Digital Design Accelerator Project to Connect Active Material Design to Product Performance

Perceptive Engineering is pleased to announce our participation in the ‘Digital Design Accelerator’ project (D-DAP). The Digital Design Accelerator is a two-year collaborative project between pharmaceutical companies, solution providers and academia. The project is led by AstraZeneca and is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK

Sophie Bailes, Associate Director in Digital Transformation at AstraZeneca said “We are pleased to lead this exciting collaboration between end users, technology providers and academic research in order to deliver a transformational platform with the potential to accelerate development of new medicines for patients. Through adoption of digital tools we can build in operational excellence right from the start of pharmaceutical development, improve product robustness, and drive more efficient manufacturing processes. Thereby delivering more medicines to more patients, more quickly”.




This project will apply Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) at the interface between the chemically synthesised active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the formulated drug product; These technologies may have the potential to transform development methodology and broaden understanding of process parameters on product and process performance, potentially helping to reduce development time, improve robustness and enable continuous improvement through more effective change programmes.

The program aims to deliver a Digital Risk Assessment capable of predicting the impact of changes in materials and API supply on downstream manufacturability, stability and performance. Dave Lovett, MD Perceptive Engineering, commented “We are delighted to participate in this programme of work with Quality by Digital Design, QBDD, at its heart. Along with our prestigious partners, we are working towards web-based access to validated digital design tools to lower the barriers for adoption of digitalisation for drug design and manufacture. Together we are striving for more affordable pharmaceutical formulations, with emerging therapies being brought to market more quickly, with confidence in both efficacy and safety.”
Perceptive Engineering’s role in the project is to provide software tools with a focus on:

  • Intelligent Data Mining for the identification of empirical models, and optimal material processing options to support the ‘Digital Risk Assessment’ concept.
  • Developing tools for assessing the output from mechanistic models at multiple points in a design space – from the point of view of controllability and process stability.
  • Providing teaching and knowledge transfer on both general machine learning techniques, and the new tools developed as part of this project.

The Digital Design Accelerator project brings together key organisations from across the UK pharmaceutical industry:

  • Pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer & AstraZeneca
  • Academia (Universities of Strathclyde, Sheffield, Leeds)
  • Research and Technology Organisations (Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre)
  • Solution Providers (Process Systems Enterprise, Perceptive Engineering)

Read more about APC for pharma applications or contact Perceptive

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