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Construction starts on new MMIC in Scotland
Construction work has begun on the new Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) in Renfrewshire. The new technology and innovation centre is set to become a world-leading facility offering transformative solutions in small molecule and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The facility will translate, at industrial and commercial scale, novel techniques for producing patient-centric medicines, including real-time release of drugs, and integrated process analytics to drive the transformation of medicines manufacturing. These technologies will enable a reduction in quantities of the materials currently required in process development; accelerate timelines to achieve just-in-time, right-first-time and real-time-release manufacturing principles; and ultimately accelerate access of affordable medicines for healthcare providers and patients.
The facility is due for completion in late 2021 and will be operational in early 2022. It is expected to eventually house over 80 staff in both technical and non-technical roles.
Companies of all sizes will be able to use the facility to evaluate, test and prototype processes using an array of advanced industry 4.0 manufacturing technologies, including continuous, digital and autonomous manufacturing. The utilisation of next-generation technology will enable more efficient drug production to protect future generations by bringing new medicines to market safely and quickly.
MMIC is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners, GSK and AstraZeneca, with funding provided by Scottish Enterprise and UK Research and Innovation. The centre has recently agreed partnerships with four leading technology companies to further strengthen the range of expertise in the collaboration.
Nadhim Zahawi, life sciences minister, said: “Backed with £13m of government funding, this centre is the first of its kind and will significantly boost our domestic medicines manufacturing capability to ensure we are prepared for any future health crises. Complementing our state of the art Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire, it will ensure we are at the forefront of transformational technologies, attracting tens-of-millions-of-pounds of investment to the UK and creating new highly-skilled jobs in the Renfrewshire area – a great example of how we are working to build back better.”
Jon-Paul Sherlock, technology strategy lead at AstraZeneca, said: “Manufacturing innovation is critical to future pharmaceutical supply chains. Molecules are more complex, development times shorter and the expectations of patients and healthcare systems higher than ever before. However, for a highly regulated industry, innovation is risky and potentially expensive. This facility will enable close collaboration between industry, government and academia and will be a game-changer; resulting in faster industrialisation and implementation of exciting new opportunities.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “As strategic partners in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, the University of Strathclyde is utilising its research, innovation and internationally-leading experience and expertise in advanced medicines manufacturing to meet the biggest health challenges facing our world. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with our partners across industry, academia, government and healthcare to accelerate and transform the medicines manufacturing process.”
Dave Tudor, managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, quality and biologics, at CPI, said: “We are thrilled to be starting the construction of this new, collaborative centre. The consortium is already working together on several ambitious projects with the aim to de-risk disruptive technology that can lower the cost of drug development. Live projects include a digitally-twinned continuous direct compression platform to increase the productivity of drug product manufacture, and an automated platform to enable just-in-time supply for clinical trials which will drastically cut lead times. We look forward to bringing that technology and cross-sector expertise to these new facilities.”