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UL-based SSPC to collaborate with US firm to address challenges in pharmaceutical industry

SSPC Co-Director Professor Gavin Walker
Fri, 19 Mar 2021

SSPC, the SFI Research Centre based at University of Limerick, has announced a new collaboration with US company Applied Materials, Inc. to address key challenges in the pharmaceutical industry.

The collaboration agreement, announced this Friday, will develop and deploy materials engineering solutions to help solve critical drug development, formulation and manufacturing challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry.

“The global pharmaceutical industry plays a critical role in the health and welfare of people worldwide,” said SSPC Co-Director, Professor Gavin Walker.

“Our collaboration with Applied Materials allows us to jointly create unique solutions to enable a faster and more effective formulation cycle, which is a key bottleneck today in bringing new medicines to people in need,” he added.

The collaboration will apply precision materials engineering to pharmaceutical industry manufacturing as part of Applied Materials, Inc.’s product portfolio transformation. It is a prime example of how academic groups and companies working together are playing a vital role in the innovation and development process.

“The ability to precisely control the molecular surface of active pharmaceutical ingredients opens a world of possibilities to improve the stability and efficacy of medicines from production to patient,” said Kieran Drain, Managing Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer at Applied Materials Inc.

“We are excited about this collaboration and the opportunity to bring materials engineering know-how from the semiconductor industry to address these important challenges.”

Welcoming the announcement, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “World-leading SFI Research Centres such as SSPC are making innovative scientific advances, further growing the global reach of our talent pool of excellent researchers and securing international Industry partnerships.

“This solidifies Ireland’s reputation at the leading-edge of pharmaceutical production, materials science and manufacturing technologies,” he added.