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Lilly: academic about manufacturing

Why Lilly is turning to academia to help remake its manufacturing processes

As Eli Lilly and Co. moves toward continuous manufacturing, the pharma is deepening ties with two academic centers to meet an array of engineering challenges. Through partnerships with Carnegie Mellon University, and the U.K.’s Imperial College and University College London, Lilly hopes to bring computer modeling to improve both operations and decision-making.

Continuous manufacturing offers the promise of greater efficiency and lower cost than traditional batch manufacturing, but on the whole pharmas have been slow to embrace the technology.

In particular, the transition requires a shift in approach toward quality by design, a strategy that rests on experimentation and requires different tools.

Whereas standard manufacturing processes involve empirical analyses of individual batches, continuous manufacturing offers an opportunity to design manufacturability into a drug from the start.

Increasing adoption of continuous manufacturing is a priority for regulators. In February, FDA Commissioner

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