iBio, Inc., (NASDAQ: IBIO) has expanded its capacity to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine by joining the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (“NIIMBL”), an institute of Manufacturing USA that works to “enable more efficient and flexible manufacturing capabilities for existing and emerging biopharmaceutical products, and develop a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce.”
The NIIMBL network is “extensive” and includes over 140 US-based biopharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, research laboratories and non-profit organizations. The involvement of iBio with the NIIMBL follows the company’s decision to join the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute of Manufacturing USA in December 2019.
The ARMI supports “the development of next-generation manufacturing processes and technologies” that could enable the large-scale manufacturing of engineered cells, tissues and organs.
Co-Chairman and CEO of iBio Mr. Tom Isett stated, “If our own proprietary SARS-CoV-2 Virus-Like Particle (“VLP”) program, IBIO-200, results in an approved vaccine, we estimate that we could make about 500 million doses of high-quality product annually at our Texas facility, depending upon the potency we see in the clinic.”
“That scalability links directly to the modular technology behind our FastPharming Manufacturing System, which uses a relative of the tobacco plant as the ‘bioreactor’ to produce biopharmaceuticals. So, the amount of product generated by a single plant is consistent from research- to commercial-scale, and scale-up is achieved by simply growing thousands more plants within our 130,000 square foot facility.”
This is real innovation in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, thus our significant synergy with the NIIMBL community,” Mr. Isett continued.
NIIMBL Institute Director Dr. Kelvin Lee stated, “Our member community is working in a variety of ways to prevent, reduce and combat pandemics like COVID-19. We welcome iBio to our community of innovators in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing space,” said Kelvin H. Lee, NIIMBL Institute Director.
Mr. Isett added, “Given Manufacturing USA’s increasing COVID-19 response efforts, we are honored to expand our involvement by joining NIIMBL as American companies with enabling technologies work together to fight the pandemic. To that end, in addition to work on our proprietary VLP vaccine, we are ready to make the FastPharming System available to other COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic developers on a contract manufacturing basis to help speed their products to market as well.”
For more details, please refer to our comprehensive timeline of iBio’s COVID-19 vaccine development.