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Succeeding beyond the blockbuster

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group launches new opinion piece and webinar discussing the manufacturing challenges of personalised medicines

Falmouth, UK, 26th April 2021 / Sciad NewswireGlobal leader in fluid management technology, Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG), today launches a new article discussing the biopharmaceutical manufacturing challenges of personalised medicines. The opinion piece features insights from bioprocessing experts at WMFTG, Franz Ziel GmbH, Oxford Biomedica and Gemini Bio.

The company is also hosting a webinar with experts from Oxford Biomedica and Franz Ziel on Wednesday 5th May discussing the challenges of accelerating personalised medicine production and how the pandemic is driving innovation in bioprocessing. Webinar registration is now open.

Traditionally, the pharmaceutical industry has made most of its profits from small molecule blockbuster drugs. However, in recent years this model has faced major challenges, with high levels of competition in existing markets, the increasingly stringent criteria for drug approvals and greater scrutiny from payers. We will still see blockbusters reaching the market, particularly in oncology, however pharmaceutical companies are also turning to the lucrative promise of personalised medicines to develop drugs that specifically target certain patient groups and treat currently untreatable patients.

Adoption of personalised medicines varies considerably around the world due to different healthcare systems, relative cost and local GDP. Developed regions such as the US and Europe have traditionally led the way due to the significant investment these precision medicines need for development, their stringent regulatory systems, and the ability of their healthcare systems to afford the high costs associated.

The growth of personalised medicines brings specific biomanufacturing challenges. Whereas small molecule blockbuster drugs used to treat common diseases are often low-cost and produced in high volumes, personalised medicines use smaller batches with high costs per batch. As maintaining sterility and maximising processing flexibility are key, manufacturers are seeing a dramatic shift towards single-use technologies. The adoption of single-use minimises risk of cross-contamination and allows the same manufacturing facility to be reconfigured for small batches of different medicines.

In this article, experts from WMFTG, Franz Ziel, Oxford Biomedica and Gemini Bio discuss the specific processing challenges that pharmaceutical manufacturers are overcoming in order to produce this new wave of personalised therapies. The authors discuss the shift towards single-use technologies and the advantages of scaling out production rather than scaling up, with an in-depth look at the benefits of fill-finish automation for Oxford Biomedica’s viral vector production.

Elizabeth Wahl, Strategic Product Manager at Gemini Bio comments in the article, “Put simply, we need to think about how we manufacture these powerful medicines when we are discovering them and can’t wait until the end to start thinking about the final product requirements. By tackling the emerging issues together and establishing clear standards, we are fast approaching the personalised medicine of the future.”

Jim Sanford, Sector Manager, Biopharm Fluid Paths at WMFTG, adds, “Personalised medicine will continue to transform drug development with ongoing advances in genetic and biomarker therapies designed to improve segmented patient care. We have delivered new and innovative single-use products that have been successfully integrated into bioprocess and filling platforms implemented throughout the drug development and manufacturing pipeline, thus changing the customer-supplier relationship.” 

Download the article to hear more from these experts as they provide their unique perspectives on manufacturing personalised medicines. Join the webinar at 4pm BST on 5th May to hear directly from Les Southam, QA Manager, Projects at Oxford Biomedica UK, James Drinkwater, Head of GMP Compliance & Aseptic process integration at Franz Ziel, Peter Birch, Global Business Development Manager, Biopharmaceutical Equipment and Dr Sade Mokuolu, Global Regulatory & Validation Services Manager at WMFTG.


For further information, contact:

Corporate Contact:
Joanne Lucas, PR Manager
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
T: +44 (0) 1326 370 214


Media Contact:
Juliette Craggs / Deborah Cockerill / Katie Warren
Sciad Communications Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 3405 7892

Notes to Editors

About Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group is an award-winning, global leader in fluid management technology and for over 60 years has engineered components and systems for customers in the food processing and handling, pharmaceutical and industrial markets. The company is part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company. Learn more at or @WMFTG_news.

About Franz Ziel GmbH
Franz Ziel GmbH is a company based in Billerbeck, Germany and has almost 40 years of experience as a leading global provider of GMP compliant solutions for barrier technologies and environmental control of pharmaceutical processes.

About Oxford Biomedica
Oxford Biomedica (LSE:OXB) is a leading, fully integrated, gene and cell therapy group focused on developing life changing treatments for serious diseases. Oxford Biomedica and its subsidiaries (the "Group") have built a sector leading lentiviral vector delivery platform (LentiVector®), which the Group leverages to develop in vivo and ex vivo products both in-house and with partners. The Group has created a valuable proprietary portfolio of gene and cell therapy product candidates in the areas of oncology, ophthalmology, CNS disorders, liver diseases and respiratory disease. The Group has also entered into a number of partnerships, including with Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi, Sio Gene Therapies, Orchard Therapeutics, Santen, Beam Therapeutics, Boehringer Ingelheim, the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium and Imperial Innovations, through which it has long-term economic interests in other potential gene and cell therapy products. Additionally the group has signed a 3 year master supply and development agreement with AstraZeneca for large-scale manufacturing of the adenoviral based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222. Oxford Biomedica is based across several locations in Oxfordshire, UK and employs more than 580 people. Further information is available at

About Gemini Bio
Founded in 1985, Gemini is a leading provider of cell culture solutions to the scientific community across cell and gene therapy, biotechnology, and academic research. Gemini also offers contract manufacturing and regulatory consulting services. Gemini’s singular mission is to enhance human life by delivering comprehensive cell culture solutions that enable discovery, development, and production of transformational therapies. Our national sales force and international distribution network serves cell culture science worldwide. The Company is based in West Sacramento, California.

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Last Updated: 26-Apr-2021