Amazon to Disrupt Pharma Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Delivery Operations

By: Daniel R. Matlis, President

If you ever bought a product from Amazon, you have first-hand experience with the sophisticated, yet intuitive, supply chain and automation systems the company has developed to enable millions of products to be delivered to hundreds of millions of people, often in hours.

Last week, Amazon announced plans to leverage these technologies and experiences to disrupt the Pharmaceutical industry.  Amazon announced a multi-year strategic collaboration with Novartis aimed at disrupting pharmaceutical manufacturing, supply chain, and delivery operations using Amazon Web Services (AWS’) portfolio of cloud services.

Novartis is accelerating its digital transformation thought AWS.   “I’m really proud of how the teams are working together on the ground to bring Amazon-like user experiences to our associates. There is a lot we can learn from the AWS team, and while manufacturing is a great starting place, we’re keen to also explore where else we can apply this technology,” said Bertrand Bodson, Chief Digital Officer at Novartis. “Using data science and digital technologies to reimagine the way we manufacture medicines is not only at the heart of our transformation, but also core to our ambition to bring innovative medicines to patients faster.” Source: Amazon Press Release.

Through this collaboration, AWS and Novartis are jointly developing “Insight Centers” that provide real-time, interactive operational information to both site operators and corporate users around the globe.

Insight Centers process existing operational metrics from existing applications such as local and global historians that supply data from ‘brownfield’ sensors through nearly 20 SAP systems, as well as new AWS IoT Greengrass edge devices that will deliver richer data sources, such as images and video.  All these data will be stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). In addition to highly available and low cost object storage for this data, AWS IoT Core and IoT analytics provide data-forwarding to an IoT optimized time series database where Novartis can perform real-time interpolation to facilitate predictive models.

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Source: Amazon

Insight Centers will enable Novartis to make quality manufacturing data available in real-time and enable fast, informed decision-making. Improving the agility of the manufacturing process ultimately improves production quality while reducing cost, unnecessary inventory, and machine downtime.

Using Amazon services, Novartis will be able to collect inventory, quality, and production data across its network and apply AWS Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, and machine learning (ML) services to gain greater visibility and help drive efficiencies. In addition, Novartis plans to use AWS IoT services to augment and improve visual inspections of its manufacturing sites by generating images that can be analyzed using computer vision algorithms to monitor for risks to manufacturing production, such as unplanned downtime or delayed orders.

This approach will also allow Novartis data scientists to experiment with new optimization models to help ramp up the production of innovative, personalized treatments that are more complex to make.

This transformation roadmap will enable a future where small batch and even personalized treatments can be developed and manufactured faster, with higher quality, lower costs, and delivered on schedule.

“Transforming manufacturing will add value to Novartis operations, and will ultimately deliver the most important value to patients receiving Novartis therapies,” wrote Shez Partovi, MD, Worldwide Director for Healthcare, Life Sciences and Genomics at Amazon Web Services and Ian Meyers, Chief Architect for AWS Global Accounts.  “This transformation roadmap will enable a future where small batch and even personalized treatments can be developed and manufactured faster, with higher quality, lower costs, and delivered on schedule,” he added. Source: AWS and Novartis Re-inventing Pharma Manufacturing.  

To hear more about how innovative Life Science companies must leverage Cloud, IoT, AI and ML and other disruptors to plot a course to success, join us for the next “Straight from the Source” webinar to discuss Axendia’s 2020 Life Science Radar.

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