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Merck accelerates readiness of bioprocessing facility of the future

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Bio4C software suite, a first-of-its-kind digital ecosystem, combines process control, analytics and plant-level automation

Merck has unveiled the next component of its BioContinuum platform, the Bio4C software suite, creating a first-of-its-kind ecosystem that combines process control, analytics and plant-level automation. This transformative software suite will allow users to look across the entire manufacturing process versus individual operational units, giving biomanufacturers complete process control and deep insights, bringing bioprocessing 4.0 to here and now.

“The future of bioprocessing is holistic,” said Andrew Bulpin, Head (Process Solutions) – Life Science, Merck. “With the launch of our Bio4C Software Suite, Merck is the first supplier to converge advanced process technologies with software, automation and analytics into one ecosystem, bringing us another step closer to making the digitally enabled facility of the future a reality.”

Biopharmaceutical companies today are under immense pressure to get products to market faster, with every day of delay costing millions in lost revenue. An emerging solution is the integration of software, automation and analytics into biomanufacturing facilities’ operations to intensify biologic production, with a vision towards connected and continuous processing. The biopharmaceutical industry is on a journey to evolve and digitise the next generation of bioprocessing to increase speed and lower costs. Bioprocessing 4.0 signifies this new approach to manufacturing. The life science business of Merck has been a key driver of this evolution through its BioContinuum platform.

Merck’s Bio4C suite was designed based on the “4C strategy” of its life science business: control, connect, collect and collaborate. Control is the basis of everything Merck does to run all of its systems. Connect refers to making digital connections between different process steps and giving that visibility to the entire process. Collect is the ability to gather all data into one place and maintain and validate the integrity of that data. Collaborate is how Merck will deliver these technologies to its customers in real time.

Bio4 Process Pad, part of the ‘collect’ dimension of the Bio4C suite, is a browser-based platform that allows users to acquire, aggregate and analyse data from disparate sources such as equipment, batch records, databases and historians across the bioprocess. The Bio4C ProcessPad automates the data acquisition and analysis tasks, freeing scientists and engineers to minimise the time to decision and action.

Merck will roll out further Bio4C software suite products and modules throughout 2020 and into the future.

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