CPhI Worldwide 2017 took place in Frankfurt am Main, and as usual it was an immense gathering. More than 45.000 visitors crowding 14 halls packing almost 2500 exhibitors, CPhI Worldwide confirmed its reputation as the annual hub for the pharma industry to meet, discuss and foster new collaborations. Companies we talked with were very satisfied, praising the location and the intensity of participation: Aenova “For us it has been very successful; due to a very open exchange we received tangible confirmation of trust by our established Customers” Biocad “It is a great place to meet with your partners. […] Frankfurt is in my opinion the best location”
Exhibitors were positive – an example among many Dishman-Carbogen Amcis “Our outlook for the current fiscal year is looking also extremely good.” and the state of the industry returned confirmations and some surprises. The return of the one-stop-shop format in CMO/CDMO has been discussed a lot in the last few years, and some companies definitely bet on this strategy. CordenPharma International “The idea is to provide a one-stop-shop, a fully integrated solution to reduce the customer’s need for multiple suppliers”; But other contract manufacturers fighted back this philosophy preferring, as Aenova told us, “to focus on the technologies we excel and perform best”. Dishman-Carbogen Amcis stated “One stop shop is an expression we honestly do not like” and Grace “there is a strong appetite in today’s pharmaceutical industry to become more flexible and dynamic in drug development strategies.” “in CMO you sell a solution it is never a one-size-fits-all “ told us Capua Bioservices .
For some, opportunities are exactly in the niches left open by more generalist CMOs.
Regulations are an ongoing headache: apart from the coming European serialization requirement, Ctp notes that “One area where is a lot of turmoil is data integrity”.
Biologicals and biosimilars dominated the discussion. Their rise is seen as unstoppable. The key driver of this demand seems to be oncology even if biologicals are clearly rising in other areas, such as autoimmune diseases. The other talk of the town was the rise of personalized medicine, CordenPharma International “Customization and personalization of drugs is increasing”.
There is more and more interest also in excipients with an ongoing discussion on continuous manufacturing that mirrors a bit the perennial dilemma on flow chemistry in APIs. Aenova for example is cautious: “we have explored continuous manufacturing both in granulation and in coating.[…] However, we judge this is not yet completely mature.”
The packaging industry keeps innovating, with its main focuses summed up by Bormioli Rocco “Safety, along with drug stability”
“As packaging producers, we face three challenges. The first is to guarantee drug stability in the glass containers throughout its lifecycle, … the second is to ensure the best usability… the third is to guarantee the patient’s safety “summed up by Stevanato Group
“Speaking of emerging markets, there is a big different kind of demand for packaging “told us Gerresheimer
The conversation on emerging markets often went beyond the Far East. Ctp told us that in the Middle East “There are local markets that have a definite growth potential” and that “Russia is the most interesting market at the moment -it is huge, with a per capita expenditure in constant growth”, while the Russian company Biocad is positive on the future of the Russian industry “We believe in the next three years they will be noticeable players internationally.”
“ ..we have a presence in Asia but still small. Russia is also a market to grow, and we are currently applying for the GMP “told us Menadiona.
Finally, there is an increasing interest in sustainability, as Aker BioMarine stated, “Companies are now seeing sustainability as an essential part of what they do”. Even if there is still a lot to fight for since, as DSM Sinochem warns, “Unwanted and unsustainable developments are worsened by the enormous price pressure”.
All in all, CPhI 2017 has shown that the pharma industry is still bubbling with innovation, expansion and creativity. Have fun, as we had, hearing the many viewpoints and insights that companies gave us in the following interviews!