AUSTIN, Texas and PHILADELPHIA, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and The Texas A&M University System announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has approved the establishment of 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.
The announcement was hosted by Governor Rick Perry at the Texas State Capitol, and was attended by a number of dignitaries including Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, Dr. Robin Robinson, DHHS Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and Antoon Loomans, Senior Vice President, GSK Vaccines.
"Today's announcement is a huge win for Texas and for the nation," Governor Perry said. "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."
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, Pennsylvania 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," noted Loomans. "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."
One of only three CIADMs to be developed in the U.S., the Texas A&M Center is at the vanguard of U.S. pandemic-preparedness efforts and represents unprecedented public-health collaboration among state and federal governments, academia and private industry. 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.
"We are honored to welcome GSK to Texas A&M as a key partner in the Center for Innovation," said Sharp. "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 Texas A&M Center for Innovation is led 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.
"GSK's decision to partner with Texas A&M and bring their vaccine manufacturing to our state is a testament to the investments that the A&M System and the State of Texas have made in the people, infrastructure and technologies, much of which came from critical state programs such as the Emerging Technology Fund," Giroir said. "GSK brings unequaled influenza vaccine development, manufacturing, and regulatory expertise to our Center. Equally important, GSK brings its cell based influenza vaccine development program, which we have assessed to be the most promising near term influenza vaccine technology to improve upon current egg based vaccines."
The Texas A&M Center for Innovation represents the largest commitment of a global biopharmaceutical company to partner within Texas, and will be an important catalyst to the future growth of this industry within the State.
U.S. Government Funding
Efforts highlighted in this release have been funded in whole or in part with Federal Funds from the DHHS/ASPR/BARDA, under contract numbers HHSO100200600011C, HHSO100200700029C and HHSO100201200002I.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.5 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state's economy.
Steven B. Moore
Texas A&M University System
About the Texas A&M Center for Innovation
The Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advance Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) is one of three centers established in June, 2012 by the US Department of Health and Human Services to enhance the nation's emergency preparedness against emerging infectious diseases, including pandemic influenza, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. The Center is founded on an initial $285.6 million investment, including a $176.6 million contribution from the US Department of Health and Human Services, with the remainder cost-shared by commercial and academic proposal partners.
The Center will perform research and advanced development to accelerate vaccines and other medical products through pre-clinical and clinical development and produce these products in cases of pandemics or other national emergencies. Through these activities, the Center will address a recognized shortcoming in preparedness and response to known and unknown threats, and will improve our nation's ability to protect the health of its citizens in emergency situations.
With GSK and other partners, TAMUS also will utilize CIADM capabilities to develop and transition platform technologies to accelerate new treatments for conditions as diverse as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit http://us.gsk.com/
 *EB66® exclusively licensed from Vivalis by GSK Biologicals S.A. for the field of Influenza and sublicensed use at the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM).