Last year, the Richard K. Mellon Foundation announced that it had donated a staggering $100 million to create BioForge, a gigantic plant for small things in Hazelwood Green. It aims to help Pittsburgh’s biosciences industry grow exponentially by providing a manufacturing facility for things like viral vectors that deliver genetic material and monoclonal antibodies.
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that modern vaccines and treatments – developed with these kinds of technologies – can arrive at breakneck speed, saving millions of lives. But its wide dissemination involves highly specialized installations.
Now ElevateBio, a A Massachusetts-based medical technology companyIt will provide 172 full-time jobs (plus an estimated 900 construction jobs) to BioForge. David Hallal, CEO and Chairman of ElevateBio, says the company chose Pittsburgh as home to its new location because it represents “the intersection of science, technology, and talent.”
“To realize our vision of transforming the field of cell and gene therapy for decades to come, expanding our footprint across urban areas is a key priority for us, and we are delighted that the University of Pittsburgh will be home to one of our BaseCamp facilities,” Halal says.
The University of Pittsburgh is a research leader, but Pete Vice President of Health Sciences, Dr. Anantha Shekhar says, “The missing component is access to high-quality process science and manufacturing capabilities.”
“As we position ourselves to become the next global hub for life sciences and biotechnology, we have been looking for the right partner to help us achieve our vision, and ElevateBio’s expertise and reputation in cell and gene therapy has made them the ideal partner to accelerate our business with the ability to build our center of excellence in biomanufacturing,” As Shekhar says.
ElevateBio is investing $40 million, plus $100 million from RK Mellon in the 250,000-square-foot BioForge in Hazelwood Green.
“This partnership between two national life sciences institutions—the University of Pittsburgh and ElevateBio—is an important step forward in achieving our shared vision of making Pittsburgh a destination for biomanufacturing nationally and internationally,” says Sam Rayman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
ElevateBio has been committed for 30 years to having a manufacturing presence in Pittsburgh.
“ElevateBio will be a major broadcaster on Hazelwood Green,” notes Mark Anthony Thomas of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. “This rapidly evolving development is becoming home to companies and other organizations that are driving innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics; high-value manufacturing with deep technology; and the life sciences. Each of these shapes the future not just for this region, but for the world, and it’s great to say that this is happening here in Pittsburgh”.
The Astrobotic Cupoffer, chosen by NASA
On the moon, night is no joke. Temperatures can drop to minus 200 degrees Celsius, which can destroy sensitive equipment such as batteries and electronics.
Pittsburgh space robotics pioneer Astrobot created QProver Exactly for this type of task. It’s hardened against the dangers of a lunar night, which is why it was selected by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Program.
Rover vehicles also need to be able to drive long distances away from the host landing craft. This poses a challenge to communications if roverthe host is During The horizon is unable to share the communication relay between Earth and rover. The CuberRover will test its communications capabilities on the Astrobotic moon landing mission.
“This mission has the potential to usher in a new era of powerful lunar robotics where devices and payloads can survive months to years on the lunar surface,” says Mike Provenzano, director of Astrobotic’s Lunar Surface Systems. “The CubeRover will live longer and drive longer distances than any spacecraft in its class with this flight, making Astrobotic a major step forward in opening the Moon to long-term robotic operations.”
If you’d like to learn more about Astrobotic and space, the company will open the Moonshot Museum at the Mission Control Facility on the North Side on October 15. They call it “the world’s first museum to focus on career readiness in space.”
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