PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center wants to start an $830 million center that would be the world's leading supplier of vaccines.

Robert Cindrich, UPMC's senior vice president and senior legal officer, says the facility would create about 1,000 high-paying jobs.

UPMC officials were pitching the idea at a federal hearing hosted today by Democratic U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter at the U.S. District Courthouse in Pittsburgh.

Specter called the hearing, in part, because of delays announced in the production of the swine flu vaccine for this fall.

UPMC officials are prepared to contribute up to $250 million if the government will spend $580 million to start the center.

Specter says a center is needed to better combat diseases and bioterror threats.

---

Read more about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette