Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the Georgia Research Alliance has been selected to receive a $499,636 planning grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The NIST grant comes in support of the nation's ability to lead the global development of cell manufacturing technologies by leveraging the capabilities of industry and academia into a Cell Manufacturing Consortium (CMC). The CMC's work will focus on the manufacturing of cells that can be used in therapies, medical devices and drug discovery.
"Georgia's highly trained scientific workforce and world-class universities make our state the first choice for collaboration on next generation technologies," said Deal. "Having this national partnership founded here allows for even greater research and development within our innovative health care companies."
Cell therapy manufacturing is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade, becoming a multibillion-dollar global industry. Groundbreaking techniques to address quality assurance, efficacy, production and cost will be needed to support long-term growth.
"Receiving this NIST grant reflects the commitment that our state has made to growing its life sciences sector," said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. "Georgia companies, such as Dendredon, will now be able to participate in setting standards and driving the future of cell manufacturing industry."
Greg Dane, an Industry Fellow with the Georgia Research Alliance, will lead the consortium's development efforts. Dr. Todd McDevitt, director of the Stem Cell Engineering Center at Georgia Tech, will serve as the Technical Lead for the CMC, and Steven Stice, GRA Eminent Scholar and director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia, will serve as an adviser.
"We are enthusiastic about the possibilities the NIST grant provides for the future of cell manufacturing," said Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. "The CMC will leverage the experience and know-how of experts to develop the methods, tools and resources used to manage the entire life cycle of a cell product. Doing so will bring a successful cell manufacturing industry to the forefront of the U.S. economy and improve access to cutting-edge medical technology for patients around the world."