Today there’s essentially one model for drug production: make as much as possible. But J. Christopher Love, a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has spent the last five years pursuing a different vision: a desktop drug manufacturing process that would be fast and nimble enough to help combat a small disease outbreak, treat an unusual cancer, or replace a rare enzyme.

He’s not there yet, but in a paper published this week in Nature Biotechnology, Love and his colleagues showed that they can produce thousands of doses of clinical-quality biologically based drugs in about three days.

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