29 Mar 2015
CPI led UK Biotech consortium secures £6.2m government investment

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) today announced that they have secured a multi-million pound investment via the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to support the development and manufacture of novel biologic treatments.  The £6.2m investment will go towards the estimated total cost of the project which is around £11.3m.

The project, which is a joint bid with five other UK based organisations including UCB Celltech and Lonza Biologics, aims to overcome some of the most significant shortcomings of the current biologics supply chain and enable the continued delivery of cost effective therapies to patients.  As a key member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, CPI will supply technical expertise, facilities, and project management through the newly created National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) based at Darlington.

The consortium will achieve its aims by adopting leading-edge technologies emerging from UK SMEs to target critical points in the biologics supply chain. Single cell analysis and cell sorting technology from Sphere Fluidics will increase the productivity of antibody analysis and development and lead to more high quality candidates entering clinical trials. Horizon Discovery will apply their gene editing technology to deliver flexible, low cost and efficient cellular systems to support the future needs of biologics manufacture. Alcyomics Ltd will contribute a novel tool to predict biologics safety and work with CPI, Lonza and UCB to establish methods and approaches to choose candidates with the lowest risk of failure.

The intended outcome of the project is to reduce the time it takes to bring biologics to market by increasing our ability to identify failing drugs earlier in development (i.e. those candidates likely to fail due to safety, manufacturing or formulation difficulties).  The efficiency of manufacturing systems for the next generation of biologics molecules will be vastly improved.  Additionally, the project proposes to create 23 new job opportunities and safeguard 174 existing jobs by March 2022.

Dr Chris Dowle, Director of Biologics at CPI said “We are delighted to have received the government’s support on this project.  The consortium of companies behind this project is well-equipped to streamline the development process of biologics. The increasing emphasis on stratified medicines means that supply chains that were initially designed to deliver a few traditional blockbusters in large quantities must be adapted to develop and manufacture a higher number of diverse therapies. Our goal is to find innovative ways to make this transition while also ensuring affordability.”

“Our goal is to help integrate in a seamless way the design and selection of lead therapeutic candidates with novel approaches to process development and manufacturing, which is expected to help streamline bio-therapeutic development and improve its efficiency compared with existing practices in the industry,” said Marc Funk, COO of Lonza’s Pharma&Biotech segment. “Further, the project aims to strengthen the biotechnology ecosystem in the UK by developing closer interactions between technology innovators, pharmaceutical companies, contract research and manufacturing organisations, and health care providers – all of whom are working towards a common goal.”