New S. A. Vaccine Development Center will speed research

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by Wendy Rigby / KENS 5

kens5.com

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:14 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio wants to become the epicenter for vaccine development. Scientists are harnessing the power of collaboration to make a difference.

An unprecedented cooperative effort could lead to new vaccines against major health threats.
 
The Alamo City is now home to the San Antonio Vaccine Development Center, a partnership between the University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Southwest Research Institute.
 
“Clearly, this is an area where San Antonio can leverage its expertise both for regional economic benefit and also protect human health around the world,” commented BioMed SA president Ann Stevens.
 
Local scientists are already making great strides in the vaccine field, with promising work on protection against Chlamydia, Lassa fever, tularemia, along with the development of new drug delivery systems.
 
San Antonio City Manger Sheryl Sculley said teaming up to share funding and resources makes sense, not just for the advancement of science and health, but for the local economy, too.
 
“This innovation can create health solutions and products that can be commercialized and results in the formation of new bioscience companies as well as more jobs in San Antonio,” Sculley said.
 
Many important pieces are already in place here, like biocontainment labs, animal models, a military medical complex and scores of qualified scientists.
 
The hope is the sum is greater than the parts.
 
“In this city, we are not a collection of medieval fiefdoms, but a network of organizations seeking common ground against illness,” stated Ken Trevett, President and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
 
Scientists will be working on breakthroughs against infectious diseases and biothreats, agents that can be used as weapons.
 

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