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Continuous manufacturing – an improved production process

Continuous manufacturing – an improved production process

Janssen in Belgium is striving to boost its production capacities and processes in order to anticipate patient needs more quickly. For some of our products, we have made the transition to continuous manufacturing technology. This is considered a revolutionary technology in the pharmaceutical sector. In 2016, Janssen was the first pharmaceutical company to receive FDA approval to switch from batch production to continuous manufacturing.

Janssen in Belgium invested 21 million euro in the new continuous manufacturing technology. It will help us produce our drugs more quickly and respond more effectively to the demand for important new drugs. This means that considerably less raw materials are needed in the production of medicines. The total lead time is halved and the quality of the product can be continuously measured and monitored.

Optimal allocation of resources

The continuous manufacturing technology was developed in collaboration with Ghent University and Rutgers University. This new technology enables us to shorten production and test cycle times, reduce waste and environmental impact and decrease process risks. And all this while retaining the existing product quality in delivering innovative therapies to patients. In this way, the technology is hugely important for the future of pharmaceutical production, which can reduce the processing times and footprint of manufacturing facilities.

Reduced complexity

Traditionally, the production of medicines in the pharmaceutical industry is mainly carried out by means of batch processes. This is in contrast to the food industry and the petrochemicals and chemicals sectors, where continuous manufacturing is already commonplace. The transition to continuous manufacturing systems will be one of the most important changes in the pharmaceutical industry in the next ten years. Technology will make it possible to simplify the production process and to reduce costs and time to market.

Quality is of paramount importance

Both methods of production are subject to the same quality control standards, but with continuous manufacturing, we have ways to automate the process and monitor it in real time, adding quality assurance that we did not have before. Another major advantage is that we have the flexibility to produce larger or smaller quantities to meet the demand.