Biotech Firm Opens New Bedford Park Facility for Monkeypox, COVID Research
DARTMOUTH — Monkeypox, COVID and smallpox live virus vaccines are among the biopharmaceutical agents that will be developed at a new facility in the New Bedford Business Park.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tonix Pharmaceuticals cut the ribbon on its Advanced Development Center located on Samuel Barnet Boulevard in the Dartmouth portion of the park.
The publicly traded biotech firm is focused on discovering and developing small molecules and biologics, including product candidates for central nervous system conditions and rare and infectious diseases, according to a release from the company.
Its new 45,000 square foot facility will be used to manufacture live virus vaccines for diseases like poxes and COVID-19 to help support pandemic preparedness.
Around 30 employees currently work at the new facility, with nearly two-thirds coming from the New Bedford and Southeastern Massachusetts area, according to the company's press release.
At full capacity it can employ up to 70 researchers, scientists, and manufacturing and tech support staff.
The site has been designed as a Biosafety Level 2 facility, a Centers for Disease Control designation meaning it can hold experiments involving microbes that pose moderate hazards to humans and the environment.
Equipment at the new facility includes single-use bioreactors, purification suites and filling lines, and the laboratories will be subject to inspection by the CDC and the USDA.
According to the release, the company's goal is to design and test new recombinant pox virus vaccines against novel pathogens within 100 days after a potential pandemic threat is recognized.
Tonix is based in Chatham, New Jersey and is publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange.