We recognise that our customers may be worried about the impact of COVID-19 and our ability to continue to provide services to partners. Read about our response.

15 years of CPI — Making an impact in the pharmaceutical market

Helen Anderson

By Helen Anderson

08 Oct 2019

This year CPI is celebrating its 15th Birthday. We were established in 2004 as a way to build on the existing capabilities in the North East and ensure the region remained competitive in the global marketplace. Since then CPI has grown exponentially and has now delivered over 1700 public and private R&D projects with a value of around £500m.

One of the things which makes CPI such a unique organisation is the diverse range of markets we operate within. We help companies innovate in markets such as electronics, automotive, logistics and packaging, FMCG and pharmaceuticals. Here we take a look back at what has been achieved over the years to help companies innovate in the pharmaceutical market. 

In 2007, we announced our partnership in a new research hub aimed at delivering low-cost, high-quality vaccines to prevent Ebola and Zika outbreaks. Led by Imperial College London, the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Hub, which is supported by four UK universities, two UK institutes and partners in global distribution channels, was established to address two key challenges. The first was around designing a flexible modular production system to manufacture tens of thousands of vaccine doses in a matter of weeks. The second focused on improving and optimising existing manufacturing processes to improve vaccine stability and efficacy while reducing storage and manufacture costs.

Zika Virus

In 2015 became part of the pan-European Nanofacturing project which developed new manufacturing methods and improved supply chain coordination to advance treatments for rare cancers, autoimmune diseases and viral infections. The eight-partner project specifically centred upon processing glycan-coated gold nanoparticles which can circulate freely in the blood and, with the addition of targeting ligands, preferentially enter diseased cells or antigen-processing cells of the immune system.


In 2016, we started work alongside Cobra Biologics and GE Healthcare Life Sciences to develop cost-effective regenerative medicines with the aim of increasing the robustness and reducing the costs of manufacturing adeno-associated virus vectors, used for emerging gene therapy treatments.

Also In 2016, we collaborated with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies through the AMECRYS project. The aim of the project was to unlock the industrial application of protein crystallisation in biopharmaceuticals by developing an innovative, continuous, downstream process for mAb purification based around a Template-Assisted Membrane Crystallizer, which could lead to the replacement of the expensive and cumbersome conventional multi-step batch chromatography-based platform. 


In June 2019, we completed the Biostreamline project. This highly innovative collaborative project brought together five partners across the UK including Lonza Biologics, UCB Celltech, Sphere Fluidics, Horizon Discovery, and Alcyomics Ltd. The £11.2m project applied cutting-edge technologies to overcome some of the most significant shortcomings of the biologics supply chain and deliver cost-effective therapies to patients.

CPI is playing a key role in the ReMediES project which aims to improve medicine manufacture and supply, and offer personalised, faster, and cheaper drug delivery. GSK heads the project with research led by the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. It integrates key players in the pharmaceutical supply chain to bring new emerging technologies to market that have the potential to improve medicine manufacturing and supply and offer more personalised, faster and cheaper drug delivery.

The ReMediES project seeks to redefine the supply chain of the future, provide innovative ways to tackle inefficiencies and capitalise on new opportunities to position the UK as a global leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The project spans both ends of clinical and commercial supply chains and addresses active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing, primary to secondary manufacturing, supercritical fluid technology, agile packaging and printed electronics. CPI is facilitating the development and scaleup of smart packaging concepts. These integrated smart devices have the potential to improve patient compliance and outcomes during treatment by streaming instructions for usage to users’ smartphones, and providing anti-counterfeiting and fitness for consumption validation.


As we look to the future, CPI plans to enhance its presence within the pharmaceutical sector. In 2020 we will break ground on the new Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, Glasgow. A collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde, AstraZeneca, GSK, Scottish Enterprise and UKRI. The unique, state-of-the-art facility will offer transformative solutions in small molecule and fine chemical manufacturing and aims to alleviate many of the pressures on pharmaceutical and healthcare providers by addressing key challenges along the supply chain.

Share This Page

Try our free innovation evaluation 

Use our free Innovation Integrator® tool to assess your innovation and find your fastest route to market. 

Get Started