CPI-led UK biotech consortium secures £6.2m of government investment

Project aims to reduce the time it takes to bring biologics to market

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has 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).

The intended outcome of the project is to reduce the time it takes to bring biologics to market by increasing the ability to identify failing drugs earlier in development (that is, those candidates likely to fail owing to safety, manufacturing or formulation difficulties). 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 its gene editing technology to deliver flexible, low cost and efficient cellular systems to support the future needs of biologics manufacture. Alcyomics 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.

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 help integrate the design and selection of lead therapeutic candidates with novel approaches to process development and manufacturing, which is expected to help streamline biotherapeutic development and improve its efficiency compared with existing practices in the industry,' added Marc Funk, COO of Lonza’s Pharma and Biotech segment.

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