Continuous drug manufacturing offers speed, lower costs

As the United States seeks to reinvigorate its job market and move past economic recession, MIT News examines manufacturing’s role in the country’s economic future through this series on work at the Institute around manufacturing.

Traditional drug manufacturing is a time-consuming process. Active pharmaceutical ingredients are synthesized in a chemical manufacturing plant and then shipped to another site, where they are converted into giant batches of pills. Including transport time between manufacturing plants, each batch can take weeks or months to produce.

Five years ago, MIT and pharmaceutical company Novartis launched a research effort to transform those procedures. Instead of manufacturing drugs using this conventional batch-based system, they envision a continuous manufacturing process, all done in one location, which would cut down on time and cost.

via Continuous drug manufacturing offers speed, lower costs – MIT News Office.


One thought on “Continuous drug manufacturing offers speed, lower costs

  1. We tried doing this in biology. Because of the nature of the way cells grow and produce recombinant drugs, it would be vastly preferable for biopharmaceutical companies to produce their drugs in a continuous fashion. Unfortunately, this will never fly with the regulators for several reasons. Chief among them is quality validation. Continuous production line products cannot be broken into distinct batches, which makes tracability much harder. Additionally, continuous production creates problems with sterility as contaminants and byproducts build up within the system, rather than being expunged at the end of a traditional batch process.

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