The REMEDIES (RE-configuring MEDIcines End-to-end Supply) project has accelerated into its next phase following the approval of £11.2m of government funding. The project is further strengthened by an £11m contribution from industry, matching the figure raised through Round 4 of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
The UK’s pharmaceutical sector makes a major contribution to the UK economy but there remain significant opportunities to address supply chain inefficiencies which add costs and reduce productivity. At the same time, new technologies are emerging which have the potential to improve medicine manufacturing and supply, and offer more personalised, faster and cheaper drug delivery. To provide a better service to patients and to safeguard jobs across the UK, the sector needs to find innovative ways to tackle inefficiencies and capitalise on these new opportunities.
The REMEDIES project, launched in 2014, is headed up by GlaxoSmithKline with research led by the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. It brings together key players in the end-to-end supply chain, including major contract manufacturing organisations, equipment manufacturers along with regulators, knowledge transfer networks and healthcare providers.
The project, due to be completed in March 2018 has several technology based application projects underpinned by two platform projects: clinical trials supply chains, led by GSK, and commercial supply chains led by IfM. This new announcement means that expenditures can now be approved and the project can move into the technology application phase.
Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman, said: “The appliance of science and innovation to the supply chain of the £32bn pharmaceutical industry can deliver huge benefits to industry, NHS and patients. Through initiatives such as this we are committed to investing in UK leadership in this important field.”
Ian McCubbin, SVP Global Manufacturing and Supply, said: “The REMEDIES project is already playing a significant role in our work to transform the medicines supply chain in the UK and this investment moves it into the important phase of technology application. Having led the project from the outset, GSK is particularly proud of the collaboration it has created, between leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, our partners and academia. We are confident that the project will ultimately result in real benefits to patients.”
Chris Jones, Vice President and Global Head of Pharmaceutical Development, AstraZeneca, said: “I am delighted that AstraZeneca is a key member of Project Remedies. The UK’s Pharmaceutical Industry is a key asset and continued investment in the science and technology that underpins our industry is vital. Project REMEDIES brings together world leading scientists and engineers from major pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and GSK, from leading academic institutions and from cutting edge technology companies to work on a focused programme of activities that will stimulate creative solutions and innovation.”
Dr Jagjit Singh Srai from the Institute for Manufacturing and REMEDIES Research Director added: “Now the government funding has been approved, we can build on the considerable amount of progress made in the design of these production and supply chain transformative technologies, enabling investments in expertise and capital across the projects led by our industrial partners.”
Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing said: “The IfM’s Centre for International Manufacturing has been at the forefront of research into the impact of disruptive technologies and new business models on supply networks in key sectors. It is very pleasing to see this work playing such a pivotal part in the REMEDIES project.”