Catalyzing Biomanufacturing Innovation

Biomanufacturing is a widely known challenge across all biotech sectors, with significant challenges noted in novel modalities. Massachusetts recognizes that as the development of new innovative therapeutic treatments continues, currently marketed and future products can benefit from biomanufacturing innovation to reduce costs and avoid drug shortages.

This past May, the MLSC announced $2.82 million in funding through a new capital program focused on catalyzing biomanufacturing innovation. The Building Breakthroughs capital program will fund four projects led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), UMass Lowell, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The capital program is part of a robust, collaborative effort by the MLSC and its partners to encourage cross-sector leadership in the area of biomanufacturing.

In 2016, the MLSC announced its partnership in the nation’s first biomanufacturing innovation institute, known as the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). The Center serves as the anchor to the northeastern sector for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing project.

Northeastern University’s Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory (BATL) will open a new facility on Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, to train students in drug creation, manufacturing, and regulatory steps.

The MLSC’s funding will allow BATL to expand into training on biomanufacturing and grow the biologics field in Massachusetts

Dr. Jared Auclair, Director of Northeastern University’s BATL.

In addition, this past fiscal year the MLSC provided $5 million in capital funding to support the build-out of LabCentral 238, a new facility to support expansion of local biomanufacturing and life sciences technical talent. MLSC funding will support the necessary infrastructure and purchase of lab equipment, which will include process development labs and non-GMP pilot plant capabilities for companies to perform process development, scale-up, and engineering runs.

This new facility will provide start-ups access to high quality biomanufacturing facilities to start their process development activities earlier, while also making connections with Massachusetts contract bio-manufacturing companies and creating a biomanufacturing workforce development program to expand biotech jobs in Massachusetts

Johannes Fruehauf, Co-founder and President of LabCentral.

Since 2016, the MLSC has committed more than $21 million to leverage outside investment to accelerate biomanufacturing innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading manufacturing workforce.

Editor’s Note: Photo credit: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University