Currently, most manufacturing processes are built when a drug has been fully tested and developed, meaning that any alterations to process can be time consuming and costly. The researchers at EML aim to develop a flexible manufacturing system that can produce multiple drug designs concurrently. The advantage of this is that manufacturing can be more closely aligned with the research stage, which could make drug development more cost effective, leading to therapies being cheaper and more widely available for patients.

In the wider context however, the collaboration between GSK and Imperial College London is a product of a larger trend to promote the convergence of the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering to inspire new and unusual patterns of working.  It is expected that this agitation in turn will spark considerable breakthroughs.

AGL and PV quotes

Andrew Livingston

Professor Andrew Livingston

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial

"The Engineered Medicines Laboratory represents an opportunity to deepen the already strong research links Imperial College London has with GlaxoSmithKline. The alliance’s cross-disciplinary mentality and emphasis on engineering-led solutions can only stimulate and accelerate the important gains that are yet to be made within the medical discipline.”

Dr. Patrick Valance

Dr Patrick Vallance

President of Pharmaceuticals R&D, GSK

"At GSK, we believe we have a huge amount to learn from scientists outside our own walls whose areas of expertise differ from our own, and we’re always looking for new ways of working with experts across a broad range of fields. The EML is a great example of this open-minded, collaborative approach to research."