The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected research teams from Ginkgo Bioworks, Leidos and Northwestern University for the Reimagining Protein Manufacturing program that seeks to build tools to help accelerate on-demand production of protein-based drugs.
“The current process for producing protein-based therapeutics requires more than a year to establish, while still requiring purification and significant infrastructure,” Michael Feasel, RPM program manager, said in a statement published Wednesday.
“RPM aims to initiate protein production within 24 hours, eliminating this long lead time. Fast, on-demand distributed manufacturing could make key proteins on a DoD-relevant timeline in operational environments,” Feasel added.
The 50-month program seeks to demonstrate the production of protein products at a yield corresponding to more than 500 doses per week and will focus on two technical areas: production yield and time and post-translational modifications.
The first technical area focuses on protein synthesis tech platforms for high-yield, near-immediate production of proteins, while the second technical area will identify novel ways to make modifications to proteins following production.