Global vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the biggest challenges the pharmaceutical industry has ever faced. In addition to managing the complexity of clinical trials and the supply chain involved in vaccine manufacturing, companies must increase production at high speed while complying with regulations in multiple countries.
Such business challenges are the target of startup Aizon, an artificial intelligence software provider that develops AI-based solutions and analytics to optimize life science manufacturing.
âThe main problem when you want to perform a scaling process isn’t just the equipment, it’s also the knowledge you have around your process,â said Toni Manzano (photo), co- founder and scientific director of Aizon. âAI today helps to detect and identify the most relevant factors involved in the process, the critical relationship between the variables and the final control of the whole process after continuous verification of the process. “
Manzano spoke with Natalie Erlich, host of theCUBE, the live streaming studio of SiliconANGLE Media, during the AWS Startup Showcase: The Next Big Things in AI, Security & Life Sciences. They discussed Aizon’s solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, the role of AI in scientific manufacturing, compliance issues, and Aizon’s partnership with Amazon Web Services Inc. (* Disclosure below.)
Guarantee quality, safety and efficiency
According to the World Health Organization, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines is essential to end the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that every country must have the vaccines and deploy them to protect its population, starting with the most vulnerable. This way, the pharmaceutical companies that produce the doses have to ship them to multiple countries. Given the volumes required, it often makes more sense to manufacture as close as possible to the distribution location, according to Manzano.
Technologies can be part of the solution to guard against counterfeit doses, ensure quality across multiple sites, and provide validation metrics, enabling pharmaceutical companies to deliver the best safety and effective doses.
“How do you control the entire process from the initial phase to packaging and filling the bottles?” AI consolidates all this knowledge into AI models only. It’s the secret, âManzano said.
The Aizon platform integrates unlimited sources of structured and unstructured data to deliver actionable insights across all manufacturing sites. The idea is to offer an intuitive way to achieve operational intelligence by enabling real-time visibility and predictive insights in a GxP compliant manner with end-to-end data integrity.
âProbably you can find a lot of AI services, platforms, software programs that can work in the industrial environment, but I think it will be very difficult to findâ¦ is already qualified,â said Manzano. âYou will see that Aizon is the only company to do this these days. “
A key part of this offering is the partnership with Amazon Web Services Inc., according to Manzano. Aizon leverages AWS cloud technologies, such as the SageMaker Machine Learning Platform, Cognito User Identity and Data Synchronization Service, and Lambda Serverless Compute Service, to facilitate its work.
âWe’re a very different startup because we have a lot of PhDsâ¦ so, whatever is provided by Amazon, why do we have to aim to recreate it again? Said Manzano. âAWS makes our lives a lot easier, and we can put all of our knowledge and all of our effort into what we know: pharmaceutical compliance. “
Manage the complexity of distributed production
What Aizon does is tied to the concept of Pharma 4.0, which refers to the moniker of Industry 4.0, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, where human intervention is not part of the manufacturing process – smart technologies and machines are all filling the boxes. roles, including process analysis. and self-monitoring.
The benefits for pharmaceutical manufacturers who implement AI and cloud technologies are numerous. One of them is the ability to manage the complexity of a global production or distribution, according to Manzano.
âYou can’t create processes to make drugs just by assuming that the raw material you use never changes; you cannot assume that all equipment works the same; you can’t assume your recipe will work the same in Brazil as it does in Singapore, âhe said. âComplexity and variability must be understood as part of the process. “
Another benefit is that the cloud allows businesses to scale up or down whenever needed and allow the use of other capabilities.
âYou don’t care much about computer licenses, software updates, antivirals, cloud computing scaling. Everything is done in the cloud, âexplained Manzano.
Related to all of this is the possibility of facing compliance challenges in different parts of the world. Each country has its own rules, especially for a highly regulated industry like pharmacy.
âI think this is the first time that the human race in the pharmaceutical experience has a very strong commitmentâ¦ to move forward using this type of technology,â he said. âIn fact, for example, the FDA uses the cloud to manage its own system. So, why not use them in pharmacies? “
Watch the full video interview below and be sure to check out more information on SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Startup Showcase: The Next Big Things in AI, Security & Life Sciences. (* Disclosure: Aizon sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Aizon nor any other sponsor has editorial control over the content of theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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