Pharma CDMOs built to thrive

Feb. 9, 2023
When it comes to growth, how do you find just the right strategy for sustained success?

In the pharma contract services business, it goes beyond financial stability. Thriving CDMOs are those that are truly making an impact — on customers, on patient health and even on the economies of their home countries.

Lately, the word ‘uncertain’ has been used a lot. Whether the discussion refers to the ongoing pandemic, supply chain stability or the global economy — the outlook appears to not only be less than definitive, but also trending in the wrong direction.

And yet, many industry gurus seem to think that the pharma industry — and in particular, contract manufacturers — could buck the trends.

For the past few years, a well-funded pharma sector has generated brimming pipelines — creating a steady demand for CDMOs. On top of this, the pharma industry is still under pressure to advance new drugs through development faster, lower manufacturing costs and further secure supply chains — and they are looking for partners who can help.

In short, amid a lot of uncertainty, many CDMOs are thriving. This series profiles three growing CDMOs that have found ways to distinguish themselves with their offerings and extend their customer bases around the world.

Northway Biotech was Lithuania’s first pharma CDMO. The Baltic star — which will soon cut the ribbon on a new 30,000-square-foot GMP facility in the U.S. — has effectively tapped into Lithuania’s strengths to not only build a standout end-to-end CDMO, but also to put Lithuanian biotech on the map. As the country works toward an ambitious goal for its life sciences sector — 5% GDP contribution by 2030 — Northway Biotech continues to be a key producer in that quest. Pivotal to Northway’s success has been the company’s ongoing willingness to reinvest and enhance its services and capabilities.

Belgium-based Ardena has been on a mission to build a robust integrated services platform and position itself as an industry leader. Fueled by a successful ‘buy and build’ strategy, Ardena has grown from a regulatory consulting agency with 60 workers to a leading multi-service CDMO in Western Europe with over 500 employees — in just five years. With six sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Spain, the company hasn’t fallen short on the ‘build’ portion of its strategy either, making consistent investments towards expanding its facilities and offerings.

With its origins as a family-run company situated in the small island nation of Taiwan, Bora Pharmaceuticals set its sights on becoming a world-leading CDMO. Like Ardena, the company’s growth strategy has relied heavily on acquisitions — six in the past eight years. Bora has also dedicated itself to expanding its capabilities by investing in its acquired facilities. Now operating six state-of-the-art CGMP manufacturing facilities, including one in Canada, Bora is Taiwan’s largest pharmaceutical group by volume, currently producing 12% of all drug products exported from the island.

Finally, it’s worth noting that all three CDMOs profiled in this issue are helmed by passionate leaders who have been onboard since the initial launch, highlighting the crucial role dedicated leadership plays in a company’s ability to flourish during even the most uncertain times.

About the Author

Karen P. Langhauser | Chief Content Director, Pharma Manufacturing

Karen currently serves as Pharma Manufacturing's chief content director.

Now having dedicated her entire career to b2b journalism, Karen got her start writing for Food Manufacturing magazine. She made the decision to trade food for drugs in 2013, when she joined Putman Media as the digital content manager for Pharma Manufacturing, later taking the helm on the brand in 2016.

As an award-winning journalist with 20+ years experience writing in the manufacturing space, Karen passionately believes that b2b content does not have to suck. As the content director, her ongoing mission has been to keep Pharma Manufacturing's editorial look, tone and content fresh and accessible.

Karen graduated with honors from Bucknell University, where she majored in English and played Division 1 softball for the Bison. Happily living in NJ's famed Asbury Park, Karen is a retired Garden State Rollergirl, known to the roller derby community as the 'Predator-in-Chief.'