Continuous Manufacturing in Pharmaceutical Process Development and Manufacturing
The pharmaceutical industry has found new applications for the use of continuous processing for the manufacture of new therapies currently in development. The transformation has been encouraged by regulatory bodies as well as driven by cost reduction, decreased development cycles, access to new chemistries not practical in batch, improved safety, flexible manufacturing platforms, and improved product quality assurance. The transformation from batch to continuous manufacturing processing is the focus of this review. The review is limited to small, chemically synthesized organic molecules and encompasses the manufacture of both active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the subsequent drug product. Continuous drug product is currently used in approved processes. A few examples of production of APIs under current good manufacturing practice conditions using continuous processing steps have been published in the past five years, but they are lagging behind continuous drug product with respect to regulatory filings.