Innovation Award Winner 2022

Sponsored by Appleyard Lees

The Innovation Award, kindly sponsored by Appleyard Lees, honours the NEPIC member company or programme participant that has pursued game-changing ideas – across product, process and service – within the chemical-processing industries and associated supply chain. This Award is judged on how innovative the idea is, how the organisation adopted it and its overall business impact – coupled with clear demonstration of significant improvement in sustainability, resource utilisation, along with market entrance and business growth.

Winner: Micropore Technologies
Beneficiary School: Children Challenging Industry

Development and manufacture of mRNA vaccines and cell and gene therapies has several wellknown challenges at both ends of the scale – and in the transition between scales.

A key bottleneck is the manufacture of lipid nanoparticles which encapsulate the mRNA or other nucleotide during the LNP formation process. Until now there has not been a single method for producing “loaded” LNPs at both ends of the required scale.

Working with Strathclyde University, this year’sInnovation Award winner, Micropore Technologies, has developed technology so that it can now offer a manufacturing capability from around 50-100 micrograms for initial proof of concept experimentation and characterisation, all the way up to 1,500 Litres/hour for full scale production environments.

Micropore’s membrane-based technology deploys an all-stainless-steel device with a stainless steel, precision engineered membrane in a fully GMP compliant, continuous manufacturing configuration.

There are no moving parts and as a result, the unit is sufficiently robust to need no maintenance under normal operating conditions. Micropore’s approach is already gaining traction in market with several clinical trials underway using its technology.

Furthermore, since the launch of the small scale AXF-mini in early August 2021, they have already sold over a dozen and have programmes of work with approaching two dozen blue-chip clients across the globe.

Micropore’s highly efficient, patented solution to the well-publicised challenge of LNP manufacture is unique in several respects including its applicability to all scales; minimal waste product; low consumables costs throughout and minimal downtime for maintenance.

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Den Hartogh
Anglo American
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