Software : Operational Technology : Manufacturing Execution System : Pharmaceutical
Despite incredible therapeutic innovations, the process for manufacturing these life-changing drugs lagged behind. Because of the largely paper-based processes involved in pharma manufacturing, millions of dollars were lost in drug batches due to quality deviations. These legacy processes just weren’t going to hold up to the demands of new therapies – biologics, cell, and gene. We created Apprentice to bring the pharma industry up to speed with the transformative potential of technology. By bringing together co-founder Angelo Stracquantanio from the world of tech with fellow co-founders Gary Pignata and Alexandra Buttke from pharma, we’re developing expeditious ways to create medicines that will forever make life better for the people who need them most – patients.
Apprentice.io Raises $8M Series A for First Conversational AR and AI Platform
Apprentice.io, creator of the first conversational augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) platform, announced today an $8M Series A funding round led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital with participation from existing investors, Silverton Partners and Hemi Ventures. The Venture Reality Fund — leading early-stage investor focused on immersive and intelligent computing — and GFR Fund also joined as new investors.
With more than $10 million in total capital raised to date and support from the industry’s top AR/VR funds, Apprentice.io is recognized as the leader in enterprise AR for the pharma/biotech industries and, by extension, lab, line and suite environments. In a cleanroom gown, a lab technician can use Apprentice’s conversational user interface (UI) to access complex procedures, visualize a 3-D technique demonstration, and intelligently capture or track data using computer vision — all without touching a single piece of paper.
Apprentice Raises $100 Million to Adapt Pharma Supply Chains to the Omicron Variant
Apprentice, the company helping pharma manufacturers get medicine to patients faster, announced today that it raised $100 million in Series C funding led by new investor Alkeon Capital Management, with repeat participation from Silverton Partners, Insight Partners, Pacific Western Bank, and new investment by Colorcon Ventures. The company will use the capital to help pharma manufacturers harden their supply chains to keep making patient-critical drugs and adapt vaccines to meet the evolving strains of COVID-19.
How Augmented Reality Strengthens Biotech Manufacturing
Probably, the biggest advantage of AR is it enables seeing the production process virtually, without the need to be there. “It’s a game-changer for the industry. Individuals can have eyes and ears on site at a moment’s notice to address an emerging issue, or to host routine remote collaboration sessions,” Stracquatanio highlights.
AR can also increase control over the manufacturing process. Pharma and biotech companies cannot afford mistakes during the production phase. A little oversight might lead to serious consequences such as having to start from scratch, which can be very expensive and time-consuming. A recent example is that of Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing partner Emergent BioSolutions, whose workers erroneously mixed ingredients from two different Covid-19 vaccines; this led to wasting around 15 million vaccine doses.
During a working day, we could see an operator who loads 3D models of biotech instruments, looking at specific pieces and relevant information appearing in the smart glasses or tablet. Meanwhile, another engineer walks up to a machine with a QR code, and instructions pop up in the glasses, facilitating access to the adjustments. A few steps from there, another colleague is looking at batch records, saving values into the system just via voice.
Apprentice.io Gains Funding for AR & AI-Driven Software Platform to Meet COVID-19 Pharma Demands
Bringing a drug to market is an incredibly complex process that requires many stakeholders. The ability of these stakeholders to collaborate in the lab or manufacturing suite has been exceptionally difficult due to the pandemic. Apprentice site deployments have increased 6x since March due to their ability to provide a secure platform for pharma teams, subject matter experts, suppliers, FAT-SAT sites and contracted partners to connect and troubleshoot remotely, moving product development along efficiently.