WuXi Biologics and Harbour BioMed announce manufacturing partnership
WuXi Biologics, the Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer, has announced its partnership with Harbour BioMed, the biotechnology firm with operations in China, the US, and the Netherlands.
The two firms have formed a strategic collaboration to develop and manufacturer Harbour BioMed’s HCAb antibody.
WuXi Biologics will be responsible for supporting the supply of the antibody to be used in trials following the Investigational New Drug (IND) applications.
The end-to-end solutions firm will focus on the supply in China, where Harbour BioMed’s R&D site is located, as well as the rest of the world.
“In about a year's time, our scientists have moved our leading HCAb molecule into IND enabling stage,” remarked Harbour BioMed’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jingsong Wang.
“We are excited to collaborate with WuXi Biologics to accelerate further development of this molecule.”
“This collaboration is aligned with our strategy to partner with industry leaders to bring forward innovative therapeutics that will help patients.”
“Harbour's trust in WuXi Biologics to develop this novel format of HCAb is a strong testament of WuXi Biologics as a global leader in technology,” stated Dr. Chris Chen, Chief Executive Officer of WuXi Biologics.
“We have enabled more than 20 complex molecules to the clinic including different bispecific formats, ADCs, fusion proteins and novel protein scaffolds,” he added.
“We aim to empower anyone and any company to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.