Award will support development of automated manufacturing facilities for production of protein-based medical countermeasures
HINGHAM, MA, NOVEMBER 10, 2020 — Sunflower Therapeutics, a public benefit corporation focused on efficient manufacturing for proteins, announced that it has been awarded a $5.7 million extension of an existing contract with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) for the purpose of developing a Biologics on Demand (BOD) manufacturing prototype for recombinant protein-based medical countermeasures (MCMs).
The current contract between Sunflower and JPEO was awarded in August 2019 with joint funding from JPEO-CBRND and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This extension increases the total contract value to $10.5 million over 28 months. It will enable Sunflower to continue development of “right-sized” modular manufacturing systems for the production of proteins for use as reagents, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Sunflower believes that the multi-product capability, smaller footprint, and rapid production cycles enabled by its systems will support agile and efficient production of bulk drug substance for emergency circumstances, including environmental contamination or pandemic preparedness. Conventional protein manufacturing is typically performed at large-scale in facilities dedicated to only one or few related products that cannot pivot to accommodate rapidly changing regional or national needs.
This award is part of an ongoing collaboration between JPEO-CBRND and DARPA for the advancement of modular and distributable manufacturing for BOD that began with DARPA’s funding of the Integrated Scalable Cyto-Technology (InSCyT) platform at MIT in 2014.
“Sunflower is proud to have this continued opportunity to collaborate with JPEO-CBRND and DARPA to develop and demonstrate our DahliaT M manufacturing prototype system”, said Sunflower’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kerry R. Love. “We believe that designing a manufacturing system with agility and adaptability at its core will provide practical and operationally relevant solutions to rapidly changing national needs.”
About Sunflower Therapeutics
Sunflower Therapeutics, PBC is a unique biotech company with a mission to enable more medicines to reach patients worldwide. Our goal is to transform access to biologic medicines for patients worldwide by creating novel technologies for development and manufacturing with the whole global community in mind. Using our core technologies–an efficient host, data-driven methods for process development, and novel manufacturing facilities–our team aims to create efficient, fast and less costly cycles of development and production for many new innovative patient-focused products. Sunflower’s research labs are currently located at LabCentral in Cambridge, Massachusetts.