Today’s biomanufacturers need to be able to add capacity and capability quickly; provide increased supply service to customers on demand; and streamline the flows of personnel, traffic, utilities, and materials throughout bioprocess facilities. Companies need to be flexible enough to subtract capacity and retool quickly to produce new or different products. Future facilities are likely to be automated to some extent and use robotics in manufacturing. With personalized medicine on the rise, bioprocessors can benefit from colocation with academic research centers, laboratories, and clinics. Biofacilities should be designed to affect the environment as minimally as possible. And they would do well to be built with employees’ comfort in mind and serve as good neighbors in their local communities. It all comes down to a “smarter” approach. This featured report begins with a staff-written review, then includes end-user perspectives and supplier insights.

Facilities of the Future: Intelligent Design and Control Enable Quality, Efficiency,
and Good Citizenship

Alison Center
Biofacilities of the future will address patient needs quickly. They will be flexible and agile, globally focused, able to incorporate new technologies, ready to add or subtract capacity, and capable of retooling quickly to produce new and different drugs. Some sites will be colocated with academic researchers, laboratories, and clinics. Future facilities will have to affect the environment as minimally as possible. And they can be built with people in mind, including employees, neighbors, and patients. BPI editorial assistant Alison Center introduces these issues of flexibility and community in this overview, with particular focus on facilities that have won Facility of the Future awards from ISPE.
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Flexibility, Automation, and Leadership: Drug-Sponsor Perspectives on Modern Biomanufacturing Facility Design
S. Anne Montgomery
For decades, biopharmaceutical facilities have incorporated cutting-edge designs for supporting processes, products, and human development. Each year, design innovations are rewarded for creating workspaces that facilitate both worker comfort and essential movement of promising drug candidates toward commercialization. The more knowledge a company has about its products and processes, the smarter the decisions it can make about designing workspaces that capitalize on essential similarities, shared resources, and smart(er) transfer of process knowledge from stage to stage. Here, the editor in chief reports on her discussions with end users from Merck, Shire, Janssen, and Teva, as well as presentations from BPI West 2018.
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Partnerships for Progress: Supplier Perspectives on Facilities of the Future
Heather Beaudoin and Shannon Meirzon
As biopharmaceutical manufacturers face growing demand for adaptable processes and multiproduct production environments, a critical need arises for facilities that seamlessly and quickly adapt to changes in markets, technologies, society, and manufacturing processes. New “smart” facilities will be designed not only to handle changing product volumes, but also to be ready for integration of disposables and other technological advancements. In the near future, biomanufacturers will look to developing such efficient and smart facilities to help bring their products to market faster — and suppliers of equipment and services are ready and willing to help. Here, biotech writers Beaudoin and Meirzon report on their discussions with representatives of Thermo Fisher Scientific, GE Healthcare, Parker Biosciences, AdvantaPure and Emergent BioSolutions.
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