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New Medicines Manufacturing Centre to Strengthen Innovation in UK Pharma Industry


The UK’s pharmaceutical and fine chemicalindustry is accelerating development of a new generation of manufacturing processes thanks to a new £56million medicines manufacturing innovation facility.

The state-of-the-art Medicines ManufacturingInnovation Centre (MMIC) will be located inRenfrewshire, Scotland, and led by the Centre forProcess Innovation (CPI) in partnership with theUniversity of Strathclyde, the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), and foundingindustry partners, AstraZeneca and GSK.

The centre will ensue the UK is a technology andinnovation leader in small molecule pharmaceuticaland fine chemical manufacturing, thereby boostingthe competitiveness of both sectors.

Pharmaceutical companies are investing millions tospeed up manufacturing processes, reducing wasteand cost, and future medicines will also requireinnovative manufacturing technologies.

With a collaborative innovation culture and state-of-the-art facilities, the new Medicines ManufacturingInnovation Centre will develop highly efficient andeffective technologies.

As a flexible and adaptable building, the centre willenable industry, academia, healthcare providers andregulators to work collaboratively to address challenges along the medicines supply chain.

The UK medicines manufacturing community willbe assisted through in-house industrial and academicexperts, thought leadership and a support structureto help small and medium sized enterprises and start-ups innovate and grow.

Enhancing the link between those doing researchand development and those manufacturing drugswill reduce the risk in the process of adoptingdisruptive technologies and accelerate the translationof the UK’s strong research base into new industrialapproaches of the future.

The centre aims to become an international beaconfor innovation in small molecule medicines manufacturing, and will incorporate capabilities for development and manufacturing of drug substances anddrug products in a GMP-capable environment. Thiswill aid the materials quantities used in process development to be minimised, and timelines to be accelerated to achieve just-in-time, right-first-time andreal-time-release manufacturing principles. Users willbe able to evaluate, test and prototype processes usingan array of advanced Industry 4.0 manufacturingtechnologies including continuous, digital andautonomous manufacturing.

The facility and infrastructure project will be established over a three-year period, starting in summer2018, and could create up to 80 high value jobs by2023 and attract £80.5 million of R&D investment by2028. A further 90 jobs will be created or retainedduring design and construction. Indirect employment will be generated through start-ups, SMEs andlarge companies that will grow their businesses usingthe transformative manufacturing technologies developed within the MMIC.

The MMIC will also translate to industry the outputof the EPSRC Centre for Continuous Manufacturingand Advanced Crystallisation. Led by the Universityof Strathclyde, this is a UK-wide consortium, whichaccelerates progress in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The new manufacturing centre is funded by severalsources including UK Research and Innovation(£13m through the UK Industrial Strategy ChallengeFund), Scottish Enterprise (£15m) and founding industry partners GlaxoSmithKline (up to £7m) andAstraZeneca (up to £7m). The remaining funds willcome from revenue to be attracted from funding bidsand commercial projects.

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