The Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) received a $2.6-million contract from the DoD through DARPA to further develop and validate a novel system for accelerated manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The total value of the effort, if all phases of the program are completed, could be $8.5 million, according to the Center.
Under Phase I, Fraunhofer USA CMB will validate its plant-based technology platform for the rapid, cost-effective production of vaccines and mAbs. This tool can significantly reduce the time required from the identification of infectious agents to the manufacture of millions of doses of medical countermeasures, the Center states.
"This contract from DARPA will significantly accelerate our development of this much-needed technology that addresses some of the concerns affecting current biopharmaceutical manufacturing," comments Vidadi Yusibov, executive director. "Our unique vectors, combined with non-genetically modified plants, provide a rapid and highly scalable platform for cost-effective manufacturing."
The Fraunhofer USA Center for Manufacturing Innovation will design process automation, Integrated BioPharma will scale-up downstream protein purification, AMEC Biopharmaceuticals will be responsible for process and facility engineering, and Delaware State University will optimize nontransgenic seed production and storage.