Biotech Automation Needs—Scaling Up for Growth

 In General

Biotechnology is a very big and diverse business. From gene editing to food genetics to innovative new medicines and treatments, the industry covers a wide range of medical, consumer and health technologies poised for growth. One study estimates that by 2024, biotechnology valuation as an industry will approach $775 billion, up from $400 billion in 2017.

But despite those numbers, biotech also has some unique business challenges. These challenges impact its advancement and make navigating the waters of growing a successful biotech company more difficult. Some of these challenges include:

  • Capital: Biotech is extremely capital intensive compared to other industries, often with billions of dollars of investment required to bring successful and profitable products to market. High failure rates throughout trial phases mean a smaller percentage of finished products make it to the end of the development cycle.

  • Fragmentation: The industry is fragmented in two ways. One, it consists of multi-billion-dollar companies as well as small startup companies just entering the market, many with limited product offerings. And two, biotechnology covers a wide range of sub-industries and often the only thing linking them is the term itself.

  • Safety Concerns: Products within biotechnology industries are more strictly and tightly regulated compared to other industries. With public safety, and in many cases, life and death, at stake, biotech companies deal with an ocean of regulation before seeing their product reach market.

Industrial automation companies don’t understand biotech

In dealing with these challenges, small companies looking to scale may lag in automating their industrial processes. Large companies may also find automation efforts for new production processes impeded by focusing so intently on the cost of product development and a strict regulatory environment. Combined, this reduces the time and resources available to implement automation regardless of the size of the enterprise.

Ironically, automation of critical production processes could be the one thing that, if implemented and managed correctly, could help mitigate the impact of the challenges discussed above. But with the hyper focus on capital acquisition and usage and the sea of safety and regulatory strictures, many industry professionals have traditionally had nowhere to turn.

The Path to a Solution

The biotech industry is inherently filled with educated and innovative professionals. And with the stakes in terms of human life and capital investment so high, who better to take control of automation requirements for their industry than the scientists who built the biotech industry and are developing the products of the future? Engineers have traditionally designed industrial control systems across a wide number of industries. But biotech, with its critical challenges, also requires input and ownership from its core professionals who understand their product best.

Designed specifically for biotech, WonderLogix Enterprise is an automation platform that does just that. The WonderLogix platform does not require programming or engineering. It helps mitigate the risk involved in dependency on outside engineering resources during critical or sensitive stages. And modules for the automation for biotech are pre-built, to bring a system up and running fast – a key consideration for small biotech startups wanting to do it right from the start.

The platform makes it possible to simulate bio-processes for feasibility in an industrial control setting, a big innovation for those wanting to improve ROI through a reduction of traditional Trial III failure rates. And by keeping the automation parameters in-house, the platform helps protect a company’s IP.

The WonderLogix Enterprise platform addresses the challenges for biotech industries by allowing the scientists who know the products best to drive automation. It allows users to confidently control their system automation and do it safely. The benefits that accrue to the user provide a better use of capital while reducing the regulatory compliance burden and building safety directly into the process. As a result, scientists and specialists within biotech are freed to do what they do best.

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