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Getting Access to new Technologies How chemical synthesis outsourcing can tweak the process of drug discovery


*Corresponding author
Autodisplay Biotech GmbH, Lifescience Center, Merowinger Platz 1a, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany 


Outsourcing has traditionally been thought of as a short-term strategy in order to cut back expenses or to provide a company with additional capacities. This understanding has changed throughout the last few years. Today, outsourcing is seen as a method to increase performance in pharmaceutical R&D via leveraging of core competencies. Service providers are able to provide timely and efficient solutions to any given problem along the whole value chain of pharmaceutical R&D. Outsourcing enables pharmaceutical companies to gain access to new technologies such as biocatalytical reactions. Therefore, three very distinct co-operation models have been established.


In order to improve their competitive position, pharmaceutical companies permanently reassess their mode of R&D operations, including outsourcing activities (1, 2). These activities are very common along the whole value chain of pharmaceutical R&D (Figure 1). Traditionally believed to be a short-term strategy to cut down expenses or to provide additional capacities, outsourcing today is being considered to enhance performance of pharmaceutical R&D through leveraging of core competencies (3).
In the field of pharmaceutical R&D, one of the fastest growing segments for outsourcing activities is chemical synthesis. There, outsourcing can be used in the discovery phase (discovery chemistry to synthesise and optimise lead compound