NEWS

Driving collaboration to unleash the power of AR/VR in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing environment

31 March 2022
Information Technology
BioPhorum

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been successfully adopted by some industries and have helped them benefit from significant productivity savings, increased ‘right first time’ rates, and reduced training efforts. Importantly, these technologies have also made it easier for frontline users by providing them with the information they need when they need it.

Unfortunately, AR/VR adoption in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing environment has been slower because the available software does not meet GMP requirements, and the hardware is not suitable for use in the highest grade of cleanroom environment. Additionally, the whole ecosystem in which hardware and software can be managed through their lifecycle to help fast track the adoption has not been fully considered.

BioPhorum is speaking to these issues with a new paper that will help manufacturing environments support good practices and regulated processes by using AR/VR. It will also help them take advantage of opportunities in areas such as operator training and the execution of key business processes – especially those that would benefit from being hands-free and require operators to move around the shop floor while completing their job.

Stimulating collaboration

The User requirements for AR/VR biopharma manufacturing paper outlines biopharmaceutical AR/VR hardware and software requirements that will stimulate collaboration between biomanufacturers and technology vendors. It will also help these vendors to construct roadmaps to unleash the potential of this technology in GMP environments.

The paper looks at hardware requirements from the angle of a specification for AR/VR devices that seeks to minimize contamination risks for that device used in classified manufacturing areas.

“This AR/VR user requirements document, which consists of a collective voice from the biopharma industry, will help AR/VR hardware and software vendors better understand our industry needs and what to address in their current offerings,” said Suelyn Lee, Product Director, Manufacturing Workflow, GSK. “We hope that this targeted approach will enable a faster adoption of AR/VR technology in our industry to make it easier for our users to do their job.”

It also considers general workflow and software requirements that should be supported by the AR/VR device supplier, a third party or the customer enterprise supplier of choice. There are also specific requirements for using AR/VR devices in clean rooms.

Comprehensive appendices then provide extra information and cover issues such as a sample of industry and regulatory expectations/requirements for items used in classified manufacturing areas. There are various challenges to using AR/VR in the biopharmaceutical industry, which are partly due to how the AR/VR market has originated and developed over the years, e.g., hardware devices are not built for use in aseptic environments. With this BioPhorum paper those challenges can be met by driving collaboration between biomanufacturers and AR/VR vendors to overcome them and help industry reap the benefits of this exciting new technology.

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Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products

Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products support the quest for better and faster development of cell, gene and RNA therapies​ through connecting therapy developers, contract manufacturing, and testing organizations to gain an understanding and respond to the challenges faced by the advanced therapeutics industry.

Development Group

Development Group accelerates and improves the development process of biopharmaceutical medicines for the benefit of the patient. Replacing isolation with collaboration by providing a “safe” space where subject matter experts can work on sharing solutions and best practice on emerging industry trends, implementation of new technologies and common issues whilst ensuring their intellectual property and confidentiality is protected.

Drug Substance

Drug Substance advances excellence in drug substance manufacturing and testing, acting as an industry voice to accelerate technology adoption, implement post-approval change more rapidly and increase confidence in maintaining compliance.

Fill Finish

Fill Finish accelerates development and acceptance of sustainable world-class filling and packaging operations for drug product which meets the future needs of patients. Through innovative solutions resulting from the sharing of expertise, we can overcome common performance challenges and deliver on quality and regulatory compliance.

Information Technology

Information Technology accelerates digital maturity across the ​global pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Quality

BioPhorum Quality provides a dedicated, safe space for quality professionals from biomanufacturers and contract organizations to coalesce and enhance effective collaboration to address shared industry challenges.

Regulatory-CMC

Regulatory CMC brings leaders together who have a common goal – to improve access to medicines through innovation in the Regulatory ecosystem. It provides a dedicated space for strategic leadership and a coordinated industry voice, to move from divergence to convergence.

Supply Chain to Patient

Supply Chain to Patient transforms the performance of global pharmaceutical clinical and commercial outbound supply chains through industry collaboration by creating transparent patient-centric, resilient and agile E2E supply chains, that consistently deliver high-quality medicines ensuring an uninterrupted supply to patients.

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Supply Partner is a trusted advisory group and collaboration that is the engine for driving change across the global industry for all things relevant to the inbound supply chain. Addressing the challenges of complexity, resilience, cost, sustainability, and innovation.

Sustainability

Sustainability enables the industry’s transition to a low carbon, circular future – supporting members to improve patient health while respecting the planet. We activate multi-disciplinary teams drawn from our network to deliver environmental sustainability improvements across the value chain.

Technology Strategy

Technology Strategy acts as one voice of the industry to define strategy, accelerate technology transformation and support technology translation and adoption. With a purpose of enabling the future state of flexible, resilient, sustainable end-to-end biomanufacturing.

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