Partnerships paving the way for continuous flow


Arcinova, Alnwick, Northumberland, United Kingdom


Though continuous flow technology can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with drug development, scale-up and manufacture, there are still hurdles to its implementation in the pharmaceutical industry. Combining the flow chemistry expertise of industry and academia may provide a solution, with industry-academia collaborations producing a two-way current of knowledge that can lead to exciting innovations in drug development.

As the pharmaceutical industry moves towards more personalised medicines that require manufacture in small volumes, there is a pressing need for technologies that can accelerate drug development. This is because patient-specific drug manufacture will require more efficient processes that ensure economic viability on a small scale. Traditionally, medicines have been manufactured through a series of batch processes that are often inefficient and labour intensive. 

Flow chemistry and continuous flow manufacturing, in which substances are manufactured in a non-stop, intensive process, are increasingly seen as alternatives to batch manufacturing and as important tools required for the personalised medicine revolution.


Flow chemistry is only just beginning to be applied on a manufacturing scale in the pharmaceutical industry and further innovations are required to increase scalability and make it more commercially viable. Fortunately, the technology is well established in academia and there is a wealth of untapped expertise that can aid its implementation in industry. By encouraging collaborations between acade ...