Major pharmaceutical company opens Dartmouth facility

Jun 21, 2022

Big pharma in little Dartmouth.

Tonix, a major pharmaceutical and biomedical research company, cut the ribbon on its new Dartmouth-based advanced development center on Tuesday, June 21.

The 45,000 square foot facility — which will develop and produce vaccines for diseases like monkeypox, smallpox, and Covid-19 — is located in the New Bedford Business District which stretches into North Dartmouth.

At full capacity, the facility will employ up to 70 researchers, scientists, and technical support staff. Currently the facility has about 30 employees, with about 20 of those coming from the South Coast.

“We’re definitely bringing jobs to the local economy,” said Tonix’ director of facilities and engineering, Bill Riordan. “There’s a lot of local talent for us to hire.”

Riordan added that the company has also made an effort to work with as many local companies as possible in creating the facility, having contracted about a dozen local businesses already.

Present at the ribbon cutting ceremony were US Rep. William Keating, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and Tonix CEO Seth Lederman, among many other notable guests.

“There’s so much to love about this project,” Mitchell said to the audience at the event, citing the benefit of new high-paying jobs. “This puts New Bedford in the middle of the action on a global scale.”

Mitchell added that while many biotech companies find homes in Boston and Cambridge, few have expanded to the South Coast, where the average level of education is not as high.

“In placing a bet on yourselves, you’ve also placed a bet on the City of New Bedford,” he said. “You are a pioneer in that respect and that is so important to us.”

During the ceremony, Lederman underscored his company’s commitment to the area by presenting a donation of $50,000 to the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in New Bedford.

“This is a great place to live and organizations like the Zeiterion help make it so,” he said.

Other speakers praised Tonix for their quick work in outfitting the facility, after breaking ground just 10 months ago.

“You can’t get any work done in your house lately,” Keating said. “I don’t know how you got all this done here.”

Riordan, said that the facility should be up and running by Aug. 1 and hopes to ship out its first batches of vaccines by about the end of the year.

“It’s really cool to think that the next big vaccine breakthrough will happen right here in Southeastern Massachusetts,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, who appeared on behalf of the Baker-Polito administration.