Novel Continuous Processing Techniques for Pharma

A UK based consortium including CPI has been able to develop unique continuous processing reactor capability and modelling control techniques for the continuous production of high value pharmaceuticals.

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The Challenge

To demonstrate higher yields, more consistent product and better quality material using continuous crystallisers coupled with the new control system vs batch equivalent process.

The Outcome

The new technologies will lead to high-value chemicals being produced in a continuous manner, leading to increased automated control on products that are of a higher quality, greater consistency and at a lower cost.

We are very happy with the outcome of the collaboration. We have been able to demonstrate higher yields, more consistent product and better quality material using continuous crystallisers coupled with the new control system vs batch equivalent process.” 

The new reactor technologies developed will enable high value chemicals, including pharmaceuticals that have traditionally been made in batches, to be produced in a continuous manner, together with an increased level of automated control leading to products that are of a higher quality, greater consistency and are produced at lower cost in a resource efficient manner.

The developments have the potential to transform many formulating sectors. The two year Innovate UK project titled Made to order processing plants’ finished in April 2015 and involved CPI alongside AstraZeneca, Perceptive Engineering Limited and CMAC at The University of Strathclyde.

The project developed three demonstration scale systems; a flow reactor system at CPI and two continuous crystallisers at the University of Strathclyde. In addition to the reactors, the project has also established novel control design and analytical techniques to complement the reactors. The robust software solution produced enables the reactors to reach optimum performance quickly and efficiently as the manufacturer switches between products. The model predictive control enables plug-and-play’ capabilities by allowing the use of a wide range of continuous test equipment to be controlled by a single control system allowing these to be rapidly reconfigured to manufacture a range of products at different scales.