Plant Construction & Process Technology

Technology and Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

2020 ISPE Facility of the Year Award Winners are Setting the Standard for Pharmaceutical Facilities of the Future

14.04.2020 -

Established in 2004 by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), the Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) recognize innovation and creativity in manufacturing facilities serving the regulated healthcare industry. The award-winning projects selected by the FOYA program set the standard for pharmaceutical facilities of the future by demonstrating excellence in facility design, con­struction, and operations.

The FOYA program each year recognizes state-of-the-art projects utilizing new, innovative technologies to improve the quality of products, reduce the cost of producing high-quality medicines, and demonstrate advances in project delivery. This year, the category winners were announced at the ISPE Europe Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland, in April.
The overall winner will be revealed at the ISPE Annual Meeting to be held in Philadelphia, PA, USA in November.

“Technology and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry are more critical now than ever before as healthcare worldwide is straining from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tim Howard, ISPE's president and acting CEO. “Even in these trying times, it is important to spotlight the dedication of companies like the 2020 FOYA Category Winners who are at the forefront of not only setting the standard for pharmaceutical facilities of the future but also creating new opportunities to enhance patient health and safety worldwide.”

2019 FOYA Category Award Winners

The Equipment Innovation Category was awarded to Roche for its new in-vivo building in Basel, Switzerland. This project brings innovation to one of the lesser understood parts of the pharmaceutical discovery and development process – the animal research facility. The equipment innovation that is found in every part of the project aims to protect researchers and animals, drive efficiency, and set new industry standards for animal research.

The Facility Integration Category was awarded to Pfizer for its Pfizer Building E - Andover Clinical Manufacturing Facility (ACMF) in Andover, MA, USA. The ACMF proves that a sustainable, flexible, configurable, and wireless clinical manufacturing facility can achieve complete integration into a dynamic, high-performance process development flow today and preserve that integration no matter how biologic drug development may evolve in years to come.

Sanofi was awarded the Facility of the Future Category Award for its Sanofi Digitally Enabled Integrated Continuous Biomanufacturing Facility in Framingham, MA, USA. This fully integrated bioprocessing facility takes the application of disposable process technology and flexible facility design to a new level. Using the best of already proven technology and design, they have expanded the use to allow design and construction of a facility that enables continuous upstream and downstream processing.

Eli Lilly won the Operational Excellence Category Award for its Innovation Development Center (The Center) in Indianapolis, IN, USA. They embraced optimized work processes and provided workspace to agilely adapt not only to laboratory needs, but to the most appropriate processes for collaboration and workspaces. The Center established itself as a model for rapid pharmaceutical development, proving to the industry that it is possible to bring successful therapies to market faster than ever before.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals won the Process Innovation Category Award for its Mirror-1: The Continuous Manufacturing Platform for the Development of a new oral solid dosage portfolio based in Beerse, Belgium. Mirror 1 incorporates and integrates three different process technologies (direct compression, roller compaction, and twin-screw wet granulation) into a single equipment set. This required intense collaboration with multiple equipment vendors, but ultimately enables this one platform to respond to the needs of the Janssen’s entire solid dosage portfolio.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is the winner of the Project Execution Category Award for its Multi-Product Cell Culture (MPCC) Project in Cruiserath, County Dublin, Ireland. The goal of the Project was to transform an existing BMS active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) site into a state-of-the-art biologics drug substance manufacturing campus that includes consideration for future commercial products.

The first of two companies to be awarded in the Social Impact Category was GlaxoSmithKline for its Attachment Inhibitor (AI) Project based in Parma, Italy. The project needed to be exceptionally fast to ensure continuity of supply of fostemsavir to allow submission of a new drug application to the FDA in December 2019. The result was 15 months from ground-breaking to handover of the fully finished facility to start manufacture.

The second of two companies to be awarded in the Social Impact Category was United Therapeutics for its Dinutuximab-Dedicated Oncology Medical and Analytical Laboratory in Silver Spring, MD, USA. The judging team was especially impressed by the sheer number of challenges this project had to overcome, while never losing focus on why they were doing this work. The project also took the time to consider the impacts to the community both during and after construction, even including external artwork for the facility.

Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals China was awarded an Honorable Mention for its new facility in Shanghai, China which is the first international provider of biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing solutions to clients in China. The commercial facility OASIS is designed to fulfill a maximum degree of flexibility: this includes a modular approach to fit out distinct manufacturing modules sequentially, implementing a single-use bioreactor design to react to various customer needs until the mode of operation.

Janssen Pharmaceutical and Legend Biotech USA received an Honorable Mention for its Raritan CAR-T clinical manufacturing facility in Raritan, NJ, USA. Janssen entered into a worldwide collaboration and license agreement with Legend Biotech to jointly develop and commercialize a therapy for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer that occurs when malignant plasma cells grow uncontrollably in the bone marrow.