Innovation Award Winner 2019

Sponsored by CPI

The CPI Innovation Award 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: GSK, Barnard Castle
Beneficiary School: Teesdale School

GSK spends around £4 billion a year developing new medicines, of which 40% are in a sterile injectable (parenteral) dose form. The Barnard Castle site is the principle site for manufacturing parenteral products, turning active ingredients into useable medicines. Typically, these medicines are administered as infusions or injections by healthcare professionals in hospitals or clinics.

GSK has been pioneering new auto injector technology incorporating glass components suitable for biopharmaceuticals to allow administration of this type of medicine by patients in their own home. This has major implications for the practicality and cost of treating long term conditions such as immune / inflammation diseases like arthritis or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Working with a leading Canadian technology company, ATS Automation, in a £10m project to pioneer auto injector manufacturing, GSK developed a unique robotic assembly machine which has a capacity to manufacture auto injector format doses at commercial volumes.

GSK have since commissioned the new manufacturing equipment and it is now in service allowing them to deliver novel medicines in their new state of the art delivery systems, meaning patients can use life changing medicines without having to attend hospitals.

The ability of the Barnard Castle site to develop and implement advanced technology such as the Auto Injector Device Assembly Platform underpins its long-term future as a key part of the North East’s process industry and is a major contribution to GSK’s mission to enable people to do more, feel better, live longer.

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