The New Jersey Innovation Institute’s (NJII) BioCentriq™ process development and clinical manufacturing cell and gene therapy center opened on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark. In pre-recorded remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, NJ Governor Phil Murphy emphasized the important role centers of innovation will play in a post-pandemic economy.
BioCentriq’s mission is to bring together industry, technology developers, academia and regulatory agencies to help advance the development and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies, according to Haro Hartounian, PhD, and SVP and GM of the NJII’s biopharma division, and SVP and GM of BioCentriq.
“We are thrilled to open the doors to our center at a time when demand for process development and clinical manufacturing of cell and gene therapies exceeds capacity available from existing contract development and manufacturing organizations,” he said. “Our goal is to provide a collaborative space where innovative approaches and technologies can be utilized to help make emerging therapeutics available to the patients that so desperately need them.”
The biopharma division reports that the BioCentriq GMP facility and its equipment have been qualified and validated at its location at NJIT’s Life Sciences and Engineering Center and features two GMP suites. BioCentriq also offers a process development center, currently located in South Brunswick, which has been open and actively supporting projects since late 2019.
In addition, NJIT offers a Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program and professional graduate certificate in cell and gene therapy.
“[The university can provide] our students and industry partners the opportunity to take advantage of the process development, clinical manufacturing, and workforce development capabilities as well as the experts and equipment resident at BioCentriq,” said Kevin Belfield, dean of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts.