moment's notice we will be able to make 50 million doses of the influenza vaccine in case of a pandemic in only 16 weeks, with our first doses available in 12 weeks, he explained.
Along with G-Con and Caliber Biotherapeutics it's a another piece to the B/CS Biocorridor.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison tells us the effects will have a reach far beyond just Aggieland.
"I think this is going to affect all kinds of not only diseases but cancer so that they are talking about manufacturing a vaccine that can address a specific kind of cancer like lymphoma," said Hutchison, (R) Texas.
This research and technology will enable scientists to save lives by not only responding to threats from mother nature, but even bioterrorism.
"We saw in this consortium the ability to bring those elements together and promise to keep America safe," said Robin Robinson, Ph.D., Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The project is expected to bring a thousand new jobs to the region within five years and upwards of 6,000 in the region and state over the life of the 25 year agreement with the federal government.
"We can help protect ourselves, our children and grandchildren and so we feel great about this happening," said Dr. Giroir.
Protection against future threats including pandemics, chemical, biological or even nuclear events.
Scientists at the center will also be manufacturing vaccines and other products for the strategic national stockpile.
The new center was made possible by an initial $285.6 million public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as private businesses and the State of Texas.
It's the only one of the three designated national centers to be run by a university system.
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