MRT coming soon to a plant near you

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Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe-10-01-2009, Volume 21, Issue 10

Well, the summer's well and truly behind us and Madrid beckons for this year's CPhI Worldwide.

Well, the summer's well and truly behind us and Madrid beckons for this year's CPhI Worldwide. I am looking forward to my October visit to the Spanish capital, not only for the fine weather, fresh tapas and good wine of course, but because this will be my first visit to the world's largest exhibition on pharmaceutical ingredients. Not only do we attend these events to keep updated on cutting edge technologies and processes as well as the latest developments in your industry, but they provide the ideal forum for us to gain feedback from our readers first hand. As always, the Pharmaceutical Technology Europe (PTE) team will be exhibiting at the event (stand 6G42) so please do stop by to say hello and to let us know what you think of your PTE. We look forward to meeting you there.

Fedra Pavlou

In this month's issue of PTE, we investigate the role of microreactor technology (MRT) in the continuous, commercial scale production of pharmaceuticals. This really is a fascinating technology and, although its use in the pharma industry has been largely limited to small-scale, laboratory settings, we fully believe that we will be hearing a lot more about MRT over the coming years. In fact, not only are some of the big names in pharma already endorsing it (GlaxoSmithKline being one of the first to use MRT for multi kg-scale projects some 4–5 years ago) but, according to the experts that we spoke with this month, many of the pharma giants are now investigating the feasibility of the technology for some of their new projects. Lack of data, knowledge and perhaps confidence, as well as the relative immaturity of the technology in this setting have deterred widespread uptake so far; however, even the FDA has encouraged manufacturers to seek alternative manufacturing methods. The US agency has emphasised the benefits of continuous processing to improve efficiency, manage variability, reduce waste and reduce the incidence of the scale-up problems associated with batch manufacturing. So, as the curtain of confidentiality is lifted and more data is published touting the benefits of MRT in commercial scale pharmaceutical production, confidence in the technology is sure to grow and widespread uptake will inevitably follow.


Turning our attention online, I'm hoping that by now you will have had the opportunity to take a look at our brand new website, We do hope that you find it useful but, as always, I would welcome your thoughts on it, so please do feel free to email me. Our LinkedIn group is another way of keeping in touch with us so do take this as an invitation to join and connect with our growing group of experts by visiting

Best wishes,

Fedra Pavlou, Editor-in-Chief