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Secretary Raimondo Announces $153 Million to Promote Innovation in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

$83 million in funding comes from the American Rescue Plan to support research and development to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus outbreaks

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made two awards totaling $153 million to the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). The awards were announced today by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the NIIMBL annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

NIIMBL is a public-private partnership designed to accelerate innovation in the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry, which produces vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, gene therapies and other medical products derived from biological sources. NIIMBL is a Manufacturing USA® institute sponsored by the Department of Commerce.

“I am so pleased that NIIMBL will continue to bring together organizations of all types to help strengthen our nation through better pandemic preparedness and a more agile manufacturing industry,” said Secretary Raimondo, who was joined at the NIIMBL meeting by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Janet Woodcock and Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Peter Marks. “This important investment for America, funded in part by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, will help meet the nation’s need for lifesaving biopharmaceuticals.”

The first award renews NIST’s federal sponsorship of NIIMBL, providing $70 million over five years with an equal, non-federal cost-matching requirement. This award will allow NIIMBL to continue driving innovation in domestic biopharmaceutical manufacturing by developing flexible, agile and cost-effective manufacturing processes that can be scaled up quickly and are less reliant on foreign supply chains.

NIST will also provide $83 million to NIIMBL over three years from the American Rescue Plan to support research and development to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus outbreaks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific and manufacturing innovation delivered vaccines in record time. The new funding will enable NIIMBL efforts to help transform this emergency response into a sustainable, ongoing effort to address the continuing coronavirus threat. NIIMBL will do this by developing efficient, robust processes for manufacturing vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 and other coronavirus strains that could emerge in the future.

As part of this effort, NIIMBL will work to increase the shelf life and reduce the amount of refrigeration required for messenger RNA vaccines, boost capabilities for rapid production of antigens used in testing and screening for new variants and develop novel technologies for detecting counterfeit vaccines, among other things.

NIIMBL works on challenges that are too big for any single organization to address. The institute brings together more than 180 members, including biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, raw materials suppliers, equipment and product manufacturers, academic research institutions, state governments and nonprofit organizations focused on global health initiatives and workforce development. Every $1 of federal investment in NIIMBL has been matched by $1.80 in funding from NIIMBL member organizations.

Since NIIMBL was launched in 2017, its efforts have led to better diagnostic testing and plasma donor screening, an injectable antibody therapeutic that reduces the need for intravenous administration, and improved supply chain models for meeting surging demand during COVID outbreaks.

To learn more about NIIMBL, visit the institute’s website.

The Manufacturing USA institutes and their sponsors, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense and Energy, connect more than 2,000 organizations across hundreds of major projects to quickly move technology from laboratory prototypes to industrial capabilities and provide thousands of people with advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills. To learn more about Manufacturing USA, visit www.ManufacturingUSA.com.

NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit NIST.gov.

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