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Biosecurity center opens in College Station

Biosecurity center opens in College Station

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By Elizabeth O'Neal

COLLEGE STATION- Today federal, state and local officials gathered together to officially open the new biosecurity center in College Station.

Texas A&M's Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing was made possible from a $285.6 million dollar contract from the U.S. Government and private partnerships.

"It will not only impact College Station and Bryan," College Station Mayor Nancy Berry said, "It's going to impact the entire state and ultimately the entire country and the world, so it's a very exciting day in Aggieland."

A ribbon cutting was held today to symbolize the official opening of one of the most important biotechnology hubs within the country.

"They're going to be doing wonderful health work making vaccines, researching and to assure the vaccines can address epidemic and pandemics," U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said.

The Center for Innovation in College Station is one of three in the nation that will enhance the nation's emergency preparedness against infectious disease and bio-terrorism.

Each center will be able to produce 50 million units of vaccine within 12 weeks. All three centers making enough viles of vaccine to cover one fourth of the country within 3 months.

"Here we are helping others make vaccines and biologicals for biodefense, but in an emergency these centers will be able to make influenza vaccines as well," Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Dr. Robin Robinson said. 

The Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives says the center will also bring thousands of jobs to the community.

"We expect about 1,000 jobs initially created by the center and as it develops as many as 6,000 permanent jobs," Dr. Brett Giroir said.

The center is expected to be able to respond to a national emergency within the next five years.

"Just think of the far reaching consequences of having a vaccine like that," Senator Hutchison said, "That will be needed all over the world and will be manufactured here. I just think the economic benefit and academic growth that we're going to see is going to be phenomenal."

Texas A&M was the only academic center among the three selected, the other two are located in Maryland and North Carolina.