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BIOTECH LOCATIONS
From Site Selection magazine, September 2019
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Projects & People

NIIMBL aims to help biotech move — you guessed it — faster and more effectively.

BIOTECH LOCATIONS
The Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center will house the future NIIMBL headquarters starting in early 2020 on the University of Delaware’s STAR campus (pictured).
Image courtesy of Bancroft Construction

by ADAM BRUNS

ith a mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce, the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), based at the University of Delaware in Newark, is part of Manufacturing USA, a network of 14 manufacturing institutes across the country. Funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIIMBL leverages additional support from industry, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and the states of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

NIIMBL in early 2020 will move into a new HQ on the University of Delaware campus. Among the facilities resources shared across NIIMBL’s 100-plus members are:

  • Biopharmaceutical Training and Education Center at North Carolina State University
  • MassBiologics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts)
  • National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing at Texas A&M University

Among NIIMBL’s 43 technology and workforce development projects valued at $44 million is the Partnership for Workforce Development in the Biopharmaceutical Industry, comprising representatives from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Alcami Corporation, Cape Fear Community College and Brunswick Community College. The curriculum emphasizes GMP, quality and risk analysis, and advanced manufacturing technologies. A cohort of 16 students completed the initial course and moved on to the lab portion of the curriculum in spring 2019.

In another North Carolina project focused on gene therapy, North Carolina State University, Sudhin Biopharma Co., and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill are developing a platform process for the production, purification, and analysis of adenoassociated virus (AAV) vectors, the delivery vehicle for DNA into a patient’s cells. After the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State opened registration, high demand for the first course scheduled for May 2019 led to the scheduling of a second session in August 2019.

Pilots are one thing. A platform for action is another. In late July, the University of Delaware, on behalf of NIIMBL, entered into a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Effective July 15, 2019, the FDA and NIIMBL have the ability to collaborate in a pre-competitive environment to strengthen research, innovation, training and collaboration in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. 

“We are increasingly seeing the potential for advanced manufacturing innovations that can improve drug quality, help address shortages of medicines, speed time-to-market, and support personalized medicine through technologies including 3D printing and continuous manufacturing,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “These technologies can also help the U.S. prepare for public health emergencies by rapidly scaling manufacturing capabilities for vaccines and other medical countermeasures. FDA is taking many steps, including this public-private partnership with NIIMBL, to encourage and help realize the potential of advanced manufacturing: issuing guidance on emerging technologies, approving products made with these technologies, and advancing regulatory science.”

Adam Bruns
Managing Editor of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

   




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