The NC-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Alcami and the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) have been awarded an educational grant from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL).
NIIMBL is an organization focused on accelerating biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation, developing industry standards, and training a pipeline of skilled workers.
The grant will fund a UNCW program co-developed and taught by Alcami subject matter experts called "Partnership for Workforce Development in the Biopharmaceutical Industry." The program includes a laboratory, lecture, and internship series.
"The biopharmaceutical industry has identified the need to recruit, train, and retain experienced graduates as a top priority," said Catherine Hanley, VP of marketing and corporate communications at Alcami.
"This program seeks to give graduates the necessary skills to gain employment and find success in the industry. Students entering the workforce must understand the compliant environment, the development cycle of biologics, and the different functions and skills required to manufacture, test and release biopharmaceutical products," she told us.
The $1.12m project is funded via the $400,000 NIIMBL award in combination with support from project participants, including Cape Fear and Brunswick Community Colleges.
According to Hanley, the workforce development grant allows further hands-on experiences to complement the classroom training through paid summer internships in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Alcami and UNCW initiated the academic partnership in July 2016, with two courses designed to bolster workforce education and prepare students for careers in pharmaceutical sciences.
The first course, "Pharmaceutical Drug Development and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use," was followed by a second laboratory-based course, "Current Good Pharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratory Practice."
UNCW students began the new course in August.
"Professionals from Alcami have developed course content, and are delivering the lectures on campus to give the students an opportunity to learn about the industry from Alcami’s leaders," Hanley said.