New funds for biomanufacturers

Posted on 27 Mar 2015 by The Manufacturer

Horizon Discovery is to receive up to £652,000 to expand its bioproduction work as part of a £6.2m funding programme under the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative.

The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) programme consists of an approximate total £11.3m of costs with approximately £6.2m in grant funding being delivered by the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Innovate UK and Birmingham City Council, to support the future needs of biologics manufacturing in the UK.

This initiative will support the future needs of biomanufacturing and will help develop new production systems so the most successful and cost-effective therapies are made available to patients.

The Cambridge-based company is part of a consortium led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) on behalf of UCB Celltech and Lonza Biologics and will use to build a high throughput platform to accelerate the development of novel and improved Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines.

Specifically, Horizon will introduce specific genetic changes into these CHO cell lines, allowing better decisions to be made on potential performance improvements for biologic drug manufacturing.

Dr Paul Morrill, Horizon Discovery’s president for products, said the award recognised the importance of strengthening the biomanufacturing supply chain so the next generation of biological medicines could be delivered.

He said: “Enhancing cell line function through gene editing is a critical path activity towards this outcome. This initiative, alongside the recent Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst funding, further reinforces Horizon’s reputation as a driver of innovation for biomanufacturing.”

CPI will supply technical expertise, facilities, and project management through the newly created National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) based at Darlington. Business Secretary Vince Cable, said the project would “deliver sizeable benefits” to Teesside and boost jobs.

Dr Cable said: “While there is much to celebrate about British manufacturing, it is clear that our supplier base has been eroded over the last thirty years. Reversing this will boost exports and help safeguard UK jobs. Our targeted interventions have helped revive the great British manufacturing sector.” The Wilton-based centre will create 10 jobs in Darlington.