Covid vaccine company to build research facility in Dartmouth

Sep 28, 2020

An international biopharmaceutical company currently working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine will be constructing a new research facility in Dartmouth, according to a press release. 

The release states that Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: TNXP) has purchased a 40,000 square foot facility in the Dartmouth portion of the New Bedford Business Park to use as research and development laboratories for immunology research. After retrofitting the current building, the company expects to start operations in 2022.

Both Dartmouth and New Bedford work together to accommodate businesses located in the Dartmouth portion of the park as the roads are inaccessible through Dartmouth and municipal services are provided by the City of New Bedford.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Tonix Seth Lederman, M.D. works out of an office in Dartmouth. According to the release, Dr. Lederman has been coming to the Southcoast for decades and has an affinity for the area. 

The company chose Dartmouth as its newest location for its natural beauty, relatively low cost of living compared to the greater Boston area, and transportation infrastructure including the South Coast Rail extension expected to begin operating in late 2023, the release noted.

Tonix's Advanced Development Center will begin retrofitting the building after finalizing plans and obtaining all necessary permits. It anticipates renovations and build out will take 18 to 24 months to complete.

“The Federal Government’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ for Covid-19, while critically important, has commandeered a large portion of America’s biologics contract research and manufacturing facilities. As a country, the U.S. needs more domestic onshore capacity and as a company, Tonix needs more control over the speed with which we can make vaccines and biologics products suitable for clinical studies,” said Dr. Lederman.

Dr. Lederman stated that the new facility is a “significant step” that will likely “add to [the company’s] competitive advantage in responding quickly to emerging infectious diseases,” adding that the company foresees “a potential scarcity of available domestic capacity.”

He also noted that research and development in foreign countries “may not fit with our strategy to develop products related to emerging biodefense threats or critical public health needs.”

“On behalf of the Town of Dartmouth, I am very excited to hear this news. This is great news for our area and brings a diversification to the New Bedford Business Park, which is good all around,” stated Dartmouth Select Board Chair Frank Gracie III. “I sincerely wish them well." 

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell commented, “I’m pleased to welcome Tonix Pharmaceuticals, long recognized for its innovation in therapeutics for conditions affecting the central nervous system and now for its research into developing a vaccine for Covid-19, to the New Bedford Business Park. I am pleased that the company, under the leadership of Seth Lederman, has found an ideal location for research and development here in Greater New Bedford. We look forward to welcoming another major organization to the Business Park.”

Tonix Pharmaceuticals has offices in New York, New Jersey, California, Montreal, and Dublin.