FabRx Awarded Innovate UK Grant to Design the World’s First Personalised Medicine 3D Printer

April 14, 2019 | Featured

21 January 2019, London, UK – FabRx

FabRx has successfully been awarded funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to develop the world’s first 3D printer for the production of personalised medicines. The industrial research project, totalling over £600,000, will be led by FabRx in collaboration with Katjes UK – Magic Candy Factory, an award-winning 3D printing tech start-up who specialise in 3D printing of confectionary products.

This project seeks to develop a 3D printer which is safe and ‘fit-for-purpose’ for the production of printed tablets (“printlets”) in a hospital pharmacy setting, adhering to regulatory and clinical guidelines. A major limitation of currently available medicines is that there are a limited number of strengths and sizes, which often lead to inaccurate dosing and care for patients. This is especially common in children as the current medications available are not easily adaptable or “fit for purpose” for their size and conditions. In addition, patients with certain conditions also can suffer from significant problems swallowing large hard tablets.  

This new development in 3D printed medicine will seek to resolve these issues, enabling dosing to be more accurately controlled with each dose being produced on demand specifically for each individual patient and their needs. 3D printing technology can enable each printlet to have an highly precise dose and even allows for the possibility of medications to be combined in a single printlet to make regimes of care easier for both doctors and patients to adhere to, thus resulting in better recovery rates and quality of life. 

These new concept medications will also have the option to come in personalised flavours and shapes to add more enjoyment to the process and encourage young children to take their medications more easily and regularly. Katjes UK – Magic Candy Factory and FabRx will use a patented soft vegan gummy gel formula to encapsulate the medications and 3D print their ‘printlets’, which will make it much easier and more enjoyable for patients of all ages. 

Alvaro Goyanes of FabRx said “FabRx is delighted to receive this award which follows many years of underpinning research into 3D printing of medicines. We are excited to work with the Magic Candy Factory, the world’s leading manufacturer of 3D printed food products, to bring 3D printing of medicines a significant step closer to the market”.


Background on FabRx

Founded in 2014 by academics from University College London, FabRx has develop printed medicines and drug-loaded medical devices. The rapidly growing biotech business has a strong belief in the potential of 3D printers to revolutionise the way medicines are manufactured. They have been working at the Advanced 3D Printing Lab at UCL conducting research surrounding 3D printed medicines for more than 5 years and have more than 27 scientific articles published and 3 patent applications.  

Background on Katjes UK– Magic Candy Factory  

Since launching their first 3D printer for candy just over 2 years ago, Katjes UK – Magic Candy Factory have already set an unprecedented standard for customisation in the confectionary industry. They have now installed their magical machines in retail outlets across Europe, the USA, the UAE, New Zealand, Australia and China. They also 3D print custom made logos and selfies in candy for large corporate functions and private parties all over the world. All their candy prints in just 5 minutes making their 3D printer the fastest in the world, and all their ingredients are vegan, allergen free and Halal and Kosher friendly, meaning they can be enjoyed by almost anyone.

Background on Innovate UK 

Innovate UK is passionate about funding businesses and research collaborations to help accelerate innovation and realise the potential of new ideas which makes personalised 3D printed medicine the perfect investment for them. FabRx are currently conducting clinical studies in hospitals in Spain using the Katjes UK – Magic Candy Factory model, and with the significant grant from Innovate UK, their extensive research and testing will become a much faster and optimised process. All parties are incredibly excited to embark on this innovative journey together and make the future of medicine 3D!  


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