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Create Biopharmaceuticals by simply Adding Water

Manager: Jean-Que M. Dar

Author: MIT News Office

Contributor: IP Precise

Freeze-dried pellets (few millimeters in diameter) that contain dozens of enzymes and other molecules extracted from cells to decipher DNA into proteins have been generated by Researchers at MIT and other institutions. These pellets can be stored for a long period (at least a a year) at room temperature and this invention could generate a wide range production of vaccines and drugs and form the basis for on-demand, without the need for a cold [supply] chain. They (pellets) could also be useful for generating molecules that could be used to diagnose illness; the researchers used the pellets to produce several different types of antibodies.

The pellets begin producing proteins encoded by the DNA, upon the addition of water and freeze-dried DNA. This could prove easier than using live cells to generate biopharmaceuticals because the freeze-dried components are easy to store and ship, and don’t need to be refrigerated.

This type of technology could be useful in various settings and could easily be carried by soldiers, or health care workers heading to remote areas and is great as it's a system that allows you to make what you need on the spot according to James Collins a professor of Medical Engineering and Science at MIT. Where medicines are not available now, it can also provide patient-specific medicines.

The research was funded by the Wyss Institute; the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group; and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. To learn more contact us at IPPrecise.

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