Shattering expectations: Four companies breaking barriers in pharma outsourcing

Feb. 12, 2020

Contract service providers don’t get an explosion of accolades when a new cure hits the market. In fact, they don’t get much attention at all, and many patients likely don’t realize that contract manufacturers and researchers play an increasingly vital role in pharma’s supply chain.

In 2018, 51 percent of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved New Molecular Entities (NMEs) were outsourced to contract manufacturers. On the R&D side, pharma companies spent an estimated $86 billion on contracted services during 2018, surpassing internal staff and infrastructure spending by nearly $20 billion.

Now, mounting political pressures in the U.S. to bring down the prices of drugs are prompting many pharma companies to expand the use of outsourced partners as a way to lower operational costs and in turn, bring down the price of drugs. As more pharma companies look to lower costs, streamline operations, and expand geographical presence, CMOs and CROs are increasingly becoming the unsung heroes of pharma.

And still, driving innovation in the contract services space can be tricky. Contractors are hired to perform a specific job on a set timeline with a limited budget to achieve one needed result. It’s a business model that can discourage tinkering with fresh ideas that might fall flat and ultimately cost time and money.

Even with these limitations, many CROs and CMOs have found a way to break down barriers in the market instead of being confined by them. Contract organizations have the opportunity to be influencers in the pharma space — which is a role that the four companies we’ve chosen to profile (GVK BIO, Piramal Pharma Solutions, Cambrex, and Lonza) have embraced.

Read the profiles here:

Chipping away at India’s glass ceiling

How patient-centricity could redefine the CDMO business

Dispelling the myth of seamless tech transfer

Setting a new gold standard in ADC production