DUBLIN, Feb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With new biologic therapies turning acute and debilitating illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and cancer into manageable chronic diseases and sometimes cures, biologics are rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world.
And yet because of the exquisitely complex manufacturing process, and lengthier regulatory approval process compared to traditional small-molecule drugs, biologics remain challenging to produce with only a handful of centers throughout the world dedicated to training people to produce these potentially life-saving drugs.
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) today announced it intends to close that gap by creating the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, the first – and only – education and training institute for biopharmaceutical processing in North America to be established in partnership with the internationally recognized National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).
Leaders from Jefferson and NIBRT, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, announced this unprecedented global partnership today at the Biopharma Ambition Conference at Dublin Castle, with Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris, TD in attendance, with the goal of helping bring more biologic drugs to market.
Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, says the partnership with NIBRT perfectly captures the philosophy of what defines a Jefferson education – making sure students are prepared to lead in tomorrow's world.
"Jefferson is built on anticipating the emerging professions that will be commonplace 10 years from now and educating students in those disciplines today," said Klasko. "In an increasingly global world, Jefferson and NIBRT are leveraging our respective strengths and creatively partnering to bring unprecedented value to students and industry."
"There is a significant demand for global talent to support the growth of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry and our relationship with Jefferson will help address this demand throughout the United States," said Dominic Carolan, NIBRT CEO. "The combination of engineering expertise from Philadelphia University and biosciences experience from Thomas Jefferson University, now merged into Jefferson, made this an especially attractive partnership option for NIBRT. The NIBRT and Jefferson teams have been working closely over the last 18 months and we look forward to the successful launch of this groundbreaking project."
NIBRT, internationally recognized for its excellence in bioprocessing research and training, serves about 4,000 industry professionals worldwide at its headquarters in Dublin, including many from the U.S. The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will leverage the renowned NIBRT curriculum to provide a premier U.S.-based option with a significant potential market that includes 900-plus pharmaceutical-related companies in the Northeast U.S. The Institute will also utilize the latest single-use engineering technology pioneered by General Electric.
When fully operational, the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing is expected to serve 2,500 people annually, including working with the pharmaceutical companies, providing workforce training through community college partnerships and bioprocessing certifications through regional university partnerships. Importantly, the Institute will facilitate enrollment of 70 additional Jefferson students in bioprocessing engineering, from undergraduate through Ph.D. levels.
Biologic pharmaceuticals are manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, plant or animal cell, often utilizing recombinant DNA technology. The development of biologic pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly, representing a major shift in the industry from traditional chemical synthesis techniques. More than 40 percent of therapeutics currently in research and development are biopharmaceuticals.
Jefferson is in the process of identifying a site for the more than 20,000-square-foot facility in the Philadelphia region and expects the first training opportunities for industry professionals to be offered in mid-2019.
About Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) is a leader in interdisciplinary, professional education. Jefferson, home of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, is now a comprehensive university delivering high-impact education in 160 undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,800 students in health, science, architecture, design, fashion, textiles, business and engineering. The new Jefferson is redefining the higher education value proposition with an approach that is collaborative and active; increasingly global; integrated with industry; focused on research across disciplines to foster innovation and discovery; and technology-enhanced. Student-athletes compete as the Jefferson Rams in the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
About National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training
The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) is a global centre of excellence for training and research in bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing. NIBRT is located in a world-class facility in Dublin, Ireland. This facility is purpose built to closely replicate a modern bioprocessing plant with state-of the art equipment and enables NIBRT to offer the highest quality training and research solutions. NIBRT's mission is to support the growth and development of all aspects of the bio-pharmaceutical industry in Ireland by becoming the global leader in bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing research, education and training. This mission will be achieved by performing high impact, world class, industry aligned research in all aspects of bioprocessing, manufacturing, therapeutic protein characterisation, compliance and regulation and by designing, developing and delivering best-in-class education and training solutions across all levels to national and international students and workforces.
SOURCE Thomas Jefferson University