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SpectraHow. Smart Raman sensor to speed up biopharma manufacture

Project description

Raman spectroscopy to improve biotherapeutics

Biotherapeutics is the fastest-growing sector in the pharmaceutical industry. However, the sector is facing critical demands for lower costs, more efficient bioprocessing time and stable results. Raman spectroscopy is a technology that can improve bioprocessing. The EU-funded SpectraHow project is developing scalable software based on innovative machine learning techniques to elaborate data, automatically measure process dynamics, and transmit information. The project aims to improve its use, perfectionate patterns and algorithms, and prove its compatibility with other software instruments and spectrology technologies.


Today, biopharmaceuticals generate global revenues of €145 billion, representing about 20% of the pharma market. The growth rate of biopharma, 8%, currently doubles that of conventional pharma. However, biopharma companies are facing an increased pressure for cheaper process development, faster time to market as well as more consistent production (reducing failure). Raman spectroscopy is a promising technology to improve bio processing and manufacture. Nevertheless, the corresponding data analysis of the complex spectra in biopharma is more challenging that conventional pharma, taking 2-5 months in order to acquire enough data and train a reliable predictive model. Founded in 2017, DataHow is a spin-off from the ETH Zürich, with the aim to accelerate biopharmaceutical process development and reduce risks in production through advanced algorithm-enabled digital solutions; SpectraHow is our scalable software based on advanced machine learning techniques, capable of accurately handling the large amounts of data generated, to automatically quantify the process dynamics and translate the information into direct decision support. Our algorithmic toolbox at TRL6 has been already tested in operational environment for different processes with several pharma companies, with a precision of up to 35% more accurate compared to commercial tools, and a smaller effort due to our automated calibration procedure. Next steps to take forward SpectraHow to commercialization are: improve usability with a Graphical User Interface, fine-tune our models and algorithms to further automate analysis, and show compatibility of our solution with third-party software tools to expand its functionality from R&D to production and to other spectroscopy techniques. In the booming Raman for pharma market valued at 2.5 billion in 2015, we forecast generate €21 Million in revenues in 2026 while creating 14 new jobs.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
8093 Zurich

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00