It was recently reported that Bristol Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical company, is turning towards automation and high-tech for its production process and CAR-T manufacturing plants.
Indeed, BMS stated that making cell therapies requires maintaining a good chain of custody throughout the entire process. To do so, the company needs a good portion of labor and training as the process is still relatively new.
Hence, BMS has started to develop a VR platform to teach employees the basics of biosafety cabinet operations, which are enclosed, ventilated lab workspaces where workers handle delicate materials in a controlled environment. Once the trainees have gone through the virtual tech programme, they are relocated to a real biosafety cabinet in one of BMS’s plant for manufacturing qualification
The company has plans to start the process in its factory in Massachusetts before spreading it across its network. It also wishes to extend the VR approach to other equipment in order to speed up and facilitate the manufacturing process.
Moreover, BMS aims to automate completely some of its production processes. Indeed, by having electronic batch records, automated bioreactors, and automated flow cytometers, the company’s goal is to remove variability and potentially slash manufacturing turnaround times.