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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S021868/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership (Complex Biological Products Manufacture)
Principal Investigator: Lye, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Szita, Professor N Micheletti, Dr M Rayat, Dr ACM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
3M Aglaris Ltd. Albumedix Ltd
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Allergan (International) Allergan Limited (UK)
Applikon Biotechnology Limited Axitan Limited Biovault Technical Ltd.
BPL BioProducts Laboratory Britest Limited Cell Therapy Catapult (replace)
Centre for Process Innovation,Darlington Cobra Biologics deltaDOT Ltd
Elanco Animal Health (UK) ELI Lilly and Company GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK)
Hitachi Janssen Sciences Ireland UC Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd
LGC Ltd Medicines Manufacturing Ind Partnership MedImmune Ltd
Monaghan Biosciences Limited Oxford BioMedica (UK) Ltd Pall Corporation
Pfizer Process Systems Enterprises Ltd Prokarium Ltd
Puridify LTD Synthace Ltd Tillingbourne Consulting Limited
UCB Vironova
Department: Biochemical Engineering
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 5,867,636
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biochemical engineering Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel K – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form


The UK government's support for the Life Sciences Industry Strategy (Bell Report, 2017) recognises the importance of developing new medicines to facilitate UK economic growth. Examples include new antibody therapies for the treatment of cancer, new vaccines to control the spread of infectious diseases and the emergence of cell and gene therapies to cure previously untreatable conditions such as blindness and dementia. Bioprocessing skills underpin the safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly manufacture of this next generation of complex biological products. They facilitate the rapid translation of life science discoveries into the new medicines that will benefit the patients that need them.

Recent reports, however, highlight specific skills shortages that constrain the UK's capacity to capitalise on opportunities for wealth and job creation in these areas. They emphasise the need for 'more individuals trained in advanced manufacturing' and for individuals with bioprocessing skills who can address the 'challenges with scaling-up production using biological materials'.

The UCL EPSRC CDT in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership has a successful track record of equipping graduate scientists and engineers with the bioprocessing skills needed by industry. It will deliver a 'whole bioprocess' training theme based around the core fermentation and downstream processing skills underpinning medicines manufacture. The programme is designed to accelerate graduates into doctoral research and to build a multidisciplinary research cohort; this will be enhanced through a partnership with the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) and the National Institute for Bioprocess Research and Training (NIBRT) in Ireland. Research projects will be carried out in partnership with leading UK and international companies. The continued need for the CDT is evidenced by the fact that 96% of previous graduates have progressed to relevant bioindustry careers and many are now in senior leadership positions.

The next generation of molecular or cellular medicines will be increasingly complex and hence difficult to characterise. This means they will be considerably more difficult to manufacture at large scale making it harder to ensure they are not only safe but also cost-effective. This proposal will enable the CDT to train future bioindustry leaders who possess the theoretical knowledge and practical and commercial skills necessary to manufacture this next generation of complex biological medicines. This will be achieved by aligning each researcher with internationally leading research teams and developing individual training and career development programmes. In this way the CDT will contribute to the future success of the UK's bioprocess-using industries.

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