NJII, McKinsey to launch Digital Capability Center

Facility, set to open by year-end, will aim to advance manufacturing of cell and gene therapies

BioCentriq, a concept-to-clinic contract development manufacturing organization housed at New Jersey Innovation Institute on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology, announced Tuesday that it is partnering with McKinsey & Co. to launch the Digital Capability Center, a new facility that will aim to advance the manufacturing of cell and gene therapies.

The Digital Capability Center will focus on accelerating operational excellence and digital transformations in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, officials said.

The center is expected to open at the VentureLink building at NJIT in Newark during the fourth quarter of this year.

Jeff Smith, McKinsey partner and a global co-leader of the firm’s CGT work, said the center will help spur the industry.

About BioCentriq

BioCentriq was founded in 2019 with a mission to help innovative companies reach clinical success. It is a New Jersey-based, full-service concept-to-clinic contract development manufacturing organization.

The company offers process development and clinical manufacturing services for the cell and gene therapy industry, along with a workforce development arm designed to help the industry adopt best practices in cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

“Bringing the lessons of Industry 4.0 to CGT operations is critical to the continued growth of the CGT industry, not only in revolutionizing our approach to treat and cure diseases, but in improving the health outcomes of people everywhere,” he said.

“The Digital Capability Center will focus on digitally enabling operations to improve performance — from advanced analytics for higher bioprocessing productivity to AI in deviation reduction and digital-twin-based plant scheduling — and the mindsets and capabilities needed to enable, scale and sustain the transformation.”

According to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, there are more than 1,085 total gene, cell and tissue-based therapeutic developers worldwide and 1,220 trials aiming to enroll more than 90,000 patients worldwide.

In order for these therapies to become more accessible, the manufacturing of them must become more efficient, and the technology and digital and operational approaches being introduced in the Digital Capability Center are widely anticipated to be the key enablers of those improvements.

Haro Hartounian, the senior vice president and general manager of the biopharma division of NJII, said the organization is eager to do its part.

“We are honored to partner with McKinsey & Co., who will contribute their thought leadership and expertise in operational excellence to design this center and develop and deliver the curriculum,” he said. “Our mission is to make cell and gene therapies more accessible to the patients that need them, and this center will provide an opportunity for companies from around the world to experience innovative and promising Industry 4.0 approaches and technologies firsthand.”