According to Hari Pujar, PhD, CEO of Tessera Therapeutics, advances in biomanufacturing are paralleling the rapid improvement in digital electronics manufacturing in the last few decades.
Pujar compares the advances in biomanufacturing as companies shift from biomaking small molecules to DNA and mRNA therapies, to Moores Law, which states that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years, while the cost of computers doubles.
As biomanufacturing becomes more complex, in every case, as we have invested, we have improved, according to Moores Law. When we hit a brick wall, we move into a new skill and learn by conquering manufacturing difficulties.
Pujar compares this to penicillin, which became orders of magnitude less costly to manufacture over three decades, and monoclonal antibodies, which have seen an increase in manufacturing productivity of more than two orders of magnitude in the last twenty years.
No one would have believed you if you told anyone ten years ago that we'd be distributing billions of doses of mRNA vaccines, he says. It was considered as an immutable substance that was difficult to deliver, but [as an industry] we've made significant efforts to improve the technology.
Biomanufacturing will continue following Moores Law as companies shift into newer therapies, such as gene and cell therapies, and as biological therapies become more accessible to lower-income nations in August.
I believe the same will happen in our industry with advances in process technology that reduce the cost of biomanufacturing, and other advances that are bucking existing technology, as Moores Law claims.
Tessera Therapeutics is using mRNA-lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology to treat gene and cell diseases, as an example. Were not using viral vectors, which gives us the potential to develop medicines that are more accessible to a wider population of patients, according to him.