Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane announced the WSU system is now a tier one academic member of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a Manufacturing USA institute sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

WSU’s membership in NIIMBL, led by WSU Spokane, signals increased engagement with research connected to pharmaceutical manufacturing, which will help to link the region to the biopharmaceutical sector.

Membership also offers potential to strengthen Spokane’s economy by connecting the regional biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry with NIIMBL resources and opportunities in regional workforce development.

“We are excited to have WSU as a prolific academic member of NIIMBL and look forward to the partnering and innovation that will develop in the months ahead,” said Chris Yochim, NIIMBL director of business development.

Biopharmaceuticals are a class of therapeutics that are produced using DNA technology. NIIMBL and its members foster collaboration that results in the rapid production of high-quality biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, allowing emerging biological threats to be addressed quickly, and oncology, infectious and autoimmune treatments to be delivered efficiently.

“NIIMBL membership signals our agencies’ shared commitment to fostering innovations in manufacturing to bring these life-saving and life-enhancing products to market faster and at a reduced cost,” said Glenn Prestwich, WSU President’s Distinguished Professor. “Ultimately, through these partnering efforts, we’re creating a conduit for our region to establish itself in the global biomanufacturing industry. This will not only improve patient access to cutting-edge therapies, but also links the region to the one of the most valuable and important business sectors in the U.S.”

As stated on NIIMBL’s website, impacts of its members and their existing products (mAbs, proteins, vaccines, ADCs, bispecifics, virus-like particles) and emerging products (gene and cell therapies) include growth of a globally competitive domestic industry, in addition to regional economic development.

“We are incredibly excited to be the first academic institution in the northwest region of the U.S. to partner with NIIMBL and believe strongly in its mission to drive innovation and greater efficiency across the advanced biomanufacturing sector in the U.S.,” said Prestwich. “As WSU continues to foster learning, inquiry, and public service to enhance quality of life and economic vitality, we can add NIIMBL’s leadership and vital advancements to our strengths.”

Concluded WSU Spokane Vice President and Chancellor Daryll DeWald, “It is especially gratifying for me that WSU Spokane has taken the lead for WSU to become the first land-grant institution west of the Mississippi River to join NIIMBL. This membership opens many doors as they relate to our commitment to access, engagement and leadership and our pursuit to support research with broad societal impact.

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