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19 May 2022

University of Limerick hosted research centre wins major award

University of Limerick hosted research centre wins major award

Scott Ohanesian, of sponsors QuickStat, Aisling Arthur, SSPC industry relations, Dr Sarah Hayes, SSPC chief operating officer, Prof Damien Thompson, SSPC director and Dr Steven Ferguson, UCD

A RESEARCH centre for pharmaceuticals hosted at the University of Limerick (UL) has won a major prize

SSPC which exists to develop technologies related to challenges facing the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sector is hosted in the Bernal Institute on campus at UL.

It scooped the award for pharma research centre of the year and innovation of the year at the Irish Pharma Industry Awards.

Prof Damien Thompson, director of SSPC and a director in physics at UL said: "We are delighted that SSPC have received this award and is recognised for its exceptional collaborations and links with industry. Congratulations to everybody in the centre who made this award possible, it is a testament to the ongoing and developing partnerships that drive production, innovation and economic growth."

Its chief operating officer Sarah Hayes added: "Over the past 12 months, the SSPC has delivered outstanding outputs for complex projects. This award is a great honour, and we are thrilled that we have been recognised for our work and continued commitment to joint academic/industry collaborations. We are delighted to have won this award celebrating the unique ground-breaking fundamental research projects within SSPC."

The innovation of the year was awarded to SSPC investigator Dr Luis Padrela based at chemical sciences, Bernal Institute, for his technology called CM-NANO. This technology has been developed through a commercialisation fund project supported by Enterprise Ireland, where Dr Padrela has developed novel batch/semi-continuous and continuous nano-spray coating technologies for the single-step manufacture of directly compressible drug nanoparticles. Dr Padrela has collaborated with Prof. Kevin M Ryan for the development of the CM-Nano technology, which offers a solution to poorly soluble drugs while also addressing poor bioavailability, low efficacy and poor flowability/manufacturability. The industrial implementation of this continuous technology will contribute to a greener manufacturing footprint by using a continuous manufacturing approach which will require less raw material.

Dr Padrela said: "Our focus has always been on the development of innovative technologies. We are proud to receive the innovation award which reaffirms our strong focus on such technologies and on developing products and solutions that can be applied to multiple disease states and therapies, multiple drugs, drug products within the centre.”

The centre currently collaborates with more than 40 leading pharmaceutical companies both nationally and internationally.

Hosted at UL, its investigators work at nine Higher Education Institutes across Ireland.

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