Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Research / Discovery

The Muse: Hitting the MARC

April 7, 2014
By Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research

We have an ever-increasing awareness of the consequences of emerging pathogens as well as our inability to respond to high consequence pathogens such as Ebola or antibiotic resistance bacteria (e.g. MRSA).

In the news of the day, we are experiencing a severe Ebola outbreak in Africa, the acknowledgement of an isolated hemorrhagic Lassa fever case in Minnesota, and the tracking of vectors associated with the Middle Eastern Respiratory syndrome (MERs) which is looking more like a species jump from camels. These rare, seemingly infrequent events are seeing global attention, reminding us of our lack of preparedness.

Over a decade ago, the National Institutes of Health looked ahead to these events with the creation of regional centers of excellence. The Rocky Mountain Regional COE leveraged Colorado State University’s significant assets in infectious disease as well as the close integration of federal laboratories, partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Agriculture and the National Wildlife Research Center. These programs were designed to contribute both fundamental understanding of pathogens and more importantly the ability to translate discoveries into useful countermeasures that could be implemented in the event of a new pathogen outbreak or an unusually virulent and noxious flu.

Accelerated countermeasures

One of the intended outcomes of the investment in COEs was to create parallel manufacturing capabilities that would accelerate translation and production of needed countermeasures. Very few of the centers realized this outcome. Yet, I am very pleased to report that within our COE we have created the BioPharmaceutical Manufacturing & Academic Resource Center (BioMARC). Of even greater significance is that we have just received FDA approval to manufacture a commercial product in the BioMARC facility, fulfilling the original design of those who invested to increase the preparedness of our country.

The BioMARC approval not only signals a long-standing commitment and investment in manufacturing but also that CSU has achieved a standard of manufacturing that few universities have achieved. The facility has been approved to manufacture Alplisol, a tuberculin purified protein derivative, under good manufacturing practices for commercial sale under sponsorship from a commercial partner. This is a monumental undertaking and represents years of dedicated work by the staff at BioMARC and the Infectious Disease Research Center.

Big thanks to all

There are many who should be recognized for their hard work. This certainly would not have happened without the direction of Rick Lyons and Dennis Pierro. Many in the Office of the Vice President of Research, Infectious Disease Research Center, the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Research Integrity & Compliance Review Office and Office of Sponsored Programs should be recognized for this outstanding achievement. Big thanks to all.

The future is bright for this facility as we seek additional commercial partners seeking to produce medicines for the challenge we face in increasing our preparedness to infectious challenges of the day.

Way to hit the MARC!