The newly formed Center for Biomanufacturing Science and Technology brings together faculty at the University of Delaware that tackle a wide array of problems and fundamental challenges in areas ranging from: cell culture processes and bioreactors; high-end and scalable purification processes; product formulation and stability; drug delivery; manufacturing; and analytical technologies, instrumentation, and algorithms to support all of these areas. The Center supports cutting edge research facilities on campus, educational activities including seminars, workshops, and shortcourses, as well as industrial research consortia.
MANUFACTURING USA HEADQUARTERS
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announces the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals.
Secretary of Commerce Visits UD to Announce New Institute
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited the University of Delaware today, where she announced a new institute to advance U.S. leadership in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The Newark-based National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) will be the 11th Manufacturing USA Institute. Biopharmaceuticals are prescription drugs made with living cells. Most drugs are chemistry-based and far easier to produce. The biopharmaceutical category includes vaccines, cancer drugs and drugs to treat autoimmune diseases, as well as emerging drugs for cell and gene therapies. The institute will focus on bringing safe drugs to market faster and on developing workforce training. The biopharmaceutical field has a negative unemployment rate, with more jobs available than there are qualified workers. A team of more than 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and state governments will operate NIIMBL under a newly formed nonprofit. Expected total investment from all stakeholders totals $250 million, including $70 million of federal investment. The University of Delaware will handle administrative duties for the institute in partnership with the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Its headquarters will be on UD’s campus in a location to be determined. “In communities from coast to coast, the Manufacturing USA network is breaking down silos between the U.S. private sector and academia to take industry-relevant technologies from lab to market,” Pritzker said. “The institute announced today is a resource that will spread the risks and share the benefits across the biopharmaceutical industry of developing and gaining approval for innovative processes. The innovations created here will make it easier for industry to scale up production and provide the most ground-breaking new therapies to more patients sooner.” Read more…
STOPPING CANCER RECURRENCE
Susan G. Komen Grant to Support Research on Breast Cancer Recurrence
Although early detection and better treatments have resulted in more women with breast cancer surviving past the five-year mark, 20 percent of disease-free patients will experience a recurrence anywhere from five to 25 years later at a metastatic site — most often in the bone marrow or the lungs. And their chances of surviving this secondary cancer are lower because it is often quite advanced before it is detected. “There’s a significant clinical need to understand the mechanism of late cancer recurrence to determine disease markers and improve treatment strategies,” says the University of Delaware’s April Kloxin. “It has been hypothesized that late recurrences originate from tumor cells that disseminate to these other tissues in the body where they become dormant and are later re-activated.” Kloxin recently received a $450,000 grant from Susan G. Komen aimed at developing a better understanding of this dormancy and reactivation process so that ultimately recurrence can be prevented. “While estrogen receptor positive tumors typically have better initial outcomes, late recurrences are a concern,” she says. “If we can understand the mechanisms that drive the switch from dormancy to growth of this type of cancer, we can identify predictive biomarkers that may indicate which women are at risk and lay the foundation for the development of more effective treatment.” Kloxin’s team plans first to create materials that mimic various metastatic sites and then identify key signaling pathways in cancer dormancy within these 3-D microenvironments. Second, they will focus on determining what regulates re-activation of the cancer cells within this cultured system. Finally, they will establish commonalities of dormancy or activation of patient-derived tumor cells in the culture model. “This last goal is where we’re really excited about our collaboration with the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute in the Christiana Care Health System,” Kloxin says. “Evaluating cells from actual patients will provide us with the heterogeneity of real cases and enable us to compare our findings with the traditional markers observed by clinicians.” Read more…