GSK, AstraZeneca in Project for Continuous Direct Compression

The UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), the UK government’s process manufacturing arm of Catapult centers that are designed to encourage innovation, has begun work on a project to develop a continuous direct compression (CDC) platform for solid dosage medicines with the University of Strathclyde, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca.

The project, known as Grand Challenge 1, will be worked on at the new Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde. The center is a new £56 million ($72 million) manufacturing facility for advancing pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies in collaboration with CPI, the University of Strathclyde, UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, and founding industry partners, AstraZeneca and GSK.

CDC is a continuous manufacturing process that allows for greater process control than traditional batch-type pharmaceutical manufacturing methods. The aim of Grand Challenge 1 is to further build on this process efficiency by developing a digitally-twinned CDC platform and workflow. CPI says this will reduce the amount of starting materials needed for optimization and reduce the overall cost of the technology for the end-user.

The first part of the project is to create a flexible plug-and-play development platform. CPI says this will involve adapting and improving existing CDC models, which are often inflexible and specific for individual equipment manufacturers. Process analytical technology will also be integrated into the platform.

The project is receiving funding from UK Research and Innovation, the Scottish Enterprise, and the consortium’s industry partners. CPI says its goal is to have a development platform operational by the third quarter of 2020. Following this initial phase, project work will be transferred to the Medicine Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Glasgow upon the center’s completion in 2021.

Earlier this year (September 2019), GSK, along with AstraZeneca, partnered with CPI, to establish a continuous wet-granulation manufacturing facility for small-scale development of oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals. CPI is also working closely with a number of suppliers, including GEA Group, Perceptive Engineering, Siemens, Innopharma Labs, and Kaiser Optical Systems, to create the facility, which will be based at CPI’s existing facilities at NETPark, County Durham in the UK. CPI reported earlier this year (April 2019) that a prototype of the facility has been constructed, and work is continuing on the integration of sensors and controls with the manufacturing equipment.

Source: Centre for Process Innovation

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