Purdue UniversityThanks to a donation from pharma industry veteran William D. Young, Purdue University has announced plans to launch a new institute dedicated to furthering pharmaceutical manufacturing to reduce costs and bolster access to new biotech drugs.

The William D. Young Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals is named after the eponymous chemical engineer, who graduated from Purdue in 1966. Yong went on to become the chief operating officer of Genentech from 1980 to 1999. Young is now a senior advisor to Blackstone Life Sciences (South San Francisco and Cambridge, Massachusetts).

“We’re honored to receive this gift from a man with a global reputation as a talented chemical engineer who built an outstanding technical and management record in pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels in a statement. “Everyone in pharma knows that having Bill Young’s name on the sign means we will be working to the highest standards and producing revolutionary results.”

Bill Young

William D. Young

Purdue University aims to help develop economical methods for manufacturing drugs, given the pharmaceutical industry’s tendency to invest more heavily in drug discovery.

“Pharmaceutical and biotechnology innovation is impeded by manufacturing practices that have not kept up with the corresponding pace of innovation in science. As a result, the most advanced drugs are too costly to help as many people as they could,” said Young in a news release. “In emerging fields such as gene and cell therapy, better manufacturing technology is essential for enabling these life-saving treatments. I know firsthand that Purdue is primed with the skills and expertise needed to be a major catalyst in changing that paradigm. It is my privilege to support such an endeavor.”

The company plans to use the funding for a 9,600-ft2 leased facility at the Indiana Manufacturing Institute in the Purdue Research Park and to construct a 40,000-ft2 building in the Discovery Park District at Purdue.

The university also is working to support the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Indiana and the Midwest.

In 2021, Purdue spent more than $19 million on pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research.

The university has more than 2,000 doctoral students in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields.