Category | CDMO Services
As the largest global event for pharmaceutical supply chain companies, CPHI is a microcosm of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
At this year’s event in Barcelona, the changing competitive environment was palpable. Fueled by advances in technology and biomedical science, along with unprecedented global, political, and economic forces, the rapidly shifting pharma landscape contributed to an undercurrent of urgency and a growing consensus that innovation, adaptation, and strategic collaboration are essential for progress.
Following are some of the key takeaways from the conference.
To keep pace with the complex and dynamic pharma environment, high-performing CDMOs are embracing innovation, focusing on agility and scalability, forming strategic alliances, and actively participating in shaping the future of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
This message was underscored by Anil Kane, PhD, Senior Director of Global Technical Scientific Affairs at Thermo Fisher Scientific, in his presentation, “CDMO 2.0: Uncovering the Missing Element in Next-Generation Pharma Partnerships,” delivered as part of the Partnering for Success track. He described the increasing expectation for CDMOs not only to offer access to cutting-edge technologies but also to provide the critical insights necessary to harness these advancements effectively.
The ability to quickly and efficiently adapt production processes to accommodate varying product types, volumes, and customer demands is a valuable differentiator, he explained.
Achieving this degree of agility requires integrating robust supply chain management with advancements in process automation, continuous manufacturing, data analytics, and predictive modeling, as well as regulatory expertise and workforce development, he explained. It is also facilitated by an unwavering commitment to product, process, and partnership quality.
To address the needs of personalization, there has been a paradigm shift in pharmaceutical production and a considerable expansion of the roles played by outsourcing partners that bring the right skills to the table. Some of the must-have characteristics include:
The ability to provide partners with integrated CRO and CDMO services facilitates seamless transitions between phases of development, reduces time to market, and ensures consistent quality control throughout the lifecycle of the drug. By leveraging the advanced technologies and data analytics capabilities of partners that provide fully integrated services, companies can optimize their operations, predict market trends, and personalize medicine to meet the precise needs of patients, while staying agile in a competitive landscape.
Additional drivers are the expanded use of home delivery of medications to patients for self-administration and the increase in the number of companies changing the delivery format of their sterile injectable therapies—from liquid vials to prefilled syringes, for example—for improved lifecycle management.
The connection between sterile fill-finish capabilities and next-generation biomanufacturing was a common topic of discussion. Advanced aseptic processing facilities enable the safe, efficient, and compliant delivery of innovative therapies, and as biomanufacturing evolves, the role of sophisticated fill-finish operations will become even more critical in bridging the gap between laboratory breakthroughs and accessible patient treatments.
Approximately 80% of the executives from the 250 global pharma companies surveyed for the report believed sustainability metrics and goals will be integrated into contracts within two years, and 93% felt that visibility into supply chain partners’ sustainability record was important or extremely important.
Meeting the industry expectations requires a significant commitment and value-adding investments. For insight into what this looks like in the pharma and biotech sectors, download our recent sustainability eBook.
Certainly, these highlights are just the tip of the iceberg, given the size and scope of CPHI Barcelona 2023. One consideration not included on this list is artificial intelligence (AI). While AI was a frequent topic of conversation, the presentations and discussions were still largely focused on future expectations. In fact, most executives surveyed for the CPHI annual report expressed confidence that AI will be a major force evolving the pharma landscape over the next 5 years.
This has important implications for outsourcing partners, Thermo Fisher’s Anil Kane explained. “There is interest in applying AI into every aspect of drug development, from discovery to clinical trials and supply chain,” he said. “It is up to us, as strategic partners to our customers, to find the right applications, evaluate value added outcomes, and justify the use of these techniques in the right areas.”
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