DFE pharma joins UK’s leading initiative for innovation in drug manufacturing

DFE Pharma is the latest member of the UK’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre and will work on Grand Challenge 1: improving the manufacture of oral solid dosage medicines.

flat white circular pills on a production line

The UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has signed an agreement with DFE Pharma, making it the newest partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre collaboration. Under the agreement, DFE Pharma will work on Grand Challenge 1 – a project to increase productivity, reduce waste and cut costs during the manufacture of oral dosage medicines. To do this, the partnership will draw on DFE Pharma’s expertise in the development of excipients for oral solid doses.

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners, GlaxoSmithKline 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 ‘Grand Challenge’ projects to increase productivity and patient outcomes in the pharmaceutical industry. 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 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 centre, DFE Pharma will provide excipient characterisation techniques, consulting from its senior specialists and data insights that 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.

John Arthur, Director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre at CPI, commented: “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, Chief Executive Officer at DFE Pharma, added: “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.”