Unique continuous processing pharmaceutical production line to be introduced in Finland
PROMIS Centre, a research centre focused on the development of methods for analysis and optimisation of pharmaceutical processes, has built a new and unique continuous processing pharmaceutical production line – the only one of its kind in Europe. The production line was created for R&D purposes, but it also caters for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, as continuous processing offers possibilities to increase cost-efficiency in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Based in the city of Kuopio, PROMIS Centre is a multidisciplinary research consortium involving the University of Eastern Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.
Assuring uniform quality in pharmaceuticals
The new production line is located in the facilities of the University of Eastern Finland, and it can also be used for training purposes in the fields of pharmacy and engineering.
Continuous processing in pharmaceutical manufacturing is a way of making the manufacturing process simpler and faster while reducing the need to perform intermediate and final product analyses. This is possible with the help of modern systems which measure the quality of the sub-processes even in real time. In continuous processing, the flow of material stays even and there are no pauses in between the manufacturing stages. This assures a more uniform quality of the end product than possible in traditional batch production.
The production line comprises feeders, mixers, conveyors and a tablet machine; however, the core of the production line is built around a roller compactor for dry granulation. The production line also observes the environment, as no solvents are used.
A test bed for the international pharmaceutical industry
Globally, the pharmaceutical industry is in a serious crisis due to ever lowering marginal profits, and this is why the new manufacturing concept has attracted a lot of attention both in Finland and abroad. The production line serves as a good test bed for the pharmaceutical industry to study what kind of products can and should be manufactured using continuous processing, and what kinds of modifications are required in, e.g., product composition.
PROMIS Centre was established in 2008, and each of the research partners has a distinct role in the consortium. The University of Eastern Finland is responsible for R&D related to materials, processes, and manufacturing devices; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is in charge the development of measurement devices and control systems; and Savonia University of Applied Sciences is responsible for the device integrations needed.
In addition to the research partners, the activities of PROMIS Centre have also involved some 20 corporate partners representing the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, measurement device development, as well as control and modelling sectors.
Professor Jarkko Ketolainen
University of Eastern Finland
tel. +358 40 355 2486
Mikko Juuti, Key Account Manager
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
tel. +358 20 722 2144
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a leading multitechnological applied research organization in Northern Europe. VTT creates new technology and science-based innovations in co-operation with domestic and foreign partners. VTT’s turnover is EUR 290 million and its personnel totals 3,100.