Getting Medicines to Patients Faster with POD-Based Mini-Factories

GEA ConsiGma™ 25 installation at Pfizer labs in Groton (Connecticut, USA)

GEA ConsiGma® 25 installation at Pfizer labs in Groton (Connecticut, USA).

A partnership of pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers, including Pfizer, GEA and G-CON Manufacturing, welcomes GSK to a consortium dedicated to the development of a continuous technology solution for on-demand tablet production.

GEA, a leader in continuous manufacturing technologies, has announced a next-generation collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to further develop self-contained, POD-based mini-factories to develop and manufacture pharmaceutical oral solid dosage (OSD) forms. This partnership expands on GEA’s existing alliance with Pfizer and G-CON Manufacturing to design a portable, continuous, miniature and modular (PCMM) prototype unit, which is currently being implemented at Pfizer’s labs in Groton (Connecticut, USA).

Conceived in conjunction with Pfizer and G-CON, the three companies formed a consortium to design and build an autonomous manufacturing environment for continuous OSD production using GEA’s ConsiGma® 25 equipment and G-CON’s modular POD system.

Recently presented with the award for Best Technologies Innovation during INTERPHEX 2015, this first-of-a-kind manufacturing system accelerates the speed at which tablets are produced. By miniaturizing the equipment, the continuous process can be enclosed in a portable, modular facility, which can be shipped by truck to any location in the world and quickly assembled. Once up and running, the system will deliver the capability to transform powders into uncoated tablets in minutes, which can take days or weeks with current technology.

H. McCoy Knight, Vice President, APC Pharma, commented: “GEA is delighted to welcome GSK to the consortium. The involvement of another significant player from the global pharmaceutical manufacturing environment increasingly demonstrates the industry’s commitment to continuous processing and the acknowledgement that PCMM truly represents the future of on-demand drug production. We look forward to working with GSK and pushing the boundaries of our autonomous manufacturing environment for continuous OSD production even further.”

Highlights of PCMM’s potential for smaller, more flexible, continuous processing technologies include a 60–70% smaller footprint than a conventional production facility, the ability to use the same equipment for development, clinical trials and commercial manufacturing, and significantly reduced timelines: a PCMM facility takes about one year to set up and start running compared with 2–3 years for standard processes.

With PCMM, the consortium of partners is leading the way toward smaller, more flexible, continuous processing technologies with the potential to transform the future of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, and deliver customized quantities of drugs to patients in need in a quick and efficient way. To discover more about these innovative, flexible and self-contained manufacturing spaces, watch the online video here or contact

Case Story published in 2015

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