NEW BEDFORD — A pharmaceutical company is breaking ground tomorrow on a planned 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility in New Bedford that will be making vaccines for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals will be kicking off the facility's construction in New Bedford Business Park on Aug. 3, according to a press release from the company.

Along with producing clinical trial quality vaccines, the facility will also house research and development capabilities.

Tonix is a biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio composed mostly of products to treat central nervous system and immunology issues.

The company said it expects the facility to be operational in the first half of 2022.

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Plans for the new center include single-use bioreactors and purification suites with equipment for producing vaccines for clinical trials.

The facility is intended to be Biosafety Level 2, meaning it will hold bioagents or chemicals considered to be of moderate potential hazard.

At full capacity, it will employ up to 70 researchers, scientists, manufacturing and technical support staff.

Although the center will be located in the Dartmouth section of the New Bedford Business Park, all access roads and municipal services are provided by the city of New Bedford.

U.S. Representative Bill Keating, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, and Dr. Seth Lederman, President and CEO of Tonix, are expected to attend the groundbreaking ceremony.

“The South Coast is fast becoming a significant player in biotech in Massachusetts, and Tonix Pharmaceuticals' decision to open the Advanced Development Center within the New Bedford Business Park is a positive indicator of future economic growth throughout the region,” said Congressman Bill Keating.

“Tonix Pharmaceuticals is bringing good jobs to our region, and I look forward to watching their growth as the local economy continues to benefit from increased investment on the South Coast, including in South Coast Rail."

“We welcome Tonix Pharmaceuticals to the New Bedford Business Park as they strive to develop important solutions that address the health challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell.

“We at Tonix are grateful to the Town of Dartmouth for their support. We also thank the City of New Bedford for its cooperation with the Town of Dartmouth on this project,” stated Dr. Lederman.

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