UK gene and cell therapy group Oxford BioMedica has announced a new digital framework initiative to streamline the production of next-generation medicines.

The company will invest a total of £4 million, supported by a £2 million grant from Innovate UK, in building digital and robotics capabilities designed to drive improvements in analytical methodology, supply times and cost of goods.

Ultimately, the goal of the initiative is to increase capacity, reduce the cost of manufacturing and cut down on waste.

Oxford Biomedica recently announced plans to create an additional manufacturing facility near its headquarters in Oxford, in keeping with chief executive John Dawson’s prediction that “demand for advanced therapy medicinal products is expected to grow at unprecedented levels”.

He also stated: “This new initiative will provide us with digital and robotic enhancements to maintain our global leading position in the development and manufacture of lentiviral vector products.

“This is important for our own R&D pipeline as well as for our blue-chip partners as we continue to support the delivery of life-altering gene therapies to patients around the world.”

The aims of the project are aligned with the UK Government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal to help ensure that the next wave of breakthrough treatments, innovative medical research and technologies, and high skill jobs are created in Britain.