Ireland takes on bioprocess complexity

A €2.3 million ($3.2 million) program launched by Enterprise Ireland seeks methods to improve the production systems used in drug manufacturing. The aim of the program is to deliver more efficient, reliable and cheaper processes for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Announcement of the program last week follows efforts by Enterprise Ireland and industry to identify developments required to improve production systems. The application of these developments "will allow precise quality control throughout the manufacturing process," according to an announcement, representing "an advance on traditional methods which use laboratory analysis to measure quality after the drug has been manufactured--an inefficient and expensive process with high levels of waste and unnecessary energy consumption."

Fifteen companies are working on the project. Seven are multinationals (Wyeth, J&J, Genzyme, Pfizer, Schering Plough, Eli Lilly and Elan) and eight are Irish: BioUetikon, Stokes Bio, Valcon Consulting, Luxcel Biosciences, Cellix, DPS Engineering, Pharmeng and Technopath.

Researchers at University College Dublin will lead the effort, with support from Dublin City University, the National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training, and the Tyndall National Institute in University College Cork. Engineering firm ABB will provide analytical and commercial support.

-  read the Enterprise Ireland announcement