The team from the Texas A&M University System will install the mobile clean rooms at the National Centre for Therapeutics manufacturing (NCTM) being built in College Station according to Brett Giroir, CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, who cited their flexibility as a vital attribute.
“Today's announcement is the culmination of years of collaborative work begun when Texas A&M assembled a small group of world leading experts to solve the manufacturing challenges essential for biosecurity.”
He explained that concepts developed by A&M and Xoma are being implemented at the College Station site and others, adding that: “The MCR technology is an important component of our vaccine and medical countermeasure technologies that may be important for responses to Ebola and other emerging diseases."
The NCTM is one of several facilities being built as part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing medical countermeasures project.
Specifics of the mobile clean rooms, known as MCRs, were not provided, however, Xoma claims they can be more rapidly connected to utilities like electricity and water which it says reduce downtime.
Xoma founder, Patrick Scannon, focused on the mobility of the clean rooms, suggesting that they “have the potential to transform the industry because of their 'plug and play' design, which offers benefits of easy scalability and reduced clean-out and set-up times.
“In addition, they offer the potential to respond to possible threats in locales where pharmaceutical or biologic manufacturing facilities are otherwise not available" he added.
Scannon is not the only executive to have stressed the benefits of mobile manufacturing in times of crisis.
Facility design and technology firm G-CON recently told us it accelerated plans to repurpose its “vaccine in a box” pod facility modules as patient isolation units in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
At the time COO, Maik Jornitz, said: “The current Ebola outbreak shows also that such PODs are needed for remote areas, as again, the containment options within these regions are not up to the challenge to contain this horrific disease,” he continued.
“The situation in West Africa probably accelerated our, already in place, development of a containment POD.”