Dr Chris Edlin, director of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC), hosted at University of Limerick, with Professor Gavin Walker, Bernal Chair of Pharmaceutical Powder Engineering at the announcement of €1.3 million worth of funding to PMTC by Enterprise Ireland. (Photo: Alan Place)

New research projects being carried out at a leading national technology centre will help biopharmaceutical companies in Ireland improve their manufacturing processes and increase competitiveness.

Enterprise Ireland has awarded €1.3 million worth of funding to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC), hosted at University of Limerick, for economically important Innovation Partnership Projects involving multiple industry partners.

This funding will primarily focus research towards improving cleaning processes in the industry and contributing to network competitiveness in areas such as product-to-product changeover. The research effort will lead to increased efficiencies, cost savings and will ensure improved effectiveness in the biopharmaceutical industry helping to secure jobs.

The PMTC is part of the Enterprise Ireland IDA Technology Centre Program and works with industry partners to provide advanced technology solutions for the biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland. The centre currently assists more than 30 companies on pharmaceutical manufacturing projects, including continuous manufacturing, plant cleaning and process engineering.

According to Dr Chris Edlin, Centre Director of PMTC: “Our primary focus in PMTC is to advance cutting-edge innovation; bringing forward novel technologies to advance Irish-based biopharmaceutical companies. These additional funds from Enterprise Ireland will help strengthen our capabilities and expand our services to more partners. Furthermore, this investment will deliver highly-skilled postgraduate jobs, driving enterprise and employment growth in the region”.

Pfizer is the lead industrial collaborator on the multi-partner EI Innovation Partnership Programme. Dr Liam Tully, Director Pfizer API Technology said, “The PMTC focus on delivering advanced technical solutions to the pharma manufacturing industry enhances our competiveness and ensures, through direct engagement on innovative partnership projects, a sustained focus on applying innovative science and technology in our manufacturing facilities”.

Outstanding project performance relating to industry-informed research activities at the PMTC led to the allocation of the additional €1.3 million funding from Enterprise Ireland through the Innovation Partnership program.  Declan McGee, Programme Manager for the Innovation Partnerships at Enterprise Ireland congratulated PMTC on its performance to date and looks forward to PMTC’s increasing connections to companies.

“The new cleaning and validation process being developed will lead to more efficient and productive manufacture of pharmaceutical active ingredients. It will be key to ensuring that the Irish operations increase their competitiveness, relevance and reputation,” Mr McGee stated.