MIT Consortium

Collaborating with MIT Consortium with the Goal of Finding Faster, More Efficient Processes

  • MIT Consortium for the Open Advancement of Alternative Hosts is a new collaboration with the Love Lab at MIT with the goal of building faster, more efficient processes for biologics
  • Open-source model creates common base of knowledge with the potential better recombinant protein therapies
  • Collaboration aims to result in faster, less expensive methods to develop potential new therapies

At Biogen we have some of the finest scientific minds working to solve some of the world’s most intractable medical problems. Other biotech companies also represent incredible scientific expertise, as do the laboratories at the world’s great universities. Because great minds do not always think alike, collaboration can help lead to solutions for incredibly complex, time consuming and expensive processes. By using an open-source model to create a common knowledge base, we may be able to better serve patients with potentially high-value treatments more quickly and affordably.

Such is the impetus for the Research Consortium for the Open Advancement of Alternative Hosts, a two-year collaboration among the Love Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Biogen and other biotech companies.

The goal of the consortium is to discover new manufacturing processes capable of achieving higher productivity and lower costs while facilitating rapid process development cycles. To date, many promising alternative hosts for manufacturing and related knowledge have been largely held in private by small numbers of companies.

The consortium, on the other hand, will be working on an open-source basis, with low-cost access to resulting intellectual property. Specifically, the project intends to bioengineer certain yeasts and other microorganisms into ‘alternative hosts’ – living ‘chassis’ that with the potential to hold materials from other organisms for a variety of manufacturing purposes. The primary goal of this two-year exploratory project is to engineer and develop alternative hosts for the production of recombinant proteins. We believe this could enable manufacturing at significantly lower cost than is currently possible. 

What this means to the non-scientist, and especially to the patient, is the potential for improved access: potentially faster development of new drugs, a potentially more nimble and scalable manufacturing process and potentially far lower costs to patients and health care systems.

We are proud to be working with the Love Lab at MIT and our industry peers with the goal of finding faster, more scalable and less costly production and manufacturing methods. We believe this work will, in the long run, make life better for patients.