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Continuous Manufacturing Spinout Scores Funding

Posted By Jeff Moad, June 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM, in Category: Factories of the Future

A spinout firm from Novartis and MIT has received $2 million in venture funds to bring its vision of rapid, cost-effective continuous manufacturing to the pharmaceuticals market.

Continuus Pharmaceuticals, a two-year-old company that got its start as part of the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing, said it has raised a Series A funding round of $2 million, led by pharmaceutical equipment manufacturer Industria Maccine Automatiche.

The new funding round augments $395,000 that had been raised by the company through February.

Continuus is attempting to drive a long-discussed transition in pharmaceuticals manufacturing from traditional batch-oriented manufacturing processes to lower-cost, faster continuous processes. Traditional batch processes involve stop-and-start production steps that often include the isolation and transportation of chemical intermediates across different facilities. This process can take over 200 days to produce a finished product and typically requires large amounts of production floor space.

Continuous manufacturing, on the other hand, like work cell flow manufacturing in the discrete world, features fully integrated steps that are enabled by small-scale process technologies that can be integrated into a seamless manufacturing process. This allows raw materials to be continuously transformed into finished tablets without interruption in as little as two days.

Continuus contends it will produce medicines at 50% reduced costs, with 90% shortened lead times.

Do you see continuous manufacturing as a significant step forward for pharmaceutical manufacturing? What barriers must be overcome?

Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit


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