About this Research Topic
Continuous manufacturing is increasingly seen as the most flexible and viable mode of operation for the fine chemicals, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. This has been further reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic which constitutes an unprecedented global challenge to the health systems and pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. The outbreak put the organizational and production paradigms under extreme pressure highlighting many glaring weaknesses. A dramatic surge in demand and supply-chain disruptions and bottlenecks caused multiple shortages of pharmaceuticals, particularly in painkillers and anaesthetics for intensive care. There is an urgent need to develop more agile and resilient plants, particularly intensified continuous processes at micro and bench scale, to deliver on-demand bespoke high-value products. This will help address supply chain and inventory challenges and enable cost-effective production of small quantities of medicines with variable doses and formulations required, for instance, in clinical trials, personalized treatments and intensive care.
Despite the strides forward in continuous manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, many technical challenges are still to be overcome, particularly process intensification and integration of multiple processing steps, including synthesis, purification and formulation involving the manipulation of solid particles.
This Research Topic aims at gaining a more in-depth understanding of the underlying phenomena and current technical challenges and ways to advance the discipline. This will pave the way for the development of more robust and reliable technologies for small-scale pharmaceutical plants which meet the stringent regulatory requirements. The objective is also to gain better understanding of the economic, strategic and environmental advantages and disadvantages of intensified synthesis and purification of active pharmaceutical ingredients and fine chemicals as well as new opportunities for integrated end-to-end processes.
We welcome all Original Research and Review articles including fundamental studies and applications as well as industrial case studies. The areas of focus may include but are not limited to the following:
• Integrated flow chemistry and purification
• Intensified continuous formulation
• Reconfigurable and modular intensified plants
• Intensified manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals
• Design and fabrication
• Modelling and optimization
• Digital twins
• Advanced Design of Experiments
• Quality control and Quality-by-Design
• Integration, automation and control
• Technoeconomic evaluation
Keywords: Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Flow Chemistry, Purification, Modular Intensified Plants, Digital Twins, Intensified Continuous Formulation, Quality Control
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.