Five minutes at CPhI worldwide with …
Here we are for the second part of our CPhI Worldwide 2017 newsletter. The annual hub of the pharma industry took place last month in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, featuring almost 2500 exhibitors populating fourteen halls, sometimes on multiple floors. The more than 45.000 visitors had a truly unique and successful opportunity to meet, discuss and foster new collaborations.
The mood was especially positive, dynamic and exciting, mirrored by the enthusiastic comments of the companies we talked with. Rivopharm “For us, much more sparkling than the previous years!” Novasep “CPhI is really a must to attend. It is always a great opportunity for us to meet our customers” Roquette “This is where the market is going, given the current rise in biologics -about 60% of new drugs are biologics and the number is increasing exponentially.”. Indeed it seems to be a good time for the industry, especially for CMO/CDMOs, given that the outsourcing wave keeps growing as Lonza told us: “Big pharma is continuing to outsource and they are looking for partners with certain capacity, capability and longevity.”
Being able to offer a wide portfolio of capabilities and seems key to compete: JRS “The industry trend is to consolidate and have a geographical footprint all around the globe”; as again Lonza makes it clear, “they are looking for external partners to outsource a range of services from API production to final dosage forms”. According to Novasep this goes beyond small molecules “ this trend towards integration is true also for other biomanufacturing -such as production of viral vectors for therapeutic vaccines and gene therapy.” However it is not all about one-stop shops. For example Amri, while reassuring customers that they “offers the benefit of end to end services”, clarifies that “our strategic focus is not to offer everything to everybody, but to bring deep expertise and technology to solve difficult problems”. Perhaps the answer is more in the boldness of Rivopharm “We are good in finding solutions to impossible problems.”
This trend is shifting the relationship of CMO/CDMO with the China behemoth. On one hand VIO Chemicals reminds that “China is in possession of a vast territory with an abundance of raw materials as a source of input for its large manufacturing industry.” but it seems yellow fever is abating; as AMRI notices, “we are witnessing an exodus from contracting work to Asia” For this reason Chinese players are reacting, for example focusing more on regulatory aspects, such as JenKem that boasts a “a quality system and manufacturing plant designed to meet the GMP needs of our customers”. But regulation is causing headaches also in the West, for example serialization requirements: according to Recipharma, “some [European] countries are still behind on this work, and some national systems probably will not be ready by 2019.”
Coming-of-age technologies such as continuous processes will be key to meet the increasing demands of customers, be it in the form of flow chemistry for API synthesis, where for example VIO Chemicals proudly announces that “Flow chemistry is one of the keywords for a brand new projects we are launching next year”. Or as continuous manufacturing of excipients, that for JRS is “a growing trend in the industry” -along with Roquette seeing “a great demand for customized excipients and for co-processed excipients”
The main focus of all this manufacturing firepower is increasingly biologics, as declared by JRS “The dominance of small-molecule drugs is coming to an end. In the future more treatments will be biologic – complex drugs” and indeed according to Roquette “about 60% of new drugs are biologics and the number is increasing exponentially.” translating in a demand for further capabilities: Biovectra “The onset of a number of biogeneric products and programs is creating shifts in demand for larger scale capacities.” Small-molecule manufacturers do not have to despair, however. Again Biovectra notices that a winning strategy can be a “a successful combination of chemistry and biochemistry”. To use the words of Centroflora, “It is about getting the best of nature and the best of science, and making them work together.”