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Transforming Pharmaceutical Production: The Role of Digital Manufacturing


The rising demand of advanced therapies and drugs put tremendous pressure on pharmaceutical companies to meet competitive market demand. The drug designing requires data compilation, clinical trials, and regulation, requiring expertise and accuracy which consume time—it may take years to commercialize a drug successfully. Moreover, the pharmaceutical manufacturers are also facing issues in bridging the gap between the operating system and workforce demand, which further affects manufacturing processes.

These challenges are the driving force behind the adoption of digital biomanufacturing to increase production. In fact, most pharmaceutical companies are shifting to digital analytic software and technologies to bridge the gap between research, clinical trials, manufacturing, and commercialization. The innovative techniques help in real-time data insight and eliminate the scope of errors. With digital transformation, the pharmaceutical industry becomes highly regulated, which is why it is expected that the process analytical technology market will grow during the forecast period.

What Does Digital Biomanufacturing Mean?

In pharmaceuticals, the journey of drug development begins with data insight, analysis, integration, compilation and ends with clinical trial success and manufacturing of final products. The entire process from data collection to manufacturing of drugs requires real-time analysis and insight to transform raw data into actionable wisdom.

The traditional drug designing approach takes a longer time and is unable to meet the surplus demand for drugs in the healthcare sector. With digital transformation in pharma manufacturing, the process becomes streamlined using big data analytical software technologies and manufacturing execution systems. The advanced application integration in manufacturing units also increases drug efficacy and reduces the time and cost of designing drugs. The adoption of digital biomanufacturing provides below listed benefits.

▪         Data analysis software reduces the load of compilation of paper-based records and data collection.

▪         Digital twins technology reduces the demand for volunteers for drug trials, which is expensive and time-consuming. The applications provide data in real-time with utmost accuracy so pharmaceutical companies can utilize the technology to reshape the manufacturing process and design drugs in comparatively less time than the traditional approach.

The prime purpose of implementing digital innovation is to optimize the manufacturing system, streamline physician’s work, improve efficiency, unfold new opportunities, and reduce human errors.

Top Digital Transformation Technology Tools for Enhanced Production

The widespread adoption of process analytical technology and manufacturing execution systems helps in the transformation of pharmaceutical companies. However, the aim of introducing advanced technology is to enhance quality control at various stages of drug production and fix all the problems with real-time data analysis. To meet the ongoing demand, digital manufacturing companies emphasize high-tech systems and technology tools to achieve results faster. Examples of some innovative tools and how they solve challenges in pharmaceutical companies are listed below.

  • Data Analysis Software

Drug development requires the processing of large amounts of data at each stage. Pharmaceutical companies face issues in data collection because of heterogeneous systems of pharmaceutical manufacturing units. The data connectivity from one system to another is a major problem because of various protocols followed in the factory system.

The introduction of data analytic software in manufacturing processes enables companies to analyze in real-time. Tools such as smart sensors big data analytics software use AI-powered algorithms to create an abstraction layer between communication protocols, enabling real-time data extraction. Data analytic software becomes the key integrated part of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes as it reduces the time of data compilation. Thus, with a rising demand for technology software, we are expecting that the data analytic software market will increase during the forecast period.

  • Digital Twin Technology

The early stage and final stages of drug testing require physical volunteers. However, the whole process consumes time and may show false results. It may take a few days or even months to understand the actual effect of drugs on volunteers. Moreover, there is a high risk of disease associated with higher doses of drug administration. Digital twins are virtual models of physical processes or objects that replicate real-life processes.

The introduction of digital twin technology reduces the requirement for physical volunteers because it helps to collect data in real time, thereby pacing up clinical trials. This also helps to stimulate massive data for large-scale production. With the rising adoption of digital technology in the pharmaceutical sectors, the digital twin market is estimated to be worth around $1 billion in 2022. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% during the project period, according to Roots Analysis

  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

The extended use of augmented reality and virtual reality allows researchers to visualize results in real-time and facilitate experiments in a safe environment. The digital transformation tools help to fetch data and interact between clinician groups for better coordination of data.

  • Cloud Technology

Cloud technology is one of the top digital transformation trends in manufacturing processes. Cloud software enables pharmaceutical companies to share data effectively with multiple researchers’ teams and store data efficiently.

With a strong cloud infrastructure, pharmaceutical companies have improved standard quality guidelines and regulation compilation. Moreover, it also helps to reduce data errors associated with data processing management.

  • Internet of Things

The IoT-enabled sensors in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process can provide better insight and allow real-time data extraction. The application of IoT can reduce downtime, improve equipment effectiveness, and proactively maintain the research process.

  • Manufacturing Execution Systems

The digital manufacturing execution systems driven by IoT, artificial intelligence, and data analytical software enable pharmaceutical research efficiently with minimal effort. Moreover, the manufacturing execution systems allow quality control at each stage of drug manufacturing, ensuring the maintenance of high-quality drugs. The MES systems have accelerated the pharmaceutical companies’ manufacturing process by reducing the time of data compilation.

What Are The Benefits of Digital Biomanufacturing?

Digital biomanufacturing in the pharmaceutical sector helps to improve research results and allows companies to develop products at a large scale. Moreover, digital transformation in pharmaceutical sectors provides significant benefits, including;

▪         Better Drug Development and Research

▪         Reduces the cost of harnessing data from third parties and labor demand.

▪         Improve the supply chain process of pharmaceuticals

▪         Real-time data analysis and efficient data storage.

▪         Reduces carbon footprints

▪         Better engagement with R&D teams for data collection.

▪         Ensure safety regulation and efficiently manage the workforce

Real-Time Case Studies of Adoption of Digital Transformation in the Pharmaceuticals Sector

Examples of companies that have adopted digital biomanufacturing systems in their operational units are:


Pharmaceutical Companies



Project Types


Case Study


Business Function






Process improvement and innovation


Involves R&D Information Platform (RDIP) and

used advanced data analytics, AI, and ML



Research and Development


Creation of virtual products and streamlines decision-making process for the scientists


Teva pharmaceuticals


Process improvement


Insilco technology for predictive biomanufacturing:

• Based on computer simulation and AI


Reduces experiment efforts and saves time


Optimized production processes





Process improvement and innovation


Digitized supply chain network using cloud computing


Supply chain and logistics


Complete visibility into the status of the product


Improved demand forecasting accuracy


Future of Digital Biomanufacturing

The ongoing adoption of digital transformation in pharmaceutical manufacturing systems continues to rise in the future. Today, digital transformation technology companies are looking to introduce advanced tools and software to speed up the pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Precision medicine, telemedicine, and the introduction of blockchain technology and wearable gadgets are already in the market. The innovative tools help in handling the mass production of vaccines and drugs with higher accuracy. Hence, we are expecting digital transformation companies to boom in the future.

About Roots Analysis

Roots Analysis is a global leader in the pharma / biotech market research. Having worked with over 750 clients worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academia, venture capitalists and strategic investors for more than a decade, we offer a highly analytical / data-driven perspective to a network of over 450,000 senior industry stakeholders looking for credible market insights. All reports provided by us are structured in a way that enables the reader to develop a thorough perspective on the given subject. Apart from writing reports on identified areas, we provide bespoke research / consulting services dedicated to serve our clients in the best possible way.

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