An answer to pharmaceutical production and development challenges?

16 April 2020

Today’s global public health situation is putting pharmaceutical businesses under pressure to deliver innovative and existing tests and treatments as quickly as possible. Optimal believes that its Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and factory automation capabilities can help shorten scale-up times and increase productivity without expanding facilities.



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PAT is a key ally to pharmaceutical manufacturers, who are now being asked to substantially increase their production capacity and deliver new and existing products in much higher volumes. 

By measuring the quality attributes of a product in real time and empowering operators to manually or automatically control critical process parameters accordingly, PAT eliminates the need to stop every time a manufacturing stage has been completed to conduct quality controls. This, in turn, cuts cycle and scale up times, eradicates off-spec products and vastly reduces work in progress, whilst supporting real-time release testing.

In bio-processing technology – a key production method for the current crisis – PAT already has a proven track record of being able to triple the production of the upstream process by maintaining it at its optimum level. It can also improve the quality and yield of the downstream process by using real time quality determinations.

To further streamline manufacturing operations, automation of all forms – be it process control, robotics, special purpose machinery or vision systems can be applied stand alone or in combination with PAT, to either increase the productivity of existing manufacturing hardware else bring ‘mothballed’ hardware back to life. As a bonus, much of the work can be executed remotely, with many site tasks conducted remotely using the Internet. Therefore, many projects can proceed despite current restrictions.

Commenting on the technology, Martin Gadsby, director at Optimal Industrial Technologies, said: “By implementing a PAT-driven, fully automated approach to R&D and manufacturing, businesses in the pharmaceutical sector can improve throughput, in addition to increasing product quality and meeting regulatory compliance. These elements are currently playing an increasingly crucial role. We recognise that the pharmaceutical sector is facing an unprecedented global challenge, and we will do all we can to support their efforts.

“The proof is in the balance sheet. Several of our customers, who have already adopted the strategy of using synTQ and bespoke automation solutions to control their processes, have announced that they are ready to accelerate their manufacturing capabilities, as well as being able to start trials of new medicines sooner.”


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