The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced plans to collaborate with partners GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca to establish a bespoke, continuous wet granulation manufacturing facility for small-scale development of oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals.

The longer-term ambition is to reduce or remove the need for labour-intensive testing of products at the end of manufacture, and decrease drug release timeframes.

The new facility, which is designed to include integrated in-line process analytical technologies (PAT), was built as part of a project called PROSPECT CP, will include blending and feeding of raw materials, twin screw wet granulation, drying and ultimately tabletting.

The in-line, PAT-enabled, open-innovation facility will support the UK pharmaceutical industry and potentially other industries where the development of controlled complex solid forms is critical. It will enable the development of robust processes, ultimately reducing drug release timeframes and could also be used in the future to aid real-time monitoring, enabling robust control of product quality to be achieved.

The facility will be based at CPI’s existing space at NETPark, County Durham, and will be capable of handling a wide range of active pharmaceutical ingredients. It will also include equipment relevant to established continuous manufacturing technologies.

Jason Crooks, director, drug product design and development at GSK, said: “GSK is proud to be working with CPI to develop the PROSPECT CP platform.

“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.”

The Centre for Process Innovation is a UK-based technology innovation centre and part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which uses applied knowledge in science and engineering combined with state of the art development facilities to enable our clients to develop, prove, prototype and scale up the next generation of products and processes.