MIT works on process to manufacture biologics in 24 hours

MIT's work is well-known in the field of continuous processing, an approach that is expected to reduce the investment needed and the time required to manufacture certain drugs. But the research university is now tackling a more complex part of the business. With a $10.4 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), researchers hope to develop a process that would allow for super-fast production of biologic drugs in battlefield situations. If developed, it could also be used in rural areas where constant refrigeration might not be available. "Imagine how having rapid access to drugs in remote settings could change lives, or how such new capabilities might promote better global access to these costly drugs through distributed production," J. Christopher Love, lead researcher on the two-year project, told the Boston Business Journal. The processes involved in making small molecule drugs are complex and can take 6 to 12 months to complete; Love's team will focus on being able to make small quantities, even single doses, that could be turned around in 24 hours with minimal equipment. If the initial work proves fruitful, there is an option to get another $11.4 million to continue. "In the end, the opportunity here is to really challenge what it takes to manufacture a drug," said Love. Story | More