2022: A year of unparalleled growth for Upperton

December 21st 2022 : Newsletter

Traditionally at this time of year we like to offer Season’s Greetings to all our customers and friends and whilst doing so, look back over the years at some of the highlights in what has been an exceptionally busy (and successful) year for Upperton Pharma Solutions!

Here are just a few of the highlights of the year that we would like to share with you:

2022: A year of unparalleled growth for Upperton

Without a doubt, the major business milestone for Upperton in 2022 has been to secure external investment for the first time in our corporate history as Inflexion Private Equity made a significant financial investment in our business. The investment process was completed back in April and since that date we have enjoyed an excellent and growing relationship with our investors who have supported our plans and enabled us to accelerate our continuing growth. Thanks to this partnership, we have been able to achieve a huge number of business, scientific and technical milestones over the last twelve months which we share below.

Upperton Announces £15m Investment in New Facilities

In May this year, less than a month after securing the investment from Inflexion, we announced that we had secured 50,000ft2 of high-quality expansion space at the highly prestigious Trent Gateway Technology Park in Beeston, Nottingham. The new site is less than two miles from our current headquarters and will significantly enhance the company’s capacity and handling capabilities. It is currently being designed to handle highly potent molecules and controlled drugs. The site will be completed by the end of 2023, and you can find our more in our original announcement here. Of course, to bring the plant to fruition we needed to draw up detailed plans and receive all the planning approvals for the site, which will house our expanding R&D, pilot plant and QC functions as well as a GMP manufacturing area (tenfold larger than what we currently have). It has been quite a mammoth task, but all of this was achieved on time, and we were delighted to announce that T-SQUARED have now been appointed as the principal Design and Build contractor to deliver the new site. We expect to begin building in January 2023 and we have included latest developments here.

Investment in Manufacturing Equipment and Capabilities

Throughout 2022 we have continued to invest heavily in our GMP manufacturing capabilities, adding new processing capabilities as well as expanding in scale. Indeed, we have invested over £2.5m in capital equipment over the last twelve months, starting with a major investment in tablet formulation and manufacturing capabilities (see here). The largest investments we made have come towards the end of this year with orders now placed for a state-of-the-art Gerteis Roller Compactor and the 250Kg blender that will take our oral dosage form manufacturing scale up to 250kg batch size. This will enable us to manufacture at a scale suitable for phase III and commercial supply, something that our Trent Gateway site will offer. Be sure to follow our progress at the new site throughout 2023 at the Upperton website here.

New Formulation Development Platform Technologies

Over the last twelve months we have seen a significant increase in enquiries from companies seeking to deliver drugs via the nasal route. This is an appealing route of delivery for many reasons, from localised delivery through to systemic and direct nose-to-brain delivery. Indeed, the nasal route offers an alternative, needle-free route of administration that offers fast delivery coupled with the avoidance of first-pass metabolism with the added benefit of self-administration. To help our customers journey through the nasal development pathway we launched UpperNoseTM a new nasal development platform that helps companies at an early stage of their nasal development programmes navigate their way through choice of delivery method (liquid or dry powder) to formulation selection, scale up and analytical testing, enabling our customers to be ready for clinical manufacture within a twelve week timeframe (find out more here).

New Analytical Capabilities

As our business grows and the scope of our services increases, there is a constant demand for an ever-growing range of services that our clients want to access. As a result, we have added a number of new analytical techniques to our analytical armoury including GC (especially useful for measuring residual solvents in spray dried powders), advanced aerodynamic nasal powder testing impactors (Alberta Idealised Nasal Inlet by Copley) and additional HPLC/UPLC equipment. Upperton has also made a significant investment in ASAPprime® software and hardware to enable the company to offer its clients state of the art stability testing. This exciting new platform can be used to generate robust, accelerated chemical stability data and is now being applied at all stages of the product development cycle from API drug substance stability through to formulation development prototypes and final dosage forms. The recently acquired technique is recognised by regulatory bodies around the world, including FDA and MHRA, and is now being utilised by the majority of global pharmaceutical companies to provide quick yet reliable read-outs on stability across the development spectrum (find out more here).

Regulatory Milestones

As ever, regulatory compliance was at the heart of everything we do and our eagerly awaited MHRA inspection finally took place in August 2022. After an extensive audit we were thrilled to hear that we had passed the inspection (with no critical, major of minor findings) allowing us to continue to offer our customers the very best GMP compliance that they expect from a company such as ours. Our regulatory activity wasn’t restricted to the MHRA, we also continued our ongoing dialogue with the Home Office. Successful applications have allowed us to expand the scope of our licence to include additional classes of controlled drugs to our handling capabilities.

Expansion in Headcount

Of course, we could not achieve our rapid expansion without a significant (and continuing) recruitment drive to expand our team at the current Nottingham Science Park site. Thanks to a relentless effort we have managed to literally double our headcount to 65 members of staff, including appointing two new Directors in, Jamie Roberts (Chief Financial Officer) and Jon Austwick (Director of Quality and Compliance).

Conferences and Exhibitions

We appreciate the fact that that all of us suffered during “lock-down” so a gradual return to normality from a conference perspective was hugely welcomed by all. At Upperton we seized on the opportunity to get out and market our services whilst at the same time catching up with customers new and old! Indeed, over the space of twelve months we attended seven conferences/exhibitions (compared to one the year before!) as well as presenting scientific data at a number of these events including seminars and posters. If you didn’t see us at an event this year, do not worry, we have more planned for 2023! Please visit our website here. Traditionally at this time of year we like to offer Season’s Greetings to all our customers and friends and whilst doing so, look back over the years at some of the highlights in what has been an exceptionally busy (and successful) year for Upperton Pharma Solutions!

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