NEW BRITAIN –– The UConn school of pharmacy is improving drug manufacturing by using a new technology in the production stages.
For years, the school of pharmacy has practiced a batch-processing technology for their pharmaceutical manufacturing. However, researchers have concluded that this process is not very efficient, Dr. Bodhisattwa Chaudhuri, chemical engineer and associate professor of pharmaceutical science at UConn, said.
According to Chaudhuri, the main problem with the batch-processing technology is that when the system has to be stopped because of human intervention, it has to be re-started from scratch.
“It’s a lengthy process, unsafe, and hard to maintain,” he said.
To remedy the efficiency problems, Chaudhuri, along with pharmaceutics professor Diane Burgess and some graduate students, is working to improve the process by adapting the approach of continuous manufacturing.
The continuous process works better because it doesn’t require as much human intervention, and if there is a problem, it can be changed immediately without having to start all over again, as the batch-processing requires, Burgess said.
These improvements within the school’s drug manufacturing are made possible through a $3.3 million grant funded by the FDA. The money is being used to develop equipment and to pay the students and faculty involved in the program, Burgess said.
In the long run, continuous manufacturing is not only more efficient, but it is also less expensive, Chaudhuri said.
Now with the bigger grant, Burgess has included more people in the process because the manufacturing improvements require more expertise, she said.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079.