Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

MIT Team Receives $10.4 Million Biomanufacturing Grant from DARPA

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Bookmark and Share
With the grant, MIT’s Biomanufacturing Research Program aims to develop new technologies that can rapidly manufacture biologic drugs on the battlefield.

Investigators from MIT’s Biomanufacturing Research Program (BioMAN) have received a $10.4 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop new technologies for DARPA’s Biologically-derived Medicines On Demand (BioMOD) program.

Through BioMOD, DARPA seeks to develop devices and techniques to produce biologics in response to specific battlefield threats and medical needs. To that end, BioMAN plans to develop innovative methodologies for engineering robust, flexible microbial strains capable of synthesizing multiple protein-based therapeutics — as well as portable device platforms — for the rapid manufacturing of multiple biologics with high purity, efficacy and potency.

“This DARPA program aims to manufacture biologic drugs on demand in a forward-operations setting, where resources are often limited. Making drugs available within 24 hours could save lives,” says J. Christopher Love, the Latham Family Career Development Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and lead investigator on the program.

“This timing is unheard of, as such drugs now take six to 12 months to manufacture,” he adds. “To make and release such medications on fast timescales will require orders-of-magnitude improvements on today’s manufacturing practices. The goal for BioMAN is to transform biologic drug manufacturing from a time-consuming, stepwise process to a tightly integrated one for small-scale production.”

Love suggests that the implications are tremendous: “Imagine how having rapid access to drugs in remote settings could change lives, or how such new capabilities might promote better global access to these costly drugs through distributed production.”

BioMAN is part of MIT’s Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI), whose mission is to improve global health through the development and implementation of biomedical innovations. BioMAN focuses on developing new knowledge, science, technologies and strategies that advance the manufacture and global delivery of high-quality biopharmaceuticals.

“In BioMAN, we have created a unique ecosystem where MIT and other affiliated faculty work closely with the biomanufacturing industry, as well as government and regulatory communities, to examine key issues in biomanufacturing and see new manufacturing innovations implemented,” says Stacy Springs, BioMAN’s executive director.

Additional academic collaborators on the BioMOD program include MIT professors Richard Braatz, Jongyoon “Jay” Han, Tim Lu, Rajeev Ram, Anthony Sinskey and Michael Strano; Northeastern University professor William Hancock; and professors Steve Cramer and Pankaj Karande of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. GK Raju of LightPharma and CBI’s James C. Leung are both consultants on the project. Industrial collaborators include Pall Corporation and PerkinElmer. Latham BioPharm Group and the CBI will provide system integration.

“Within a two-year timeframe, we aim to have a prototype system composed of all of the individual components to make at least two different drugs at doses and qualities comparable to those that are currently on the market. We have an all-star team to meet our objectives,” says Sinskey, a professor of microbiology and faculty director of the CBI.

The two-year contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring its potential value to $21.8 million.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Protein Found to Play a Key Role in Blocking Pathogen Survival
Calprotectin fends off microbial invaders by limiting access to iron, an important nutrient.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Firms “Under-invest” in Long-Term Cancer Research
Tweaks to the R&D pipeline could create new drugs and greater social benefit.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Freshly Squeezed Vaccines
Microfluidic cell-squeezing device opens new possibilities for cell-based vaccines.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Recruiting The Entire Immune System To Attack Cancer
Stimulating both major branches of the immune system halts tumor growth more effectively.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
MIT Chemists Devise Novel Way to Manufacture Peptide Drugs
New, fast synthetic method enables manufacture of peptides in hours, which could boost drug development.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Researchers Use Nanoparticles to Deliver Vaccines to Lungs
Particles that deliver vaccines directly to mucosal surfaces could defend against many infectious diseases.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Nanosensors Could Aid Drug Manufacturing
Chemical engineers find that arrays of carbon nanotubes can detect flaws in drugs and help improve production.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Bringing a New Perspective to Infectious Disease
Enlisted in the fight against HIV, MIT engineers and scientists contribute new technology, materials and computational studies.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
A Safer Way to Vaccinate
Polymer film that gradually releases DNA coding for viral proteins could offer a better alternative to traditional vaccines.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Oscillating Microscopic Beads Could be Key to Biolab on a Chip
MIT team finds way to manipulate and measure magnetic particles without contact, potentially enabling multiple medical tests on a tiny device.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
DARPA and NIH to Fund ‘Human Body on a Chip’ Research
MIT-led team to receive up to $32 million to develop technology that could accelerate pace and efficiency of pharmaceutical testing.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Scientific News
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Surprising Trait Found in Anti-HIV Antibodies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have new weapons in the fight against HIV.
New Method Identifies Up to Twice as Many Proteins and Peptides
An international team of researchers developed a method that identifies up to twice as many proteins and peptides in mass spectrometry data than conventional approaches.
The Do’s and Don’ts of SPR Experiments
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is a technique that is becoming more widely used, particularly by anyone who wants to obtain accurate on (association) and off (dissociation) rates for biomolecular binding.
Genetically Engineering Algae to Kill Cancer Cells
New interdisciplinary research has revealed the frontline role tiny algae could play in the battle against cancer, through the innovative use of nanotechnology.
Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Progenitor cells might eventually be used to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed organs.
Single Vaccine for Chikungunya, Related Viruses May be Possible
What if a single vaccine could protect people from infection by many different viruses? That concept is a step closer to reality.
Blocking the Transmission Of Malaria Parasites
Vaccine candidate administered for the first time in humans in a phase I clinical trial led by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, with partners Imaxio and GSK.
Molecule Proves Key to Brain Repair After Stroke
Scientists found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) plays a key role in repair mechanisms following stroke.
Circadian Clock Controls Insulin and Blood Sugar in Pancreas
Map of thousands of genes suggests new therapeutic targets for diabetes.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos