A virtual ceremony has taken place to mark the start of work to build the UK’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire.
The centre’s backers believe it has the potential to play a central role in transforming medicines manufacturing, and the supply chain between the discovery and regulating of new treatments through to their use in healthcare systems across the globe.
Speaking at the virtual ground-breaking event, the Scottish government’s Minister for Trade, Investment, and Innovation, Ivan McKee, said he believes the new facility will cement Scotland’s place on a world stage:
“The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a tremendous boost to the Scottish economy and a great endorsement of Scotland’s strengths in life and chemical sciences.
“The Scottish government is committed to attracting inward investment from global partners, whose investment in this project will help to create highly skilled jobs in Scotland in a vitally important sector.
“As an integral part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, the centre will put Scotland at the cutting edge of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, developing innovative technologies which will help to strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between innovation catalyst organisation, CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners: GSK and AstraZeneca – backed by funding from Scottish Enterprise and UK Research and Innovation.
The Centre has recently agreed on partnerships with five leading technology companies and service providers to further strengthen the range of expertise in the collaboration.
Dave Tudor, Managing Director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, Quality and Biologics, at CPI, says the team are ‘thrilled’ to be starting the construction work, building on many months of work that has already been done:
“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.”
Companies of all sizes will be able to use the facility close to Glasgow airport to evaluate, test and prototype processes using an array of advanced manufacturing technologies, including continuous, digital and autonomous manufacturing.
Building work is expected to take around a year with the new centre becoming operational early in 2022. It is expected to eventually house over 80 staff in both technical and non-technical roles.
by John Magill