Scotland to lead the way in cutting-edge medicines manufacturing


Scotland is poised to become the United Kingdom’s epicentre for cutting-edge medicines manufacturing, following the announcement of a multi-million-pound fund in the Autumn Statement on November 22, 2023. The creation of a Centre of Excellence for manufacturing advanced medicines, focusing on oligonucleotides, is set to revolutionise the field of medicine.

Oligonucleotides, a class of molecules, hold the potential to address a wide range of diseases, from cancer to Alzheimer’s. This innovative approach has the power to unlock treatments for conditions currently deemed untreatable and create more effective medicines for prevalent ailments like heart disease.

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The Oligonucleotide Manufacturing Innovation Centre of Excellence, the second facility initiated by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS), will play a pivotal role in developing sustainable manufacturing techniques in this emerging medical field.

CPI Building

Expected to commence operations in 2024 and completed by late 2025, this new Centre represents a collaborative effort between CPI, large pharmaceutical companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the supply chain, and academia. It builds upon the substantial investment already underway through the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Dave Tudor, Managing Director of Pharmaceuticals at CPI, emphasises the monumental potential of oligonucleotides in transforming lives. He highlights the critical gap in the supply and demand for this groundbreaking technology and aims to bridge it, allowing businesses to produce much-needed medicines efficiently.

Of significance is the strategic positioning of Scotland as the hub for advanced medicine manufacturing techniques. The Centre’s co-location with the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre establishes Scotland as a leader in oligonucleotide manufacturing, attracting investments and creating high-paying, highly skilled jobs in the region.

Tudor underscores the collaboration with The University of Strathclyde, marking a commitment to providing a comprehensive solution for the development, manufacturing, supply, and training of oligonucleotides. The joint funding by the UK and Scottish Governments, coupled with Scottish Enterprise’s expected contractual agreements in the New Year, solidifies the Centre’s position as a catalyst for innovation.

The move comes at a critical juncture when the current manufacturing capacity for oligonucleotides falls short of meeting present and future demands, hindering the development of new treatments for patients. The Oligonucleotide Manufacturing Innovation Centre of Excellence is poised to address these challenges, establishing a holistic UK-based capability to drive innovation and support clinical manufacture.

As the world looks to Scotland for groundbreaking advancements in medicine, the Centre represents a beacon of hope for those seeking innovative treatments and underscores the nation’s commitment to pioneering advancements in healthcare.

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