Foreword from Andy Evans, Chair, Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP)

Welcome to the summer newsletter from the MMIP.

MMIP Update: July 2019

MMIP is continuing to lead continuous dialogue with Government through the Life Sciences Council to support the future of medicines manufacturing in the UK. Our latest update on that work is below.

Our annual conference continues to go from strength to strength, and was hosted very successfully by Pfizer and Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent in June. More from the conference also below.

Looking ahead, the next major event on our calendar will be the BIA bioProcessUK conference in November in Liverpool. I hope to see many MMIP members there.

Andy Evans, Chair, Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership

If you have any feedback on the content or information here then please email us at MMIP@bioindustry.org. If you have any colleagues you feel would be interested in learning more about the work of MMIP then please ask them to get in touch with us or sign up to our mailing list here. You can also join the conversation at the MMIP LinkedIn Community.

Life Sciences Council meeting update

At the Life Sciences Council meeting in May, MMIP Chair Andy Evans made the case for specific support to attract investment in medicines manufacturing facilities in the UK particularly through targeted capital grants.

In early July, this was followed up with a meeting with Treasury representatives to discuss the issues in greater depth. The feeling was that there is some great work being done in the UK to apply digital technologies to improve manufacturing efficiency, and it would be great to be able to apply the fruits of this research to clinical and commercial medicines manufacturing in the UK.

This is being followed up in collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

MMIP Annual Conference 2019

This year’s MMIP conference was hosted by Pfizer and Discovery Park in Sandwich and delivered by ABPI, BIA and KTN. The day focused on the potential of advanced digital technologies to transform medicines manufacturing. It also looked at what is needed to anchor medicines manufacturing in the UK post-Brexit.

If you haven't already, please give us your feedback on the conference by completing the short survey here.

Pfizer and Kent County Council: New multi-million investment in paediatric medicines and SME businesses at Discovery Park

MMIP 2019 delegates welcomed Pfizer's announcement of £5million investment to grow its manufacturing and development of paediatric medicines in Sandwich, bringing its total investment in the site to £36million.

Kent County Council also announced £5million for a new venture capital fund aimed at supporting SME life science businesses at Discovery Park.

Read more about the announcements, which demonstrate the vibrancy of the medicines manufacturing sector in the UK.

Advanced digital technologies showcased at MMIP

At MMIP 2019, the morning session was led by Sue Dunkerton OBE, CEO of the Knowledge Transfer Network. Dave Tudor (CPI), Patrick Hyett (GSK) and Bob Doherty (Pfizer), all spoke about the application of advanced digital technologies to medicines manufacturing.

This included work at the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre to develop an integrated continuous process platform delivering improved manufacturing efficiency and a rapid and responsive supply chain reducing materials waste. A collaborative project on a digital framework combining new drug product design and process development and how these technologies will transform operations in the ‘factory of the future’ was also discussed.

Read more about MMIC here.

Addressing skills gaps in manufacturing

The need to address the skills gaps we face was a key theme of the day at MMIP 2019.

Delegates enjoyed a lively lunchtime panel session with apprentices from industry, which discussed how valuable apprentices are in helping our sector fill its skills requirements (below).

Alex Felthouse of Eisai pointed out in the afternoon session that the medicines manufacturing industry needs 32,000 new recruits by 2025.

Later in the day Kent County Councillor Paul Carter spoke enthusiastically about the need to boost apprenticeships as a way of improving post-16 education for young people.

Securing the advanced therapies talent pipeline

The Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) has established the first ever advanced therapies apprenticeship programme in England and Scotland.

32 apprentices have been employed from 11 companies, but this is expected to rise to 65 – 70 from 26 organisations by the end of the year as ATAC continues delivering apprenticeships to support the sector.

The most recent programme, a Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (MBA), is perfect for upskilling existing employees.

Full details of this, and other programmes that are currently live including Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Science Manufacturing Technician, Advanced Therapies Technician Scientist and Modern Apprenticeship in Life Sciences (Scotland) can be found on the ATAC website. If you would like to hear more, please contact apprenticeshipsinfo@ct.catapult.org.uk.

You can also join the MMIP ATAC LinkedIn group to build the community and receive updates and relevant news.

Community for Analytical Measurement Science celebrates launch

CAMS is the first industry-led membership network of its kind dedicated to developing leading training, research and innovation in analytical measurement science. It will address the threat of declining skills and strengthen the existing networks of chemical and bio-analytical measurement excellence throughout the UK and Ireland. MMIP supported the set up of this important network.

Funding Opportunities and events

You can see a list of current funding opportunities and future events on the KTN website.

27 - 28 November: BIA's annual bioProcessUK Conference. Taking place at St George’s Hall, Liverpool with the evening dinner at Liverpool Cathedral. This year’s theme is bioprocessing in the digital age. For more details and to register visit the website.

Please contact us at MMIP@bioindustry.org or join our LinkedIn group. View the KTN's medicines manufacturing landscape map here. If you have any colleagues you feel would be interested in learning more about the work of MMIP then please ask them to get in touch with us or sign up to our mailing list.