New centre of excellence drives medical breakthroughs

A new centre of excellence and training academy has been opened by CPI in the North East of England – leading the way nationally and internationally in the latest cutting edge vaccines and medicines technology to solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges.
Opening of new centre of excellence to solve some of the biggest challenges in  medicines manufacturingOpening of new centre of excellence to solve some of the biggest challenges in  medicines manufacturing
Opening of new centre of excellence to solve some of the biggest challenges in medicines manufacturing

CPI played a key role in the accelerated development of Covid-19 vaccines as part of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce. As a result, the company has built the knowledge and networks to support every stage of Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) development and scale-up.

In simple terms, RNA technology introduces an antigen which helps the body develop immunity to a virus or disease and, as well as Covid, it is now being leveraged in the fight against other diseases including cancer.

Julie Anderson, Head of the RNA Centre of Excellence at CPI, says: “Before Covid, RNA was always something on the back burner but its use has now accelerated.”

Through their talented pool of experts and innovation infrastructure, CPI collaborates with partners in industry, academia, government and the investment community to accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative products. It is also a founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult – which brings together business, researchers and government to deliver industrial transformation in the UK.

CPI offers world-leading facilities and expertise in small molecules, biologics, oligonucleotides and complex medicines to accelerate drug development and scale-up. It hosts the largest pool of RNA biomanufacturing experts in the UK and offers complementary drug delivery systems.

CPI’s new RNA Centre of Excellence sits next to their existing facilities in Darlington and houses state-of-the-art equipment dedicated to supporting the pharmaceutical industry with the testing, scale-up and clinical manufacture of RNA technologies.

The completion of the new centre, funded by the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy via the Vaccine Taskforce, marks a key moment in onshoring and establishing the UK’s advanced RNA vaccine manufacturing capability.

Julie Anderson adds: “CPI worked closely with the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce during the pandemic. As a result, we’ve built the knowledge and networks to support companies of all sizes with every stage of RNA process development and scale-up to accelerate products to the clinic.

“RNA technology has now been demonstrated as a trusted therapeutic platform following its use in Covid-19 vaccines. It shows great promise for treating other viruses and diseases like cancer and HIV and could also be used in next-generation and personalised medicines, like gene therapy and protein replacement.”

The RNA training academy will help to drive industry skills in manufacturing RNA including technology transfer, encapsulation and final formulation through a series of virtual training courses. Several courses are on offer for individuals, and organisations of all sizes, with options for all levels of staff.

Julie says: “As a Catapult Centre, our aim is to stay ahead of the game. When industry catches up, we move on to the next thing. We are not here to compete with industry, we are here to support it so. We will have done our job if 100 companies move into RNA.”

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