27 Mar Biotech Manufacturing Facility to be Built in Wisconsin
“The facility will be unlike any other in the Midwest. Only five of these types of facilities exist nationally, and none of them in the Midwest region,” said Terrence R. Dolan, PhD, Director of the Fitchburg Technology Campus.
Paired with 35,000 square feet of laboratory space, the factory will be an engine for Wisconsin’s biotechnology industry. Sources close to the project reveal that there is a growing list of global clients who are eagerly awaiting its start-up.
“There has been explosive growth in the number of drug candidates ready for evaluation without sufficient clean manufacturing facilities to support it through its clinical trials,” noted Dolan. “There is a real shortage of intermediate capacity, large molecule clean manufacturing despite the ever-increasing need from companies for precisely this type of manufacturing.”
The Bioscience Bridge Manufacturing Company will produce clean, biological materials including proteins, monoclonal antibodies, cell therapies and other mammalian cell lines on a contract basis.
“Biotechnology has remained a solid component of the US economy and, for that matter, the global economy,” explained Dolan. “A lot of the growth and economic development in biotechnology has not occurred to the extent we think possible in Wisconsin.”
Last year the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported that 65 percent of the inventions recorded by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) were in biotechnology. WARF is considered to be one of the leading institutions in the US for its research patents and commercialization of technologies that are developed at the University of Wisconsin.
“We haven’t been as successful here in the commercialization of those ideas as the majority of the licensing taking place on either the East or West Coast,” noted Dolan.
The BBMC and accompanying technology park answer a need in the biotechnology arena and are partnering with University of Wisconsin Research Park, WARF, and the Madison Gas & Electric Innovation Center.
“We believe that research, bio-technology and technology are of critical importance to addressing social problems, including health issues, environmental issues, and agricultural issues,” remarked Dr. Dolan, referring to the company’s mission.
Dr. Dolan recently retired as director of the Waismann Center, a job he held for 20 years. Under his leadership the Waisman Center became one of the leading research centers in the world in the study of the neurobiological and behavioral processes in human development. During his tenure at the Waisman Center, Dr. Dolan raised more than $25M to develop an expansion to the Center: a new biotech building designed to support research on stem cell biology and gene therapy. Part of the expansion was a clean (GMP) bio-manufacturing facility designed to provide low-capacity production of large molecule, mammalian products including proteins, monoclonal antibodies and cell lines. That facility remains one of the few production facilities of its type to be located at a university.
For more information, check out the Fitchburg Technology Campus’ web site at www.fitchburgtech.com.
Judy Frankel, a feelance writer and regular contributor to the Wisconsin Technology Network contributed to this story.