Sanofi begins global digital-enhancement manufacturing project

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)
(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)

Related tags: Industry 4.0, Continuous bioprocessing, Sanofi, Massachusetts

Sanofi opens its Massachusetts, US-based facility that will use digital technology for continuous biologic production, with similar plants planned in Canada, Brazil, Ireland, France, and Belgium.

Sanofi’s Framingham, Massachusetts, facility will use digital features to carry out the intensified, continuous production of biologics for the company’s Genzyme portfolio of products, which includes biologics for rare diseases, immunology, and oncology.

The facility will use data capture from end-to-end to optimize performance and will use a digital twin to make adjustments remotely, a spokesperson for Sanofi told us. In addition, the digital twin will b\e used as a training tool for operators, managers and supervisors virtually, before working in a ‘live environment’.

Due to the real-time capture of data, managers of the site will be able to access production data ‘from anywhere in the world’.

Further than this, the spokesperson explained, “The ‘Smart Quality’ technology allows us to monitor the whole process and conduct completely digital batch record reviews to ensure the highest quality for our products, and the real time data-driven supply chain tool enables us to digitize forecasting, allowing us to adapt our production and optimize stocks and logistics.”

In order to support the implementation of the new processes and technologies, the company trained 1,200 employees on digital technologies worldwide during 2018.

The shift towards greater digitization is expected to see higher levels of productivity achieved, as well as reducing the time needed to take products from development labs to the manufacturing plant and onto commercialization.

Beyond the Framingham facility, Sanofi will also ‘digitally transform’ legacy plants in Toronto, Canada, Suzano, Brazil, Waterford, Ireland, Sisteron, France, and Geel, Belgium. The Framingham site will act as a testbed for the rollout of such technology across these additional sites.

The investment in such digital facilities is part of the company’s Industrial Affairs unit’s focus on biologics-based therapies, which is a reflection of Sanofi’s R&D pipeline.

Related topics: Pipelines, Bio Developments, Facilities

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