A generous donation from William D. Young, a pioneer in pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing, will establish the William D. Young Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals at Purdue University. The institute will unite faculty in overhauling pharmaceutical manufacturing with a goal of reducing costs and expanding access to innovative drugs emerging from biotechnology research.
The effort grows from a recognition that pharmaceutical companies have not invested as heavily in economical methods of manufacturing drugs as they have in drug discovery, combined with the unique position of the state of Indiana and Purdue to strengthen pharmaceutical manufacturing in the Midwest.
Total funding dedicated to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research at Purdue is estimated at more than $19 million in 2021. Over 4,000 undergraduate degrees are awarded annually, and more than 2,000 doctoral students are enrolled in disciplines related to pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
Purdue is among the top 10 organizations when ranked by publications and patents on pharmaceutical manufacturing, according to the 2021 U.S. Industry & Market report (NAICS 324512), published by Barnes Report. Indiana is among the top 10 states in the U.S. for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing output, according to the 2018 and 2019 Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers. The state was ranked second in the nation for worldwide life sciences exports, totaling more than $11 billion annually in 2020.
Although the institute is established with the aid of the gift, co-directors Alina Alexeenko, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and associate dean for undergraduate education; Eric Munson, head of the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy; and Garth Simpson, professor of analytical and physical chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, said it began with a grassroots effort among a consortium of interested faculty members working toward a common goal in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The three co-directors represent 30 founding faculty members from the colleges of Engineering, Pharmacy and Science.
Among the areas of expertise represented by founding faculty members are continuous manufacturing for synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredient as well as drug product, 3D printing of pharmaceuticals, lyophilization, machine learning to aid in optimization, and an analytical chemistry program that is ranked first in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.