May 9, 2018 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) has joined the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) to help advance large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and related technology. ARMI is a consortium of nearly 100 organizations comprised of organizations in industry, government, academia and nonprofit sectors to develop next-generation manufacturing processes and technologies for cells, tissues and organs.
“The next frontier of regenerative medicine is manufacturing,” said Dr. Jian Ling, an Institute scientist in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. “By joining ARMI, SwRI can work with other members to transition regenerative medicine technologies to manufacturing and bring significant additional benefits to patients. SwRI has the experience and resources, especially in product development and technology commercialization. Through the consortium, we can collaborate with other members and accelerate transition of our technology.”
SwRI expertise aligns well with ARMI’s strengths. SwRI staff members offer extensive experience related to regenerative medicine product development, including tissue engineering skin, bone, tendon and blood vessel materials for novel wound-healing applications. SwRI also has developed bioreactors to scale-up stem cell production for cell-based therapies and encapsulates cells, growth factors, and drugs for bioprint applications. Chemists collaborate with robotics, automation, modeling and simulation experts to improve manufacturing processes, data analysis and control software.
“ARMI membership allows SwRI to be at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine when R&D is beginning to transition out of the lab into large-scale commercial operations” said SwRI Vice President Dr. Michael MacNaughton in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. “SwRI chemists can collaborate with our robotics, automation, and modeling and simulation experts to improve manufacturing processes, data analysis, and control software.”
In addition to CGMP laboratories for pilot production, SwRI offers an established ISO 13485 Quality System for medical device design, prototyping and testing.
According to ARMI, approximately $80 million in federal funds awarded by the Department of Defense will be combined with more than $200 million in cost-sharing investments to support the development of tissue and organ manufacturing capabilities. ARMI will lead BioFabUSA on behalf of the Department of Defense to help revitalize American manufacturing and promote investment in developing new technologies in the United States.