CPI Joins Consortium for Automated Continuous Biologics Purification

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With £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) in funding, the consortium is tasked with developing a new automated continuous biologics purification unit to make biologic drug manufacturing more efficient.

On August 24, 2017, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a UK-based provider of technology innovation for process manufacturing, announced that it has joined a consortium to develop an automated continuous biologics purification unit for more efficient manufacture of biologic drugs. This new unit will enable the industry to adapt more rapidly to changing market demands, giving economic as well as sustainable advantages. The consortium’s participating organizations include Pall Europe, CPI, Allergan Biologics, Fujifilm, Diosynth Biotechnologies UK, Medimmune, and GlaxoSmithKline. The consortium is funded by £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) from Innovate UK, an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in the United Kingdom.

As biopharma moves to the business mainstream, the industry will increasingly require new ways to maintain competitiveness by ensuring affordability, quality, and delivery performance. Continuous processes have been proposed as a solution because they are scalable, offer higher productivity with reduced running times and materials usage, and require smaller footprint and less capital-intense facilities. In addition, automated continuous bioprocesses minimize human intervention and thus the potential for errors, according to CPI.

This project brings together five major biopharmaceutical companies with UK operations, process technology suppliers, and CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a network of research and development facilities in the UK, to develop an automated continuous biologics purification unit for more efficient manufacturing. The new unit will consist of integrated, multiple operations running concurrently. All lab work will be completed at CPI’s facilities using equipment provided by Pall and using feedstock from the manufacturers in the consortium.

“This project will integrate all downstream processing operations into one unit so that a range of biologics are purified and formulated in hours, compared to many days. The value brought to process development and preclinical studies will also be transcribed to clinical manufacturing scenarios,” said Rob Noel, business development manager European Union and Asia, Pall, in a company press release.


“As the biologics industry moves to drive the cost of complex therapies down and increase productivity, continuous processing is becoming a key area of interest. Whilst other manufacturing sectors are already using continuous processing effectively, it is not being widely used in the biologics industry. With the expertise assembled within this consortium, we believe a significant contribution will be made to the way the industry manufactures biologics,” said Mark Bustard, business development director-Biologics, CPI, in the press release.

Source: Centre for Process Innovation