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NJIT to Launch New Programs in Cell and Gene Therapy

Posted on: 23 December 2019, source: NJIT
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in collaboration with New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT corporation, has announced it will soon offer both a Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program and professional graduate certificate in the rapidly expanding field of cell and gene therapy. The 30-credit M.Sc. degree — available in spring 2020 as part of NJIT’s Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science’s pharmaceutical chemistry master's program — aims to "train the next generation of scientists and engineers in modern aspects of cell and gene therapy, emphasizing cell biology and cellular therapeutic development, regenerative medicine, process development and biomanufacturing, analytical technologies, quality and regulatory compliance.”



The four-course certificate program, also available next year for industry professionals and students seeking training in cutting-edge technologies required for processing and commercializing of new therapies, may be applied to the 30-credit M.Sc. option recognized by the Professional Science Master’s National Office.

Hands-on training in the field's newest approaches and technologies will be supported at both NJIT’s labs and at The New Jersey Innovation Institute's Cell and Gene Therapy Development Center — the first such training center in the state of New Jersey. NJII says the center will "upgrade the knowledge and skills of biopharmaceutical professionals in the processing of new, breakthrough classes of biologic therapies."

Both programs have been developed to meet growing demands from the biopharmaceutical industry for trained scientists and engineers at the forefront of the coming wave of breakthrough gene and cell therapies— currently spanning everything from advanced gene delivery technologies to immunotherapies such as CAR-T cancer therapy.

“There is both tremendous need and opportunity to help engineers and scientists transition from the formerly prevalent small molecule-based organic drug discovery, development and production-oriented professions into this brave new world of biologics research, development and manufacturing,” said Kevin Belfield, dean of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts. “Preparing the next generation biopharma workforce that will provide the gene-, cell- and protein-based drugs is a challenge for both the biopharmaceutical industry and university partners. NJIT’s cell and gene therapy sciences PSM degree program and four-course graduate certificate were developed in partnership with NJII and leading companies to provide well-trained professionals that will lead industrial efforts in these fields that are so critical to the health and well-being of New Jersey’s residents and our society.”

“There is a huge demand for a trained workforce in the cell and gene therapy industry, specifically in New Jersey, which is becoming a hub in this field,” said Haro Hartounian, NJII senior executive director, biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation. “The combination of NJIT’s new programs and NJII’s Cell and Gene Therapy Development Center will serve this purpose. … With the state-of-the-art processing equipment at our center, we are looking forward to joining NJIT in a pioneering effort to offer aspiring professionals firsthand experience in the production and manufacturing of cell and gene therapy products.”

Currently, more than 400 private and public biopharmaceutical companies operate in the greater New Jersey area. NJIT neighbors internationally recognized leaders including Novartis, J&J, BMS, Celularity, Legend Biotech and others. Since 2011, there has been a 10% increase in New Jersey’s drug and pharmaceutical establishments according to New Jersey's 2018 Department of Labor and Workforce Development report.

Currently, ClinicalTrials.gov has listed more than 8,000 active, or actively recruiting, clinical trials for cell therapies being developed for diverse diseases, as well as more than 1,000 different types of gene therapy in clinical trials.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it anticipates approving as many as 20 cell and gene therapy products a year by 2025 based on the surge of cell and gene therapy products entering early development and the clinical success rates of these products.

“The pace of development in cell and gene therapy is unprecedented in the biopharmaceutical industry,” Hartounian stated. “It is imperative that engineers and scientists are proficient not only in the latest processing techniques, but that they also acquire a basic understanding of the underlying protocols. Our instructional team composed of industry and university faculty experts is ideally structured to meet the needs of the industry for training of their workforce in the manufacturing and processing of these novel biopharmaceuticals.”

NJII’s Cell and Gene Therapy Development Center is currently being supported by major technology developers and pharmaceutical companies, including $3.5 million in recent support from Pall Corporation.

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Posted on: 23 December 2019, source: NJIT
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in collaboration with New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT corporation, has announced it will soon offer both a Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program and professional graduate certificate in the rapidly expanding field of cell and gene therapy. The 30-credit M.Sc. degree — available in spring 2020 as part of NJIT’s Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science’s pharmaceutical chemistry master's program — aims to "train the next generation of scientists and engineers in modern aspects of cell and gene therapy, emphasizing cell biology and cellular therapeutic development, regenerative medicine, process development and biomanufacturing, analytical technologies, quality and regulatory compliance.”
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