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SSPC to develop national advanced drug product manufacturing facility at UL

Professor Gavin Walker, SSPC co-director and Bernal Chair in Pharmaceutical Powder Engineering at University of Limerick
Tue, 25 Aug 2020

SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals hosted at the Bernal Institute in University of Limerick, will soon have access to a suite expanding research capabilities at UL through SFI Infrastructure Awards.

Professor Gavin Walker, SSPC co-director and Bernal Chair in Pharmaceutical Powder Engineering at UL, will receive €1.9m to develop a national advanced drug product manufacturing facility to facilitate industrial collaboration and support SSPC research projects with industrial and academic partners.

Professor Walker will lead the team helping to bridge the challenging engineering and scientific gap for process scale-up from lab to manufacturing.

“The move towards continuous manufacturing will be the next major innovation for the pharmaceutical industry and it’s essential that the Irish pharmaceutical manufacturing industry move towards continuous processing to remain globally competitive.” said Professor Walker.

“The implementation of continuous pharmaceutical processes is an opportunity to substantially reduce costs, reduce manufacturing times and bring medicines quickly to market, improve product defects, and encourage innovation by an integrated manufacturing approach.

“This research infrastructure, will build on the University of Limerick’s reputation of internationally leading research in pharmaceutical manufacturing at the Bernal Institute.”

The new Advanced Drug Product Manufacturing Facility will deliver a suite of next generation process equipment to foster industrial collaboration on drug product manufacturing within the academic environment; an addition to SSPC’s significant capability in upstream continuous processing for active pharmaceutical ingredient production.

Industry is moving towards increased localisation, the requirement to perform manufacturing in countries to achieve approval and drive different manufacturing models to achieve efficiency in small volume manufacture in developing countries, requiring SSPC to focus on continuous manufacturing, modular equipment and process control systems.

SSPC was founded in 2007, with a focus on the entire pharmaceutical production chain from molecule to material and formulation of the medicine. This has now grown and includes manufacturing and modelling themes working with nine higher-education institutes (HEIs) including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Royal College of Surgeons, WIT and its host UL.