Contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs) are on the cusp of an exciting opportunity when it comes to future customer demand in the pharma and biotech sectors. The global market for pharmaceuticals reached USD 1.2 trillion in 2018, and going forward, should grow by 4-5% CAGR to reach USD 1.5 trillion over the next few years, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science.
However, as the global coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, the resolve and efficiency of the industry to continue to deliver critical medicines to patients is being put to the test.
How CDMOs react to evolving demand, while at the same time navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the industry, is key to their success. This was one of the major themes during a recent CPhI Webinar sponsored by Pfizer CentreOne.
“There has never been a more dynamic market nor a greater role for commercial partners and pharma,” said Stephanie Watson, Director, Strategy & Pipeline Development, Pfizer CentreOne, introducing the webinar. “As more and more companies turn to contract manufacturers to bring their products to market, the CDMO industry is more important than ever before for advancing pharma breakthroughs. In a crowded contract manufacturing marketplace, selecting the right partner for their technical expertise, their commercial knowledge, and specialised technologies is the key to success.”
According to her colleague, Tanya Alcorn, Vice President, Pfizer BioPharma Global Supply Chain, many CDMOs are investing in capacity and capabilities to stay ahead of the growing need: “Each CDMO needs to be really clear on their strategy to build on the capabilities that are specific and niche, but also to make sure they have the right cultural fit to find the right commercial partners.”
"In a crowded contract manufacturing marketplace, selecting the right partner for their technical expertise, their commercial knowledge, and specialised technologies is the key to success" - Stephanie Watson, Pfizer CentreOne
During the webinar, Alcorn also focused on COVID-19’s impact on contract manufacturing.
“COVID-19 has brought supply chains to the forefront; we’ve seen supply chains in different industries struggle through the pandemic, and we’ve seen supply chains show their resilience,” she said. “The pharma industry has largely been very resilient and very strong, and I think it presents an opportunity for us as an industry to continue to showcase our capabilities. It also brings a renewed focus on supply chain management, risk management, and business continuity. “
She added that pharma and biotech companies are in discussions with different governments around nationalistic approaches, having more local sources, and creating redundancies in the supply chain.
“The ability to quickly respond to that environment creates an opportunity for us as pharma and contract partners to leverage the broader contract manufacturing network to help build that business continuity plan and that resiliency without investing in our own network to do that,” she said.
Also speaking in the webinar, Peter Bigelow, President of xCell Strategic Consulting touched on the evolving implications for the industry of COVID-19 and argued that pre-pandemic, there was little focus on in-country pharma outsourcing.
“We were very global in the way we outsourced products and that has changed quite a bit,” he said. “In every country, every major market in every region around the world, there has been a real kind of introspection about understanding where our products are made and that there’s some value in making those products closer to where the patients are.”
Bikash Chatterjee, Chief Operating and Scientific Officer at Pharmatech Associates told the virtual audience that active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) sourcing issues due to COVID-19 had prompted a conversation about on-shoring, the practice of large demand markets such as the US and Europe bringing some of the key overall supply chain components back into an area where it can be controlled.
“There’s a great initiative to see if we can’t incentivise industry to try and bring some of these key upstream elements back onto US soil,” he said.
To listen to the webinar in full and learn more about the latest CDMO trends and developments in both the large and small molecule space, click here.