by +Mike Poller -The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida Corp, VGTI, is pushing ahead on a 99,000-square-foot research facility on an eight-acre tract in Port St. Lucie, funded by a $64 million tax-exempt bond for research facilities.
The facility is expected to employ up to 200 scientists and staff when it’s operating at full capacity. The city of Port St. Lucie issued and guaranteed the bonds, which closed June 3 and carried a Moody’s rating of Aa3. VGTI Florida is the borrower, pledging the acquired land and the to-be-built building as security.
Research will focus on vaccine development with a special focus on vaccines and therapeutics that protect the aging population, which is the most vulnerable to disease.
In 2008, the institute secured a $60 million innovation incentive fund grant from the state, opening the door to a partnership with the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Martin Memorial Health Systems and Mann Research Center LLC to anchor the Florida Center for Innovation at Tradition in Port St. Lucie.