Bio-manufacturing center at Texas A&M to produce COVID-19 vaccine candidate
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies at CIADM to mass produce for Novavax Inc.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - President Trump announced during a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon that the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center has been reserved for the mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The order supports Operation Warp Speed, which aims to begin delivering millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determines candidates are safe and effective.
“These same manufacturing processes are being conducted on an even larger scale in College Station, Texas,” said Trump. “Today, I’m proud to announce that HHS has just signed a $265 million contract with the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center, which is quite the place, to dramatically expand their vaccine manufacturing capacity.”
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas, owns and operates three CIADM facilities as a Texas A&M system subcontractor. One of the facilities will be used to to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
CIADM, Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing, was established as a response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. The CIADM at Texas A&M was one of three developed in the U.S.
Click here to read more about the program.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp sat down with KBTX Monday to discuss how they have been preparing for this opportunity for years.
“Every scientist in the world knew this was coming, and that there is another coming after this one,” said Sharp. “That’s what this facility was built for, to mass manufacture a vaccine if the time came to do it.”
“The CIADM is ready to save lives and help protect the country,” said Sharp. “This whole project is a triple win. It’s a win for the A&M System. It’s a win for FDB. It’s a win for the nation.”
Following Monday’s announcement, FUJIFILM Texas’ Chief Operating Officer Gerry Farrell said they are making way for phase three of the clinical trial in North Carolina to be completed by the end of the year.
Farrell says by early 2021, he expects his facility in College Station to be mass manufacturing the vaccine.
“We are going to allocate the necessary resources to expedite the manufacturing of the vaccine, but the actual timeline will be driven by the regulatory guidelines,” said Farrell.
Farrell says at this point, the vaccine is a single dose, but that could change as the virus continues to mutate. He says if all goes well with this final phase of trials, they could have the vaccine available to the public by mid to late 2021.
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