Apprentice raises $100m to continue supporting pharma - Main 1

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Digital technologies from the likes of Apprentice are helping pharma fight the pandemic

Quick read

➨ Apprentice is preparing to level up its products to help the pharma industry after raising $100 million of series C funding
➨ The company says its technology has so far directly supported the creation of an estimated 370 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
➨ Its new manufacturing execution system builds on its collaboration product by integrating AR, voice recognition and AI into wearable, mobile, and desktop devices for use during the drug production process

The story

Pharmaceutical companies have been under intense pressure to produce and manufacture significant supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and other drugs in order to help the world return to normal after the pandemic.

Digital technologies have been crucial to their efforts. And one company supporting them with augmented reality (AR) technology is preparing to level up its products after raising $100 million of series C funding.

Apprentice provides the Tandem collaboration product, which gives remote colleagues a first-person perspective into what an operator on the manufacturing floor is seeing and doing. AR content can be used to overlay their view to provide direction and instructions.

Apprentice raises $100m to continue supporting pharma - Tandem

Its technology has been vital to pharma companies during the pandemic, Apprentice says, directly supporting the creation of an estimated 370 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far.

Angelo Stracquatanio, chief executive officer of Apprentice, comments: “We had the right technology at the right time to help our customers keep making critical medicine and vaccines in unprecedented conditions. As the world continues to navigate COVID-19, we will help our customers adapt to new challenges.”

Investors backed Apprentice to the tune of $24 million in a November 2020 series B round. Now the company is preparing to scale its operations, team, and platform to ensure supply chain adaptability, after raising $100 million from Alkeon Capital Management, Silverton Partners, Insight Partners, Pacific Western Bank, and Colorcon Ventures.

Apprentice is also planning to further expand in Europe and Asia, as well as undertake a full launch of its manufacturing execution system (EMS). This cloud-based platform builds on Tandem by integrating AR, voice recognition, and artificial intelligence (AI) into wearable, mobile, and desktop devices for use during the drug production process.

Apprentice raises $100m to continue supporting pharma - Main 1

Apprentice says it is designed to reduce human error and inefficiency across the pre-clinical, clinical, and commercial stages of drug production.

It is cloud-based, offers a strong user experience and is no-code, ensuring easy knowledge sharing across teams and sites, real-time quality tracking, and reductions in production downtime.

Stracquatanio continues: “With the advent of cell and gene therapies, pharma is undergoing a transformation while coping with massive supply chain disruption. Our mission is to deliver modern technology that’s flexible, powerful, and regulatory-compliant so manufacturers can make these new therapies better, faster, and more reliably no matter the circumstance—to the benefit of patients everywhere.”

The digital transformation underway in manufacturing is well supported, with investors strongly backing providers such as Apprentice.

AR technology is not front and centre of Apprentice’s offering, but it plays a vital role in collaboration and will support a compelling EMS that promises to solve several problems that became apparent in drug manufacturing as a result of the pandemic, particularly knowledge sharing (and training) and quality tracking. The latest edition of VRWorldTech Magazine has more on these two issues.

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Images: Apprentice