NJII, Rutgers creating manufacturing institute for pharma industry

By Lynda Cohen
Newark | Oct 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

The New Jersey Innovation Institute and Rutgers University are forming the New Jersey Continuous Manufacturing Institute to advance innovative manufacturing technologies in the pharmaceutical industry.

The NJCMI, a New Jersey Institute of Technology corporation, combines state-of- the-art technologies, infrastructure, facilities and technical expertise to support the development and continuous manufacturing of products for the pharmaceutical industry. It also provides training, education and workforce development solutions for those who want to expand or gain additional training and expertise in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

“This partnership with Rutgers builds on over a decade of leading-edge and deep faculty expertise that NJCMI can leverage to make available pilot-scale technologies that meet pharmaceutical industry demands for higher production volume, greater efficiency and reduced cost. I expect the center will be a strong magnet attracting all the links of the pharmaceutical value chain to make New Jersey a place of business,” said NJII President Donald Sebastian.

The NJCMI facility features process development pilot plants for both solid dosage forms and biologics, as well as so-called “current good manufacturing practice” suites for production. In addition, it provides individual unit operations labs for process optimization and control, modeling and automation. It also offers designated classrooms and training labs for collaborative learning experiences and workforce development.

“NJCMI brings together a complete range of expertise and knowledge to develop innovative biopharmaceutical processing technologies,” said Christopher Molloy, senior vice president of Rutgers’ Office of Research & Economic Development. “Our team is led by a core of professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing process development, biochemical and chemical engineering. Together, Rutgers and NJII, through the NJCMI, are meeting the challenges for cost effective approaches to the continuous production of both new and existing classes of pharmaceuticals.”

Continuous manufacturing is a growing trend, explained Fernando Muzzio, director of Rutgers’ Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems and of NJCMI.

“For large, research-based companies, the main need is to develop consensus best practices supported by regulators worldwide,” he said. “Generic companies, contract manufacturers and smaller pharmaceutical companies need access to development facilities equipped with all the necessary knowledge regarding product and process development. NJCMI will meet this need, enabling dozens of new players to enter this exciting market.”

Haro Hartounian, NJII’s executive director of biotechnology & pharmaceutical innovation, said: “NJCMI is working closely with our biotechnology partner companies and applying our many years of experience in biologics manufacturing to implement continuous processing innovations. This enables biotechnology companies to produce high-quality products with a smaller production footprint and shorter lead times.”