Partnership looks to expand UK drug manufacturing
The MMIP’s initial work will be focused around industry needs, such as technology, fiscal, regulatory and skills environments, as well as the promotion overseas of the UK’s strengths in drug manufacturing.
“As an immediate first step, the MMIP is jointly resourcing a team with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) to help the sector more effectively navigate and draw on public investments and funding mechanisms which are already in place to drive UK competitiveness in medicines manufacturing,” ABPI spokesman Sean Palmer told In-Pharmatechnologist.com. “A team of up to six people over three years will be funded equally by the KTN (through Innovate UK) and companies, to assist industry in navigating and applying to the existing technologies landscape.”
Organisations involved in the partnership include Actavis, AstraZeneca, Eisai, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, GlaxoSmithKline, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Oxford BioMedica and Pfizer.
The partnership follows the work by GSK and 21 other organizations back in March, which announced contributions to a £11m ($18m) fund that will combine with an £12m government grant to improve drug production and sourcing methods. Seventy new jobs will be created in the UK as a part of that investment.
The ABPI said it is recruiting a Project Director to lead and co-ordinate the resources that partners are devoting to the work of the MMIP, including liaison with other trade associations.
Newly appointed George Freeman, MP Minister for Life Sciences, said: “The manufacture of modern medicines is one of our leading manufacturing sectors, with exports worth over £22bn. The Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership is helping ensure we remain at the forefront of this highly competitive sector, building on the impressive work they have already led in areas like detailed innovation mapping, and modern skills investment.”
The MMIP Steering Group will be led by Ian McCubbin, GlaxoSmithKline SVP for the North America, Japan and Global Pharma Supply Chain.
“The MMIP steering group will set out the goals as to how the partnership will succeed after they have met,” Palmer told us.
BIA Chief Executive Officer Steve Bates added: “Of particular note is the MMIP’s focus on existing funding mechanisms and ensuring that industry is utilising these to their full potential. The UK life sciences sector benefits from a supportive government and competitive fiscal environment, yet we believe more can be done to maximise these advantages, specifically in medicines manufacturing.
“Accordingly, the MMIP will look to clarify current fiscal incentives to ensure wider uptake from the sector. We believe through activities such as this, the MMIP will help to ensure the UK is established as a world-class destination for medicines manufacturing both by supporting existing facilities, and encouraging re-shoring,” he said.