The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) and The Texas A&M University System’s proposal to establish a $91 million influenza-vaccines manufacturing facility as the anchor of the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Once constructed and operational, the Center's influenza manufacturing facility will be able to supply 50 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine within four months of an outbreak. BARDA conceived the public-private formula to assure a strong biosecurity product development and manufacturing base on U.S. soil, ensuring that the nation would have rapid access to vaccines and therapeutics in the advent of influenza pandemics, or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
"The Texas A&M Center, anchored by this facility, is expected to bring more than $41 billion in expenditures within the State of Texas over the next 25 years, and will add more than 6,800 direct and related jobs to Texas,” said Texas governor Rick Perry.
The TAMUS influenza vaccines manufacturing center will afford GSK the capabilities to eventually manufacture influenza vaccine based on a proprietary cell-culture line, EB66. Most existing influenza vaccine is manufactured using fertilized chicken eggs. The cell-culture process will supplement the vaccine supply from eggs, and facilitate a rapid national vaccine response in the event of a pandemic.
GSK Vaccines produces 30 vaccines worldwide, eleven of which are licensed by the FDA. The Texas A&M-GSK venture will complement and support the company's existing influenza vaccines operations, based in Quebec, Canada, and Dresden, Germany. GSK's operations hub in Marietta, Penn., will package, inspect and distribute influenza vaccine manufactured at the Texas A&M Center. In 2012, GSK provided more than 20 million flu shots for the U.S. market and recently became the first major U.S. vaccines provider to gain FDA-approval for a broader-protection, four-strain (quadrivalent) influenza vaccine shot that will be available in time for the 2013-14 flu season.
"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," said Antoon Loomans, senior vice president, GSK Vaccines. "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."
The Texas A&M Center for Innovation is lead by Dr. Brett Giroir, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives at the Texas A&M System, and a core team of A&M experts in biotechnology, infectious diseases, facilities planning and construction, federal acquisitions/contracting and government affairs. The partnership with GSK was founded on a long, collaborative relationship between Texas A&M and the Wallonia Region of Belgium, with specific planning for this project beginning in the spring of 2010.