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New Member Spotlight: MPR

In 1964, three men set out to form a company built around technical excellence. Their intent was to perform engineering distinguished for its rigor and effectiveness. The three – Harry Mandil, Bob Panoff, and Ted Rockwell - had been instrumental in the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, where their values and technical processes were forged.

More than 50 years later, MPR employs 250 engineers and scientists to provide solutions to clients in the energy, federal government, and health and life sciences industries. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA and a local office in Chelmsford. MA, MPR brings value to its clients by delivering innovative, safe, reliable, and cost-effective technical solutions across the entire project or product lifecycle. 

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For more than 30 years, MPR customers in healthcare, medical devices, laboratory instruments, and consumer products have relied on MPR to assist in the development of best-in-class products. “We do more than simply fill roles on projects – we grasp the depth of our customers’ challenges and apply insight honed by experience to develop solutions with lasting impact. Recently, a client referred to MPR as a ‘peerless engineering company,’ and that is a satisfying affirmation of our founders’ objective,” Eric Claude, Vice President of Product Development said.

“Our product development process is a good fit to handle the many challenges facing the Regenerative Medicine (RM) industry, particularly in automation, developing new breakthrough technologies, and scaling up laboratory processes for commercialization. We see this as a key example of where MPR can add value to ARMI and the membership,” Mr. Claude said.

Using disciplined project management and dedicated project teams, MPR applies a trademarked, “First Principles,” risk-reduction approach to compress product time-to-market.

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“We always start with the customer’s need or problem. Take, for example, when a client wanted to manufacture a medical device to isolate adipose derived adult stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells). Traditionally, isolating these cells from other components of human tissue had been a complex, labor intensive, error prone process requiring time-consuming and expensive human intervention with a manual, multi-step and inconsistent methodology. At MPR, we developed a unique automated cell separation technology that substantially streamlines the tissue manipulation process.  The device now increases the quality and quantity of stem cells in an automated, repeatable, and highly consistent manner,” Mr. Claude said.

“At MPR, our people love working in industry with colleagues, taking on the latest challenges, and finding better ways to do things. In this way, we expect to make major contributions in healthcare solutions with the collaboration of ARMI and its members,” Jeff Champagne, Director of Business Development said.

“We have proven integrated processes for doing things that other engineering firms would shy away from. We look for the obstacles and places where a technology could fail and prevent that from happening, especially when adapting new technologies to commercialization and manufacturing scale- up,” Mr. Champagne said.

In the early 2000s, a manufacturer of advanced therapeutic devices engaged MPR to develop a chamber that would grow a large quantity of cells for use in tissue engineering and cell therapies in a more efficient and effective manner. Conventional chambers using horizontal plate technology limited the opportunities to significantly improve the process. MPR conceptualized a new vertical plate chamber design that minimizes the volume of expensive growth media. The team performed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and manual calculations to establish the appropriate flow conditions and chamber geometry to deliver oxygen and minimize shear on the cells. The resulting design successfully maximized cell yield while minimizing growth medium required.

More recently, an MPR client wished to develop a novel and safer liposuction system to perform more effective surgical procedures. MPR developed a device through which adipose tissue or subcutaneous fat may be removed using a warmed pulsed saline solution. The water stream and specially designed cannula liquefy fat tissue, resulting in removal of the target tissue with less damage to the patient’s blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The technology has the added benefit of reducing the time for the procedure by half. The removed tissue may also be suitable for fat grafting or stem cell therapies.

In another example, MPR partnered with a client developing a cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson’s disease. The therapy requires processing the cells in a carefully controlled environment. The process had been demonstrated manually in a laboratory environment. MPR’s client needed an automated system that was scalable to meet commercial demand and appropriate for GMP service. MPR developed a system to automate the formulation, processing, and dispensing of the stem cell therapy product, including the design of a custom glass formulation vessel and automated processing and dispensing equipment with touchscreen control.

As we consider future opportunities for MPR and our clients, Mr. Champagne observed, “Regenerative Medicine is not science fiction anymore, but it is far from being a widely adopted solution. Our team at MPR intends to be part of the developments that make it so and we’re so glad to be part of ARMI.”