Pharma CDMOs and big picture details

Feb. 16, 2021
Today’s contract manufacturers need both vision and precision

Who would you rather be? The super hero who plans to stop giant asteroids if they head towards Earth — or the scientist whose daily job is to monitor asteroid orbits and develop asteroid-deflection techniques?

Big picture thinkers and those who focus on minutia are often said to be two different types of people. Conflicting idioms and worn out business clichés encourage us to be one or the other. After all, it’s probably pretty difficult to see the magic in the details if you are taking a 30,000-foot view.

So either your plan is to hurl yourself through the atmosphere to save the world or it’s to gradually refine the science needed to lessen the amount of catastrophe.

But today’s pharma contract development and manufacturing organizations have to do both. CDMOs are winning over clients by not only taking on major global challenges, but also by providing expertise in their respective processes.

On the surface, we see CDMOs tackling big issues: stopping COVID-19, enabling the next generation of medicines, and slowing climate change.

This month, we highlighted four companies as “CDMOs with vision” — but it quickly became evident that vision alone did not make them successful. Behind the scenes, we saw skilled industry experts who were meticulous about the details.

Emergent BioSolutions has become an indispensable U.S. government partner, armed with the technical know-how to rapidly address serious public health threats such as infectious disease or chemical warfare agents.

Two new facilities on the east coast — BioCentriq and The Center for Breakthrough Medicines — are focusing on reducing the time, complexity and cost to get life-changing and life-saving cell and gene therapies to patients.

Vetter Pharma-Fertigung is leading the way in pharma environmental responsibility by providing aseptic filling and packaging expertise while keeping the company’s ecological footprint as small as possible.

Last year, the pharma industry was called upon to step up and take on the biggest public health emergency in modern history, and the industry has delivered on many fronts. But the pandemic caused a scramble for raw materials, resources and capacity, unmasking the fragility of pharma’s complex global supply chains. Having a stable, reliable supply chain became crucial. Going forward, pharma suppliers, including CDMOs, will likely face more scrutiny as the industry carefully chooses its partners. And to be successful, they will need to set themselves apart from the crowd.

Being a standout CDMO means looking beyond excellence in products and services and realizing the even greater impact a company can have on patients and the world.

Maybe you can be both the scientist and the super hero.