The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) will fund a further 14 projects to address the changing challenges in the biomanufacturing space.
Launched in March 2017 as a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), NIIMBL looks to bring industry, academia, and government together to accelerate implementation of advanced biomanufacturing.
The Institute’s biannual project calls look to overcome barriers to communication and innovation for biologics technology development, regulatory standards, and workforce development, and the latest will see NIIMBL support 14 such projects through a funding of $15.8 million.
The projects range in their scope from implementing automated and continuous technologies, to applying virus clearance strategies, to addressing staffing issues. These will be led by a variety of institutions including the North Caroline Biotechnology Center, Rutgers, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with industry participants including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Merck & Co, MilliporeSigma, Sartorius, and Pall/Cytiva. Full details can be found here.
“The goal is to benefit the ecosystem at large – to accelerate the development and adoption of manufacturing innovations and a skilled workforce, ultimately impacting patient access to medicines as well as supporting our economic security, health security, and national security,” said Chris Roberts, Associate Institute Director at NIIMBL.
“The NIIMBL community has a very good understanding of the state of the art, and the challenges and we continually engage in dialogue (at workshops and in meetings) to ensure a shared understanding of what these challenges are,” he told Bioprocess Insider.
“Things have changed over time, and will continue to change over time, as technologies mature, new modalities rise, and workforce issues are identified. It is a dynamic field in many ways and we are excited to be working to advance it.”
Beyond the funding, NIIMBL will work in a variety of ways across the projects, he continued, “connecting organizations, roadmapping technologies, creating training curricula, establishing standards for analytics, establishing standards for training, supporting growth of small companies into large companies by providing access to knowledge, data, materials, etc.”
As such, the participants will gain “the opportunity to work with partners that bring complementary knowledge and expertise, or to work across the industry, creates an environment for innovation that otherwise doesn’t exist.”
Since its inception, around 100 projects have been funded by NIIMBL, with investment totaling more than $95 million.
“We’ve had many successes,” said Roberts. “NIIMBL members have access to more detailed information about projects, their progress, and outcomes in a way that can be leveraged for their organization’s particular benefit.”