The new industry-led Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) will offer pharma companies, from start-ups through to multinational organisations, a unique service to develop and adopt novel manufacturing techniques to adapt into their own manufacturing processes. By transforming processes and technologies, the speed of bringing new drugs to market could improve drastically.
The MMIC will be positioned next to the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) and at the heart of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. The MMIC aims to attract over £80 million of R&D investment by 2028 and will create 80 high value jobs directly by 2023. Up to 90 jobs will also be created or retained in companies involved in the design and build phase and post-construction.
With a global market worth £98 billion, this investment will help put the UK, and Scotland, at the forefront of technology and innovation in small molecule pharmaceutical and fine chemical manufacturing which still makes up the bulk of how new medicines are made. The pharmaceutical sector in Scotland employs 5000 people directly and supports a further 16,500 jobs.
Supported by Scottish Enterprise (£15 million), UK Research and Innovation, through Innovate UK (£13 million) GSK and AstraZeneca (£7 million each), the MMIC is one of the early projects across the UK to receive funding from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “I am delighted that the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be located in Scotland, given its potential to become a global centre of excellence and bringing significant benefits to Scotland’s economy. The location of the MMIC is also a very positive endorsement of Scotland’s life and chemical science sectors and will build on our internationally recognised strengths in both research and development and manufacturing. Scottish Enterprise, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, is investing £15 million in the MMIC helping to fulfil the vision of Scotland’s Life Sciences Strategy. This will help to make Scotland the location of choice for the life sciences community and help us grow the industry’s contribution to the Scottish Economy by 90 per cent, to £8 billion by 2025.
“As well as helping to attract further manufacturing investment to Scotland, the centre will also be well placed to support new business start-ups and spin-outs and enable established life and chemical science companies to profit from innovation. Whilst the Centre will be located within the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District in Renfrewshire, alongside the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, we are taking a range of steps to ensure that the sector across the whole of Scotland is able to benefit from the project.”
Linda Hanna, Scottish Enterprise managing director, said: “We are delighted to welcome the new MMIC to Scotland. There is no other facility like this in the world and is a fantastic endorsement of Scotland as an ideal place to invest in global excellence in high value manufacturing drawing on our skills, innovative companies and academic expertise. Industry leadership and co-investment has been central to shaping this centre and will remain at the heart of what makes it a success, providing a platform for companies right across the UK to collaborate, innovate and develop world-leading medicine manufacturing processes and technologies.”
Dr Dave Tudor, Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group chair, and vice president, Head of Global Manufacturing and Supply Strategy for GSK, said: “Industry, government, academia and others are working together to secure an internationally competitive leadership position for the UK in life sciences for the long-term. GSK has long advocated the value of collaborations like the MMIC to capitalise on our world-class science base and deliver innovation that drives growth and improves patient care. As the UK’s largest life sciences company and one of its biggest investors in research, we are delighted to have an active involvement in this new centre.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, University of Strathclyde principal, said: “Strathclyde has earned an international reputation for research and innovation that accelerates and enhances the manufacturing of medicines and pharmaceuticals. As strategic partners in MMIC, we will have an enhanced role in supporting industry to deliver urgently-needed medicines both swiftly and effectively. The challenges of health are among the biggest facing today’s world; they are changing rapidly and continually and medicine must keep pace with them to provide solutions. MMIC will provide world-class talent, research capability, technology, facilities, knowledge and experience to industry to ensure these challenges are met.”