BIOPHARMA AMBITION 2018

From Dublin to Philadelphia: NIBRT expands to meet 'significant demand' for biomanufacturing talent

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/sldesign78
GettyImages/sldesign78

Related tags: United states

NIBRT has announced plans to expand to North America next year in a partnership with Philadelphia’s Jefferson University.

The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) announced the joint venture with the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing at the BioPharma Ambition Conference in Dublin, Ireland today.

The Institute aims to educate 2,500 people per year, including industry professionals and Jefferson University students, and introduce workforce training through community college partnerships.

Jefferson University – the product of a merger between Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University – has selected a 20,000 sq. ft. site in Spring House Innovation Park to house the Institute, which associate provost for applied research Ron Kander told us is opposite Janssen’s R&D facility, in the “centre of the pharma industry in the region.”

The University expects students will begin training on-site from March/April, 2019. 

Biologics demand

NIBRT CEO Dominic Carolan said the expansion responds to an increased demand for biologic drugs.

“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 Carolan in a statement.  

According to Kander, more training is required if pharmaceutical companies are to limit risk in manufacturing facilities.

“40% of the R&D pipeline is biologics, and the supply chain risk is manufacturing,” ​Kander told us.

If pharmaceutical companies are going to lower that risk, they need trained individuals, he added.

Industry standard

Kender said the NIBRT collaboration also aims to combat varying levels of industry standards.

“The gold standard for training is the NIBRT curriculum. That exact curriculum will be offered to industry professionals in Philadelphia.

“Now instead of sending three or four people from your company to Ireland for training, you might be able to send 50 or 60,” ​he added.

University enrolment fees will cover student tuition costs, with pharmaceutical firms’ paying a daily rate for employees under the Institute’s industry training component.  

Plans to negotiate local and federate support for workplace development components are also in place to teach trade school students for technician-level roles.

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