GSK and AZ partner with CPI for continuous manufacturing facility

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Gorodenkoff)
(Image: Getty/Gorodenkoff)

Related tags Continuous manufacturing Gsk Astrazeneca CPI Innovate UK

UK pharma giants, GSK and AstraZeneca, collaborate with CPI to build a continuous wet granulation manufacturing facility for oral solid dosage drugs.

The project will see a facility added to CPI’s current base at NETPark, in Durham, with the plan being to reduce or remove the need for testing of products at the end of manufacture.

The facility’s capabilities will include the blending and feed of raw materials, twin screw wet granulation, drying and tabletting.

In addition to these capabilities, the facility will use process analytical technologies (PAT) to generate data to predict finished product attributes to control product quality.

Once the facility is complete, it will be used as an open-innovation centre for the UK pharmaceutical industry, as well as other industries involved in the production of complex solid forms.

Known as Prospect CP, the development of the facility has been supported by funding from Innovate UK, a UK government non-departmental public body tasked with encouraging industry innovations.

A spokesperson for CPI told us that two pharma partners would bring "both technical knowledge and strategic guidance to the project. GSK and AZ have much experience in the use of various PAT tools, process control and working towards continuous manufacturing. They are also ensuring that the focus is on developing a capability that will be appropriate and relevant for the pharmaceutical industry."

Innovate UK is promoting attempts to improve and adopt digital manufacturing technologies across UK industry.

Jason Crooks, director of drug product design and development at GSK, said, “The work progressed on Prospect CP over the next two years will provide a much-needed springboard to accelerate incubation and translation of emerging process analytical technologies to the pharma business.”

While Kevin Sutcliffe, Principal Scientist of global product development at AstraZeneca, stated that the facility would allow the PAT technology used to build models relevant to raw material characteristics and in creating a link between process measurements and overall product quality.

The project will also incorporate collaboration with suppliers, including GEA Group, Perceptive Engineering, Siemens, Innopharma Labs and Kaiser Optical Systems, to create the facility.

According to certain analysts, the uptake of continuous manufacturing is set to grow significantly over the next decade​, as China develops its manufacturing technology and larger companies seek greater efficiency from their internal manufacturing processes.

The spokesperson for CPI stated that the facility is scheduled to be finished by August 2020.

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