J&J, HP team up for 3-D printing of personalized healthcare products

J&J Headquarters

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) has teamed up with HP ($HPQ) to work on the 3-D printing of personalized healthcare products. The partners are presenting the alliance as a way to advance toward an era in which 3-D printing enables the quick manufacturing of products tailored to the needs of individuals.

HP and J&J’s first task is the personalization of instruments and software related to patient-specific health devices. This is seen as a stepping stone on the path to J&J’s larger ambitions for 3-D printing. Ultimately, the healthcare giant sees 3-D printing as one of several technologies that, in combination, can facilitate a major overhaul in the production process and supply chain of products in orthopedics, eye health and other fields.

“Combined with advances in data mining and software, 3-D printing could enable distributed manufacturing models and patient-specific products, therapies and solutions that deliver better outcomes, better economics and improved global accessibility,” J&J Group Worldwide Chairman Sandra Peterson said in a statement. In this vision, a disaggregated network of 3-D printers would partly replace centralized manufacturing sites, facilitating the production of customized drugs and devices.

Virtual Event

Virtual Clinical Trials Online

This virtual event will bring together industry experts to discuss the increasing pace of pharmaceutical innovation, the need to maintain data quality and integrity as new technologies are implemented and understand regulatory challenges to ensure compliance.

This vision is still some way from becoming a reality. The FDA issued draft guidance on the 3-D printing of medical devices last week--and approved a drug manufactured using the technique in March--but the approach is yet to go mainstream.

J&J, for its part, is working on multiple fronts to change this. The alliance with HP comes months after J&J unveiled a collaboration with Carbon 3D to use 3-D printing to produce customized surgical devices. And back in 2014, J&J began working with Organovo to 3-D print living tissues for use in drug development.

- read the release
- here’s the FDA’s guidance (PDF)
- and FierceMedicalDevicestake

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