Article | July 11, 2022
With advances in data analytics and machine learning, the move from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics and controls—allowing us to better forecast and understand what will happen and thus optimize process outcomes—is not only feasible but inevitable, according to Bonnie Shum, principal engineer, pharma technical innovation, technology & manufacturing sciences and technology at Genentech.
“Well-trained artificial intelligence systems can help drive better decision making and how data is analyzed from drug discovery to process development and to manufacturing processes,” she says.
Those advances, though, only really matter when they improve the lives of patients. That’s exactly what Shum expects.
“The convergence of digital transformation and operational/processing changes will be critical for the facilities of the future and meeting the needs of our patients,” she continues. “Digital solutions may one day provide fully automated bioprocessing, eliminating manual intervention and enabling us to anticipate potential process deviations to prevent process failures, leading to real-time release and thus faster access for patients.”
To turn Bioprocessing 4.0 into a production line for precision healthcare, real-time release and quickly manufacturing personalized medicines will be critical. Adding digitization and advanced analytics wherever possible will drive those improvements. In fact, many of these improvements, especially moving from descriptive to predictive bioprocessing, depend on more digitization.
Article | July 11, 2022
Genetic therapeutics such as genetic engineering and gene therapy are increasingly emerging as one of the most influential and transformed biotechnological solutions around the globe in recent times. These genetic solutions are being assessed across various medical domains, including cancer treatment, neurology, oncology, and ophthalmology. Citing the trend, the genetics industry is estimated to experience a tsunami of approvals, with over 1,000 cell and gene therapy clinical trials currently underway and over 900 companies worldwide focusing on these cutting-edge therapies.
Growing Cancer Encourages Advancements in Genetic Technologies
With the surging cases of cancers such as leukemias, carcinomas, lymphomas, and others, patients worldwide are increasing their spending on adopting novel therapeutic solutions for non-recurring treatment of the disease, such as gene therapy, genetic engineering, T-cell therapy, and gene editing.
As per a study by the Fight Cancer Organization, spending on the treatment of cancer increased to $200.7 billion, and the amount is anticipated to exceed $245 billion by the end of 2030.
Growing revenue prospects are encouraging biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies to develop novel genetic solutions for cancer treatment. For instance, Bristol-Myers Squibb K.K., a Japanese pharmaceutical company, introduced a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy, Abecma, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (R/R) multiple myeloma in 2022.
Amid a New Market: Genetics Will Attract Massive Investments
Despite several developments and technological advancements, genetics is still considered to be in a nascent stage, providing significant prospects for growth to the companies that are already operating in the domain.
Genetics solutions such as gene therapies, gene editing, and T-cell immunotherapy are emerging as highly active treatments across various medical fields, resulting in increasing research and development activities across the domain, drawing significant attention from investors. Given the potential of genetic treatments and the focus on finding new ways to treat cancer and other related diseases, it's easy to understand why companies are investing in the domain.
For instance, Pfizer has recently announced an investment of around $800 million to construct development facilities supporting gene therapy manufacturing from initial preclinical research through final commercial-scale production.
Due to these advancements, cell and gene therapies are forecast to grow from $4 billion annually to more than $45 billion, exhibiting growth at a 63% CAGR.
The Future of Genetics
Though there is a significant rise in advancement in genetic technologies and developments, the number of approved genetic treatments remains extremely small. However, with gene transfer and CRISPR solutions emerging as new modalities for cancer treatment, the start-up companies will attract a growing amount and proportion of private and public investments.
This is expected present a tremendous opportunity for biopharma and biotechnology investors to help fund and benefit from the medical industry's shift from traditional treatments to cutting-edge genetic therapeutics in the coming years.
Article | September 22, 2022
Biopharmaceutical innovations are among the most ingenious and refined achievements of modern medical science. New concepts, techniques, and therapies are emerging, such as the cell therapy Provenge, which can be used to treat cancer, and gene therapies, which provide even more amazing promises of disease remission and regenerative medicine.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge boom in the pharmaceutical industry. This is because more and more attention is being paid to increasing manufacturing capacity and starting new research on drug development.
Biopharma: Leading the Way in the Pharma Sector
In the past couple of years, the biopharmaceutical sector has deepened its roots across the medical and pharmaceutical industries, on account of the transformation of pharmaceutical companies towards biotechnology, creating opportunities for growth.
Also, growing advancements in technologies such as 3D bioprinting, biosensors, and gene editing, along with the integration of advanced artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality are estimated to further create prospects for growth.
According to a study, the biopharmaceutical sector makes nearly $163 billion around the world and grows by more than 8% each year, which is twice as fast as the traditional pharma sector.
Massive Investments Directed Towards Biopharma
Investing in biotech research and development (R&D) has yielded better returns than the pharma industry average. Hence, a number of pharmaceutical companies are shifting their presence toward biopharma to capitalize on the upcoming opportunities by investing in and expanding their biotechnology infrastructure.
For instance, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., an American manufacturer of scientific instrumentation, reagents and consumables, and software services, announced an investment of $97 million to expand its bioanalytical laboratory operations into three new locations in the U.S. With this investment, the company will add 150,000 square feet of scientific workspace and install the most advanced drug development technologies to produce life-changing medicines for patients in need.
Article | August 16, 2022
If you have ever visited the testing laboratory of a large biotechnology company, you will be aware that managing the laboratory's operations single-handedly is no easy task. The greater the size of a lab, the more research and testing activities it must accommodate.
A variety of diagnostic tests are prescribed for patients in order to detect various diseases. For example, it may include blood glucose testing for diabetics, lipid panel, or liver panel tests for evaluating cardiac risk and liver function, cultures for diagnosing infections, thyroid function tests, and others.
Laboratory management solutions such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and other software play a significant role in managing various operational data at biotech laboratories. It is one of the important types of software developed to address thedata management and regulatory challenges of laboratories. The software enhances the operational efficiency of biotech labs by streamlining workflows, proper record-keeping, and eradicating the need for manually maintaining data.
What Are the Benefits of Laboratory Information Management Software in Biotechnology?
As the trends of digitization and technology continue to create deeper inroads into the biotechnology sector, a significant rise in the adoption of innovative medical software solutions, such as LIMS, is being witnessed for managing research data, testing reports, and post-research results globally. Here are a few reasons that are encouraging biotech facilities to adopt LIMS solutions
Real-Time Data Collection and Tracking
Previously, collecting and transporting samples was a tedious and time-consuming task. However, the adoption of LIMS with innovative tracking modules has made the job easier. The real-time sample tracking feature of LIMS has made it possible for personnel to collect the research data in real-time and manage and control the workflow with a few mouse clicks on the screen.
LIMS makes it possible to test workflows while giving users complete control over the testing process. A laboratory is able to collect data, schedule equipment maintenance or upgrades, enhance operational efficiency, and maintain a lower overhead with the help of the LIMS, thereby increasing revenue.
With its completion monitoring, LIMS speeds up laboratory workflows and keeps track of information. It assigns tasks to the specialist along with keeping a real-time track of the status and completion of each task. LIMS is integrated into the laboratory using lab information, which ultimately speeds up internal processes and streamlines the workflow.
Automatic Data Exchange
LIMS solutions store data in a centralized database. Automated transfer of data between departments and organizations is one of the major features of LIMS. Through its automated information exchange feature, LIMS improves internal operations, decreases the reporting time for data sharing, and assists in faster decision-making.
As the healthcare sector continues to ride the wave of digital transformation, biotech laboratories are emphasizing adopting newer technologies to keep up with the changes.
Citing this trend, laboratory information management systems are becoming crucial for biotech and medical organizations for maintaining research data, instant reporting, and managing confidential, inventory, and financial data with centralized data storage.