As Sanofi looks to step up its vaccine manufacturing game by the middle of the decade, the French Big Pharma is wading into the virtual world.
Adding another layer of tech to its forthcoming "EVolutive" vaccine facilities in France and Singapore, Sanofi is tapping Dassault Systèmes’ simulated 3D spaces to optimize production through the power of the digital twin.
Dassault’s platform creates a digitized environment where Sanofi will be able to “experience the manufacturing systems under development and their operation virtually,” helping establish its processes “before deploying them,” the partners explained in a press release.
These sorts of simulations, known as digital or virtual twins, are essentially computerized copies of real-world objects or processes. Experts can use live, digital copies to garner real-time insights on a range of topics.
The process of qualifying new facilities, equipment and production processes can take pharmaceutical manufacturers weeks or months, Dassault said. But digital twins “enable manufacturers to standardize modules, reduce this timeframe, and boost their ability to quickly and massively produce crucial therapies,” the digital twin specialist says.
As of April, Sanofi had plugged around 900 million euros into the pair of boundary-pushing EVolutive factories, which it has pegged to help “pave the way for future vaccine innovation across the world.
Back in 2020, Sanofi unveiled plans for the French facility, which it said would be constructed over a period of five years.
Work kicked off on the Singapore branch this spring, with the aim to wrap up the project by the end of 2025.
Aside from vaccines, Sanofi’s EVolutive plants are being designed to crank out a range of biologic platforms, including mRNA, enzymes and monoclonal antibodies, the company has said.