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New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), a New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) corporation, has signed an Industry Participation Agreement with Pall Corporation (Pall) to support the development of its BioPharmaceutical Innovation iLab.

The partnership will support two key centers at NJII that will advance the manufacturing of new cell and gene therapies: the Cell and Gene Therapy Development Center and the Center of Advanced Biologic Manufacturing.

“We are excited to work with Pall Corporation, a world leader in high-tech filtration, separation and purification, to advance manufacturing of new cell and gene therapies. These therapies represent a new era in the treatment of cancer and other major diseases and hold great promise in achieving successful patient outcomes,” explained Haro Hartounian, NJII senior executive director, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Innovation.

The NJII Cell and Gene Therapy Development Center will focus on addressing manufacturing process technologies and workforce development challenges faced by the industry. This center will serve as a dedicated platform where the industry can access shared resources, including equipment, expertise and project work, to find innovative solutions to manufacturing needs for biologic medicines, such as cell-based immunotherapies.

The NJII Center of Advanced Biologic Manufacturing, meanwhile, will address challenges of mass production through continuous processing and viral vector manufacturing. This center will bring big pharma, emerging biotechnology companies, technology developers and instrumentation companies together with regulatory agencies to pioneer new techniques and train those who will take the technology into commercial practice at an industrial scale. 

The world leader in continuous bioprocessing, Pall is at the forefront of research and development in the industrialization of gene therapy manufacture and brings significant new resources to both projects. State-of-the-art bioreactors, continuous chromatography units and an acoustic wave separator have been provided by Pall to both NJII centers as part of the agreement. Pall experts will also be deployed to support the experimental program and provide training on the new equipment.

“Scaling up the manufacture of gene therapies and gene-modified cell therapies to industrial levels is one of the biggest challenges in modern medicine manufacture. If we’re going to tackle the industry’s productivity challenges, we need to think smart and invest in finding innovative manufacturing solutions, for example through continuous bioprocessing. NJII is doing remarkable work in this area and we’re very excited to partner with them on this innovative program,” explained Peter Levison, Pall’s executive director, Business Development.

Pall’s partnership with NJII is the latest in a series of investments by the filtration, separation and purification world leader in R&D programs to advance continuous manufacturing and the production of gene therapies. In November 2018, a partnership between Pall, Cobra Biologics and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was awarded an Innovate U.K. grant worth nearly $2 million to investigate continuous manufacturing for gene therapies — the results of which, when complete, may complement NJII’s work in the United States.