DFE Pharma becomes newest partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre to advance oral solid dosage medicines production

10 Jun 2021

CPI has today announced an agreement with DFE Pharma, making it the newest partner of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre collaboration. This partnership will enable the collaboration to draw upon DFE Pharma’s extensive expertise in the development of excipients for oral solid dosage medicines to help address key challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry today.

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The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners, GSK and AstraZeneca, with funding provided by Scottish Enterprise and UK Research and Innovation. The Centre aims to advance emergent and disruptive technologies through a series of flagship Grand Challenge’ projects to increase productivity and patient outcomes in the pharmaceutical industry. The new partnership with DFE Pharma will focus on Grand Challenge 1, which aims to develop a novel digitally-twinned continuous direct compression (CDC) platform to reduce waste and cut costs during the manufacture of oral dosage medicines. 

DFE Pharma ­– a leading global excipient manufacturer – will help accelerate Phase 1 of Grand Challenge 1, as well as minimise associated costs and risks. Leveraging over 100 years of experience in developing excipients for the pharmaceutical industry, DFE Pharma will offer the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre crucial expertise in excipient characterisation and functionality, quality by design, powder technology, special cause variation and commercial high-volume continuous production.

This new partnership will build on DFE Pharma’s existing contributions to Grand Challenge 1, which includes the supply of direct compression excipients that have been particle-engineered for the CDC platform. As a partner to the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, DFE Pharma will provide excipient characterisation techniques, consulting from its senior specialists, and data insights. This could significantly reduce the number of trials needed to develop the CDC platform and potentially prove invaluable in the progression of Phase 2 and future Grand Challenges to advance the development of next-generation pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre
Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, currently under construction in Glasgow.

John Arthur, Director of Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre at CPI, said: We are excited to be collaborating with global excipient manufacturer DFE Pharma; well-respected in the market for its excellence in particle technology and particle and process interactions. This partnership will enable Phase 1 of Grand Challenge 1 to be delivered more quickly and cost-effectively.”

Bas van Driel, CEO at DFE Pharma, said: We are delighted to establish a closer relationship with the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, the UK’s leading initiative to drive innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing, to help ensure the success of Grand Challenge 1. This unique opportunity will allow us to work alongside and showcase our world-class capabilities in excipient development to the other partners.”

About the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre was established by a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde, UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Enterprise and founding industry partners AstraZeneca and GSK.

The consortium aims to develop the medicines manufacturing processes of the future, enabling a more agile, responsive medicines supply chain through improved manufacturing processes. It will enable new and disruptive technologies to be proven at scale in a GMP environment. This will allow the rapid adoption of next-generation processes that reduce risk, cut costs and save time, enabling a healthier society and a robust UK economy.

With a collaborative innovation culture and state-of-the-art facilities, the Centre will enable industry, academia, healthcare providers and regulators to work collaboratively in order to address challenges and maximise technology opportunities within the medicines supply chain.

The Centre is already delivering two’ Grand Challenges’. The first is exploring how oral solid dosage medicines can be produced more robustly and efficiently utilising continuous direct compression. The second focuses on how these medicines can then be delivered to patients with minimal waste and maximum speed, using Just in Time manufacture and release capabilities. 


About CPI

CPI works with partners to translate inventions into products and processes that enhance health and wellbeing, protect and improve our environment and increase productivity across industries.

With a deep understanding of technology fore-sighting, innovation processes and funding, outstanding technical expertise and industry-relevant assets, we enable the accelerated development of transformational products and processes that have the potential to disrupt and revolutionise markets. 

We also engage in incremental technological innovation that allows established products and processes to be optimised for better performance and efficient manufacture.

Through the breadth of our technology platforms, we support our partners across many diverse markets, including pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals, food and drink, electronics and transportation.


About DFE Pharma

DFE Pharma is a global leader in pharmaceutical ingredient expert solutions. We strive to develop, produce and supply the highest quality functional excipients for use in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries for respiratory, oral solid dose and parenteral formulations. 

With over a century of experience, we are driven by our vision to work with your future in mind. As we are determined to offer a reliable supply and share our technical expertise, our 400+ people across the globe are committed to support (bio)pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies in over 100 countries in their journey to improve patients’ lives. Learn more at www​.DFEPhar​ma​.com

About the University of Strathclyde

For more than 200 years, the University of Strathclyde has been meeting the needs of students, employers, industry and wider society through world-class research, teaching, innovation and enterprise. Today, as a leading international technological University, Strathclyde works side-by-side with business, industry, government and the public sector, to improve health, safeguard the future of energy supplies, set new standards in manufacturing, and pioneer technologies. Its entrepreneurial environment makes Strathclyde the partner of choice for growing numbers of organisations across the world and has been recognised through the award of Times Higher Education UK Business School of the Year, Entrepreneurial University of the Year, and University of the Year. 

About Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency. We’re committed to growing the Scottish economy for the benefit of all, helping create more quality jobs and a brighter future for every region.

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UK Research and Innovation

This project has been funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. The fund is delivered by UK Research and Innovation.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. It provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next four years. It plays a central role in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. 

UK Research and Innovation is a new organisation that brings together the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England into a single organisation to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision is to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. For more information, visit www​.ukri​.org

CPI is your innovation partner to make your ideas a reality.