The University of Strathclyde’s world-leading Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation (CMAC) medicines manufacturing research centre, has received a new £11 million award from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) to deliver the CMAC Data Lab: A Digital Medicine Manufacturing Research Accelerator.
This significant capital investment is CMAC’s third award from UKRPIF continuing its strategic approach to establishing world-class research infrastructure for medicines manufacturing. The award secures an additional co-investment of £23.73 million from CMAC industry and charity partners.
Professor Alastair Florence, Director, CMAC and Data Lab lead, said: “This new £33M UKRPIF partnership will transform CMAC’s facilities through investment in a suite of innovative technologies that will allow us to address our research goals of human-centric, sustainable and resilient medicines development and manufacture.
“This fantastic investment enables us to serve the broader medicines manufacturing community by establishing a new toolbox to drive the digital transformation of Chemistry, Manufacture, and Control (CMC) processes. Our objective is to expedite the development, manufacturing, and regulatory processes of medicines, fostering faster, smarter, and more efficient operations.
“The UKRPIF Data Lab will establish CMAC as a world class data centre for digital medicines manufacturing and creates an integrated cyber-physical infrastructure that leverages data, robotics, digital twins, AI, analytics and advanced process technologies. In doing so, the centre and our partners will be positioned as a beacon for training and developing future CMC scientists and innovation leaders, supporting a sustainable, efficient, digitally driven, and patient-centric pharmaceutical industry.”
The CMAC Data Lab will be a world-first Industry 5.0 research facility that will support a critical mass of new research that will revolutionise the way we design, develop, manufacture, and regulate medicines through the digitalisation of CMC processes.
The Data Lab builds on our recent UKRPIF Net Zero pilot and allows us to go further in reducing the emissions generated from our research. With investment in new capabilities around peptide and oligonucleotide production, this award also enabled CMAC to address challenges in bringing these new medicines to patients. CMAC will work with its partners to fully integrate the benefits of this unique resource into the wider UK research, development and innovation ecosystem.
Key CMAC Data Lab partners also expressed their support and endorsement.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Strathclyde, said: “We are delighted that the work of CMAC, the University of Strathclyde and all of our partners has been recognised through the award of this prestigious UKRPIF award.
“This success is a clear and independent endorsement of CMAC’s visionary approach in driving the digital transformation of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. This key investment will make a significant contribution to building a world leading facility to support research, innovation, training and skills development in areas that addressing a critical need within the industry.
“Strathclyde sees CMAC as a core strategic part of the University’s research and innovation ecosystem, and this award will significantly enhance the impact of the programme and accelerate the development of innovative solutions essential to the pharmaceutical industry and the patients it serves.
“Together, we are driving transformative change and shaping the future of pharmaceutical manufacturing. “
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Executive Chair at Research England said: “I am pleased to announce an investment of £11m from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund into the Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) Data Lab. This builds on UKRPIF investment from round 2 and will strengthen the University of Strathclyde’s world-leading capability in medicines manufacturing research and revolutionise the way medicines are designed, developed and regulated.
“This is a unique data-centred approach that will generate a host of scientific breakthroughs, from accelerating product development to generating new processes that are more resilient and sustainable.”
Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Higher Education, said: “CMAC’s cutting edge research and development of innovative approaches to medicines manufacturing is a prime example of Scottish strengths in life sciences research and innovation.
“Scotland is a world-leader in health research and innovation and this new investment in the Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) Data Lab will further strengthen our global reputation.”
Helen Cross, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The success of CMAC stems from a long tradition of world-leading medicines manufacturing research in Scotland and a passion for innovation.
“We are delighted with today’s announcement and also proud to have played a part in funding CMAC during the early stages of its development.
“I am confident that, through CMAC, UKRPIF funding will unlock further exciting transformations in medicines development, manufacture and supply.”
“We are very excited about the RPIF award, as we believe that it will help increase research’s impact and accelerate the development and adoption of more innovative solutions required in industry, like simulation-based processes optimisation, digital twins, or AI-assisted modelling.”