Government Collaborates with Medical Consortium to Leverage Expertise and Resources for Regenerative Medicine Biomanufacturing
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is making important strides in regenerative medicine via a new acquisition vehicle that facilitates public-private collaboration.
The USAMRMC received Other Transaction Authority in late 2015. OT Authority is an acquisition vehicle that federal agencies can use to reach nontraditional contractors and small businesses with the aim of obtaining or advancing research and development or prototyping projects. As a result, the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium was formed in early 2016 by Applied Technologies International, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, and includes industry, academic and other organizations.
MTEC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is currently announcing four regenerative medicine prototype awards focused on biomanufacturing, six months after MTEC issued the request for project proposals.
The result is an approximate $29 million task order, including $11 million in private funds for regenerative medicine prototyping efforts focused on biomanufacturing. The speed of award contrasts with other research and development vehicles that have taken up to eighteen months from solicitation to award.
The MTEC announcement is also notable given the level of private funding committed to the collaborative development of technology to protect and treat Warfighters.
"We greatly appreciate," said Dr. Kenneth Bertram, USAMRMC Principal Assistant for Acquisition, "the work of our contracting team at the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity in reaching this significant milestone of executing the first prototyping awards with MTEC."
Under the awards, Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tennessee; RegenMed Development Organization of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and BioBridge Global of San Antonio, Texas, will collaborate in utilizing existing research to develop prototypes that lead to technology advancing Soldier health, including:
- Bioreactors to enable efficient and cost-effective cell and tissue expansion for regenerative medicine products;
- Universal, defined culture media for regenerative medicine; and,
- Large-scale manufacturing and quality assurance of regenerative medicine products.
Regenerative medicine is a rapidly growing medical field aimed at unlocking the body's own ability to rebuild, restore or even replace damaged tissue or organs.
MTEC is dedicated to conducting research and prototyping efforts to facilitate USAMRMC's mission and to protect, treat and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel. It intends to capitalize on private/government collaborative opportunities, fund critical studies that may attract investors, and commercialize new life and health-protecting technologies.