French biotech LFB Group picks Apriso to track plasma products

August 17, 2009
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2009,

Apriso’s FlexNet software to help trace RFID-tagged plasma throughout supply chain

French biotech company LFB Group, which makes plasma-derived products, has chosen software from Apriso Corp. to track the thousands of packages of plasma that move through the company’s supply chain and manufacturing process daily.

LFB’s products include plasma-derived proteins aimed at rare auto-immune and other conditions. The products are manufactured from blood donated at centers in multiple countries; each day, thousands of these RFID-tagged individual packages are shipped to LFB, where they are stored while lab tests are undertaken before the blood is fractionated into plasma and related products, according to Rick Gallisa, industry director, life sciences at Apriso in Long Beach, CA. "Each of these items has to be traced at every step of the supply chain,” he says. Apriso’s FlexNet software will be used for this, helping to meet both logistical and regulatory reporting needs.

LFB is Apriso’s first biotech customer, although Gallisa says Apriso has worked with other pharma companies including Janssen and Merck as well as several medical device manufacturers. Although LFB is using the software for logistics, Apriso primarily focuses on manufacturing, providing a suite of applications used for manufacturing operations management (MOM).

Biotech companies have been slow to adopt MOM—which Gallisa attributes largely to the inherent difficulties of optimizing biotech manufacturing.

“The market for MOM in biotech is still in its infancy, and many different vendors are trying to establish themselves in this potentially lucrative market,” Gartner Inc. analyst Andrew Hughes wrote in a research note earlier this year.