CDMO growth strategies

Feb. 15, 2023
Success is often rooted in a well-nourished plan

I don’t know if anyone has tried to troubleshoot a failing houseplant via the internet, but let me save you some time: you’ve either over- or under-watered it, given it too much or too little light, fertilized it too much or not enough — or all or none of the above.

As a slowly recovering plant killer (I have an angry philodendron that can attest to my persistent incompetence), I’ve realized that unlocking the secret to thriving greenery is more complicated than one might think.

One rookie mistake is rushing out and haphazardly buying houseplants in bulk. You can fill your kitchen with blooming plant life, but without a plan, you’re going to end up with a potted graveyard on your windowsill. At a minimum, your plan needs to involve a combination of the right resources, proper timing and most importantly, a gardener who is willing to get their hands dirty.

While a drooping dracaena is not exactly equivalent to a slumping multimillion-dollar business (you are here for my fringy analogies, not my financial advice), the same question can be asked: When it comes to growth, how do you find just the right strategy for sustained success?

This month’s cover story — part of our annual contract manufacturing spotlight — profiles three CDMOs that have found a way to flourish.

Whether it’s by rapidly acquiring pre-existing facilities and investing heavily in improvements or traveling across the globe to construct a state-of-the-art facility in a U.S. biotech hub, these CDMOs have carefully calculated their plans for building value. In doing so, they have truly made an impact — on customers, on the economies of their home countries and most importantly, on patient health.

The CDMOs we profiled — Northway Biotech, Ardena and Bora Pharmaceuticals — have extended their customer bases around the world, including the coveted U.S. market.

Collectively, they employ close to 2,000 skilled workers and operate 14 manufacturing facilities in nine different countries. The full-service providers are all headed by dedicated, passionate leaders; leaders who, when it comes to expanding their businesses, are not afraid to dig in.

Today’s pharma manufacturers are facing a high-pressure environment — one where they must balance speed and efficiency with quality and innovation — and CDMOs continue to play a vital role in this delicate pharma ecosystem.

As more products push through pharma’s well-funded pipelines, sowing the seeds of this success requires the right partner. Ultimately, it’s the CDMOs that have taken the gloves off to better cultivate just the right mix of service offerings, expertise and initiative that will continue to thrive. 

About the Author

Karen P. Langhauser | Chief Content Director, Pharma Manufacturing

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

Formerly the editor-in-chief of Food Manufacturing magazine, Karen was particularly successful at eating all of the snacks that were mailed to her from food companies, as well as reaching readers by establishing her own unique voice and tone on the brand. She made the decision to trade food for drugs in 2013, when she joined Putman Media as the digital content manager for Pharma Manufacturing.

As an award-winning journalist with 20+ years experience 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.'