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Manufacture Small Molecules, Technology and Equipment

Continuous in the Spotlight

This article was published in our sister publication, The Small Molecule Manufacturer, which celebrates the field of small molecule drug development and manufacturing with interviews and articles focusing on success stories, equipment, and new processing techniques.

Read more about The Small Molecule Manufacturer here

What’s the story behind Continuus Pharmaceuticals?

In 2007, Novartis and MIT embarked on a collaboration, targeting the continuous manufacture of small molecule drugs because they recognized how outdated batch processes were. They wanted to break away from conventional manufacturing and establish the best possible production system for these drugs. The end result was the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing, which was a huge success. By 2011, they had constructed a pilot line at MIT that integrated both upstream and downstream components into a single continuous process. The team was able to take a 200-day batch process and cut it down to just two days, with the additional benefits of reduced footprint (approximately 90 percent reduction), reduced costs (30 to 50 percent), reduced environmental impact, and improved quality.

Continuus Pharmaceuticals is a spin out from the Novartis-MIT collaboration – and many of our team members and advisors were critical architects of the original project, including Professor Bernhardt Trout (MIT) and Tom Van Laar (former head of Global Tech Operations, Novartis). We have also now brought in other outside thought leaders as well. The goal? To bring the benefits of integrated continuous manufacturing to the broader pharma industry and transform small molecule manufacturing. 

"There are enormous pressures right now to bring down drug prices – we see it in the news all the time."

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About the Authors

Stephanie Sutton

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent seven years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

Maryam Mahdi

Associate Editor

After finishing my degree, I envisioned a career in science communications. However, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up teaching abroad. Though the experience was amazing and I learned a great deal from it, I jumped at the opportunity to work for Texere. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me!

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