The University of Strathclyde is a strategic partner in a new £56 million UK innovation centre, which will revolutionise the way medicines are manufactured.
The world-first, industry-led Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) will offer pharma companies, from start-ups through to multinational organisations, a service to develop and adopt novel manufacturing techniques to adapt into their own manufacturing processes. The centre, to be located in Renfrewshire, is to be led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), in partnership with Strathclyde, the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), and founding industry partners, AstraZeneca and GSK.
Protecting future generations by bringing new medicines to market safely and quickly is one of the biggest health challenges facing the world today. By transforming processes and technologies, the speed of bringing new drugs to market could improve dramatically.
The new centre will be positioned next to the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS), of which Strathclyde is the anchor university, and at the heart of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. The MMIC aims to attract over £80 million of R&D investment by 2028 and will create 80 high value jobs directly by 2023. Up to 90 jobs will also be created or retained in companies involved in the design and build phase and post-construction.
The MMIC will also translate to industry the output of the EPSRC Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation. Led by the University of Strathclyde, this is a UK-wide consortium, which accelerates progress in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Strathclyde Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “Strathclyde has earned an international reputation for research and innovation that accelerates and enhances the manufacturing of medicines and pharmaceuticals. As strategic partners in MMIC, we will have an enhanced role in supporting industry to deliver urgently-needed medicines both swiftly and effectively.
“The challenges of health are among the biggest facing today’s world; they are changing rapidly and continually and medicine must keep pace with them to provide solutions. MMIC will provide world-class talent, research capability, technology, facilities, knowledge and experience to industry to ensure these challenges are met.”
CPI Chief Executive Officer Nigel Perry said: “The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will enhance the UK’s existing competitive advantage by deepening the skills base and strengthening the rationale for companies to invest in new, highly productive medicines manufacturing. CPI is delighted to be working alongside the University of Strathclyde, Innovate UK, Scottish Government and our industry partners to deliver this globally unique centre that will prepare the pharmaceutical supply chain for vital, next generation medicines and further extend CPI’s healthcare capabilities.”
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “I am delighted that the MMIC will be located in Scotland, given its potential to become a global centre of excellence and bringing significant benefits to Scotland’s economy. The location of the MMIC is also a very positive endorsement of Scotland’s Life and Chemical Science sectors and will build on our internationally recognised strengths in both Research and Development and manufacturing.
“Scottish Enterprise, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, is investing £15 million in the MMIC helping to fulfil the vision of Scotland’s Life Sciences Strategy. This will help to make Scotland the location of choice for the life sciences community and help us grow the industry’s contribution to the Scottish Economy by 90%, to £8 billion by 2025.
“As well as helping to attract further manufacturing investment to Scotland, the Centre will also be well placed to support new business start-ups and spin-outs and enable established life and chemical science companies to profit from innovation.
“Whilst the Centre will be located within the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District in Renfrewshire, alongside the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, we are taking a range of steps to ensure that the Sector across the whole of Scotland is able to benefit from the project.”
UK Government Minister, Lord Duncan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, said: “This is great news for the UK’s Life Sciences sector and especially important for Scotland in re-enforcing its global reputation as a centre for cutting edge scientific endeavour. We need more new medicines to tackle deadly diseases more quickly and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we want to see more of this world leading research and manufacture done here in the UK, bringing highly skills jobs and greater prosperity with it. The UK Government has provided significant backing to this project, with UK Research and Innovation investing £13 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.”
Linda Hanna, Managing Director of Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to welcome the new MMIC to Scotland. There is no other facility like this in the world and is a fantastic endorsement of Scotland as an ideal place to invest in global excellence in high value manufacturing drawing on our skills, innovative companies and academic expertise.
“Industry leadership and co-investment has been central to shaping this centre and will remain at the heart of what makes it a success, providing a platform for companies right across the UK to collaborate, innovate and develop world-leading medicine manufacturing processes and technologies.”
Nigel Perry MBE FREng, Chief Executive Officer at CPI, said: "The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will enhance the UK’s existing competitive advantage by deepening the skills base and strengthening the rationale for companies to invest in new, highly productive medicines manufacturing.
“CPI is delighted to be working alongside the University of Strathclyde, Innovate UK, Scottish Government and our industry partners to deliver this globally unique centre that will prepare the pharmaceutical supply chain for vital, next generation medicines and further extend CPI’s healthcare capabilities.”
With a global market worth £98 billion, the investment will help put the UK, and Scotland, at the forefront of technology and innovation in small molecule pharmaceutical and fine chemical manufacturing, which accounts for the majority of new medicine manufacturing. The pharmaceutical sector in Scotland employs 5000 people directly and supports a further 16,500 jobs.
Supported by Scottish Enterprise (£15 million), UK Research and Innovation, through Innovate UK (£13 million) GSK and AstraZeneca (£7 million each), the MMIC is one of the first projects across the UK to receive funding from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.