In the incredibly competitive pharmaceutical industry, innovation is everything. And when it comes to process design innovation, modeling is critically important to innovation. Modeling technology allows for process designs to be conceptualized, developed and refined, tested and verified. A good model can be applied to different problems and challenges.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer leveraged modeling techniques in refining existing process design and developing new products. One of the challenges they faced was integrating a multitude of simulation technologies and standardizing the modeling process. Pfizer R&D uses a number of simulation and modeling systems, including MATLAB, Excel, gPROMS, GastroPlus and more. These tools are not standardized, and Pfizer wanted the different models to be more easily accessible in one modeling platform.
Another challenge that Pfizer R&D faced was knowledge transfer itself. Like many R&D companies, they had numerous in-house built spreadsheets by former employees, and had to rely on cumbersome notations to transfer knowledge to new models. They also wanted a system that was easily accessible to their engineers and end users, but which was secure and preserved the integrity of the different modeling tools.
Pfizer also wanted a centralized one-stop-shop access point for all model usage, which was uniform in “look and feel” to make it user friendly and intuitive. They wanted an auditable space to retrieve inputs and outputs, model version, and all other associate files related to a simulation.
Finally, Pfizer wanted a secure modeling system with version control that would serve to house all documentation.
They wanted all of these features of security and usability, while transparently running each model in its native platform (even on a Linux cluster) with minimum programming effort.
Using EASA, Pfizer was able to create a web-accessible, secure, user-friendly, centralized modeling and documentation hub. The new EASA-enabled modeling system allows for version control and auditing. It allows for better knowledge transfer, enabling engineers to decide more accurately which is the best model to use, and learn from previous simulations and tests – all on one accessible platform.
EASA’s solution not only made for a better modeling system, but it made for a better working environment at Pfizer – both due to the ease of implementation, and also due to the time saved by streamlining communication and processes. EASA makes model deployment simple and robust, permitting a corporation to engage the end user into a “self-service” workflow when it comes to modeling technology. This allows Pfizer to optimally allocate licenses, computer time and SMEs (subject matter experts). The improved auditability eases knowledge transfer and archival of results. This gives Pfizer the proper metrics to support resource allocation decisions, ultimately bringing IT and business lines together in a productive, collaborative environment that leads to success.Tags: Excel, mathematical modeling, Matlab, Pfizer, spreadsheet deployment