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29 Sept 2022

University of Limerick research could reduce time required to bring new medicines to market

University of Limerick backtrack on plans for twin room accommodation

University of Limerick PIC: Adrian Butler

RESEARCH by the University of Limerick could reduce the time required to bring new medicines to market. 

Professor Gavin Walker at University of Limerick’s Bernal Institute has had a world’s first paper published in applying molecular engineering methodologies to continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The paper addresses an important public health issue of reducing the time required to bring new medicines to market for the benefit of patients and society.

The UL research emphasises the increasing significance of combining process engineering, modelling and data science to generate a better understanding of processes at a molecular scale for the optimisation of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The study has been published in the world-leading general science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Professor Gavin Walker, Bernal Chair of Pharmaceutical Powder Engineering and project lead, explained: "This contribution offers a ‘proof of concept’ to make it achievable to model specific co-crystals at a molecular scale within a continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

"Molecular interactions can be altered to optimise drug properties and this process can be crucial to the performance of a dosage form which links to the preparation of the safe delivery of the content of the drug product for the ultimate benefits of patients and society.

"There is huge value in improving the productivity of the drug development process. This study expands on possibilities that exist for future development of progressing towards more supportive mechanisms in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space, improving processing and reducing time to market for new medicine."

The study was led by Professor Walker and funded through CONFIRM, the SFI Research Centre for Smart Manufacturing and SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, which are both based at UL, and European funding through the MSCA ‘Process’ Co-Fund.

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