Pfizer Inc. has partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop next-generation equipment for pharmaceutical processing.

In a multi-year collaboration, the two firms will work together on the design of portable, continuous, miniature and modular (PCMM) equipment for oral solid dose (OSD) pharmaceutical development and manufacturing.

The project builds on Pfizer’s existing PCMM prototype, an autonomous and transportable pod that can be shipped from location to location and readily brought online to create a fully functional module that is compliant with industry-standard good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines.

According to Pfizer, its PCMM manufacturing system accelerates the speed of tablet production — taking only minutes from the addition of raw materials to the completion of finished tablets or capsules.

Rod MacKenzie, senior vice president of PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development at Pfizer, said that the company’s success in building a transportable, modular prototype for oral solid dose pharmaceutical development and manufacturing “holds promise to help transform industry practices”.

The company welcomed the expertise that GSK would bring to the project, highlighting its technical and regulatory experience in continuous processing.

“GSK is pursuing a strategy to enhance our manufacturing supply chains and drive access to medicines for patients. Continuous manufacturing is a key part of that strategy,” explained Mark Buswell, vice president and head of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies at GSK. “This strategic collaboration allows Pfizer and GSK to align on a vision for PCMM-OSD equipment designs and enables us to deploy flexible, agile and reliable manufacturing solutions to benefit patients.”