Tonix Pharmaceuticals opens advanced development center in Dartmouth
DARTMOUTH — With a vaccine in development to prevent smallpox and monkeypox and focusing on new products to fight potential new or emerging pathogens, Tonix Pharmaceuticals is also continuing its work to help people with disorders chronic central nervous system and rare diseases.
Co-founder, CEO and Chairman Dr. Seth Lederman calls the biopharmaceutical company’s new advanced clinical-stage development center in North Dartmouth at New Bedford Business Park the crown jewel of its efforts to help with pandemic preparedness.
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Tonix facility on Tuesday afternoon, 10 months after the inauguration, Lederman spoke about the work that will take place inside to develop vaccines to treat a range of diseases and conditions. infectious disorders.
“This facility will transform our efforts across the research and development spectrum in support of vital national health interests, providing broad national capability to develop and produce countermeasures to defeat COVID-19. , monkeypox, smallpox and any future threats as they may emerge,” he said.
To show support for culture in the New Bedford community, Lederman presented a $50,000 donation to Zeiterion Performing Art Center Executive Director Rosemary Gill and Beppie Huidekoper, representing the Board of Trustees.
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A sign of diversified economic growth
With Massachusetts recognized as a leader in life sciences and biotechnology, Congressman Bill Keating said Tonix exemplifies the growth potential in Greater New Bedford, with Dartmouth officials successfully securing the corporate commitment and New Bedford being recognized as a platinum bioready community. (Ninety cities and towns in Massachusetts are designated bioready for adopting local policies that encourage the renovation or new construction of biotechnology labs and manufacturing facilities.)
Keating said they see the prospects of new, well-paying jobs coming to fruition and they see the opportunity for broad-based economic growth in a region that also anticipates the positive impacts of offshore wind and traditional industries, including including tourism.
“There are more than 50,000 university graduates every year in this region to provide jobs, and the relative cost of housing and real estate is terrific here compared to what is happening in other regions,” said- he declared.
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Keating thanked employees and potential new hires for the work they do to turn hope into reality for those suffering from life-altering illnesses, including fibromyalgia and chronic migraine, and in cases of rejection of organ transplants, for the difference they can make in people’s lives. Lives.
Why Tonix Chose New Bedford Business Park
The 45,000 square foot biosafety level 2 site, capable of manufacturing complex live virus vaccines at clinical scale, has 32 employees, but the hiring process is ongoing. At full capacity, the facility can employ up to 70 researchers, scientists and support staff.
After determining that the Boston area made the most sense for such a facility, Lederman began looking for a site on Route 128. However, even during a pandemic, the 128 was a traffic jam and the team began to look elsewhere. The New Bedford Business Park was chosen as the site.
“What brought us here is primarily that the product we’re making is a complex product, and nowhere in the world is there more expertise in making complex biologics than Boston,” said- he declared. “We were made to look a little further south and just decided it was a really good fit.”
Lederman was a professor for about 20 years at Columbia Medical School and worked in some of the same areas as Tonix staff.
He said the willingness of the Dartmouth and New Bedford communities to work with the company and the commute from Worcester and other locations for an enthusiastic, willing workforce helped determine the location.
Mayor Jon Mitchell along with Dartmouth officials including Board Chairman David Tatelbaum, City Administrator Shawn MacInnes, Director of Planning Christine O’Grady and Director of Development Cody Haddad celebrated the choice of the location.
Mitchell credited Lederman for leading the way for the biotech industry in the New Bedford area and recognizing the area’s ability to develop a skilled workforce.
“It’s the place that can be competitive, not just in commercial fishing, important as that is for us, not just in offshore wind, important as that will be for us, or in the maritime sector and the traditional manufacturing, but also further up the research value chain,” he said.
Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Undersecretary Ashley Stolba, who oversees many public infrastructure projects for the Baker-Polito administration, said the life sciences industry is such an important part of the growth of the Commonwealth.
“We’re so grateful to companies like Tonix for choosing not just Massachusetts, but the South Coast as well,” she said. “Southeastern Massachusetts continues to grow as a hub for life science and biotechnology development, and in doing so, you are helping our administration achieve our goals of staying at the forefront of innovation.”
According to Facilities and Engineering Manager Bill Riordan, product development labs are online, operational and approved by the Centers for Disease Control, and manufacturing teams are expected to begin work Aug. 1 with the goal of produce their first batch by the end of the year.
Standard-Times editor Kathryn Gallerani can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @kgallreporter. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.