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GSK, AstraZeneca explore continuous manufacturing in partnership with CPI

  • U.K.-based CPI has set up a collaboration with British big pharmas GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca to develop a continuous wet granulation manufacturing facility for small-scale development of oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals.
  • The facility, based at CPI’s site in northeast England, will go from the blending of raw materials through to granulated end-products, monitored with integrated in-line process analytical technologies (PAT) to improve quality control.
  • To create the facility, CPI is working with a range of suppliers, including GEA Group, Perceptive Engineering, Siemens, Innopharma Labs and Kaiser Optical Systems.

The uptake of continuous manufacturing, a faster and more flexible production process, has lagged in the risk-averse pharma and biotech industries.

Still, a number of the larger companies have dipped their toes in the water, including GlaxoSmithKline, Vertex, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly. In addition to its collaboration with CPI, GlaxoSmithKline is working with the Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems at Rutgers University to expand its knowledge of continuous manufacturing.

CPI, also known as the Centre for Process Innovation, works with partners to develop better manufacturing processes across a range of industries, including healthcare. It is currently working on a project called PROSPECT CP, which builds on CPI’s existing capabilities.

Kevin Sutcliffe, a principal scientist in global product development at AstraZeneca, said that by having the PAT test bed on the PROSPECT CP platform, the drugmaking industry will be able to use different analytical tools to access data about processes.

“Our collaboration with CPI will complement our own work in AstraZeneca on building models that show the relevance of raw material characteristics and process measurements to product quality,” Sutcliffe added.