BioFabUSA, a Department of Defense-funded Manufacturing Innovation Institute within the Manufacturing USA network, has awarded the Georgia Institute of Technology and industry partner, Akron Biotech, a project titled, “Supply Chain and Process Modeling Algorithms, Methods, and Tools for Tissue Manufacturing and Distribution”. This project will address significant national supply chain issues related to distributing tissue engineered medical products (TEMPs) to U.S. patients in need.
The project aims to create the first simulation-based supply chain model for the rapidly evolving and future facing TEMPs industry, to minimize manufacturing and logistics costs and risks, incorporate Department of Defense (DOD) and other stakeholders’ perspectives into supply chain modeling, inform standards development, and support workforce development.
“Having a supply chain model will be instrumental in helping new and existing companies plan for the most efficient process flows, resource usage, and cost savings,” said Stephanie Robichaud, technical project manager with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. “Many startup companies do not realize some of the intricacies in managing their supply chain and many established companies realize the importance of it after experiencing inefficiencies. Having a model that these companies can use will help advance the field of tissue engineering as they plan for scale-up.”
According to Ben Wang, executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) and professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, “hundreds if not thousands of patients are waiting for tissues and organs in order to have a normal healthy life. Our project is a bold initiative to democratize distribution of replacement tissues and organs by streamlining national supply chains. This project will develop simulation-based tools to enhance the efficiency and resilience of the TEMPs supply chain, making these personalized medicines more affordable and more accessible.”
The growth of the TEMP industry is going to change the supply chain of medical tissues disruptively. To embrace this change, a system-level decision support tool is essential for adopting more cost-effective manufacturing processes and making better investment decisions. To ensure successful commercialization and adoption of this new supply chain decision support tool, the project team will engage multiple stakeholders including DOD, government, regulatory bodies, standards setting organizations, patients, industry, academia, policy experts, education and workforce development experts.
Georgia Tech project leads include Ben Wang, Ph.D., Chelsea C. White III, Ph.D, and Kan Wang, Ph.D. Ben Wang is Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems, professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering and School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. In addition, he serves as executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI). Chelsea C. White III is the Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Kan Wang is lead researcher of additive manufacturing in the Bio-Engineering Research Laboratory at GTMI.
Leading the project for Akron Biotech is Ezequiel Zylberberg, Ph.D, who is vice president of product development and planning. According to Ezequiel, “the future of regenerative medicine depends on more than our ability to address the scientific challenges of generating the next generation of advanced therapies. Advancing these novel treatments in a way that is scalable will require significant advances in manufacturing innovation. We are eager to collaborate with our colleagues at Georgia Tech, at BioFab USA, and throughout the regenerative medicine industry to confront the challenge of scalability and supply chain resilience through this modelling effort.”
About the Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is one of the nation’s leading research universities — a university that embraces change while continually Creating the Next. The next generation of leaders. The next breakthrough startup company. The next lifesaving medical treatment.
Georgia Tech provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Institute has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked among the nation’s top five public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers degrees through the Colleges of Computing, Design, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business. https://www.gatech.edu/
About Akron Biotech
Akron is a leading materials manufacturer and services provider to the regenerative medicine industry, accelerating the development and commercialization of advanced therapies. Founded in 2006, Akron is an ISO 13485-certified company that operates in line with cGMPs and international standards, enabling advanced therapy developers to de-risk their supply chains and facilitate regulatory approval. The company's unique business model emphasizes knowledge, flexibility and unparalleled service—from development through to commercialization. For more information, please visit www.akronbiotech.com.
BioFabUSA, is a DOD-funded Manufacturing USA Innovation Institute (MII) sustained by the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) is a non-profit organization located in Manchester, New Hampshire. ARMI's mission is to make practical the scalable, consistent, cost-effective manufacturing of tissue engineered medical products and tissue-related technologies, to benefit existing industries and grow new ones. https://www.armiusa.org/
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