Biopharmaceutical as a growing industry is not merely conjecture at this point. The BioProcess Technology Consultants in a 2011 report said that the total revenues among biopharma companies surpassed $100 billion in 2010. But the industry is far from peaking as companies are expected to increase their spending to $200 billion by 2015. But there’s a wide gap between the demand for cell line development and the ability of global pharma companies to build new capacities to fill that gaping hole. This issue won’t affect the huge multinationals more than the smaller companies that can no more afford to invest in these facilities nor pick the scraps left behind by the multinationals.
The rise of CMOs
This is the reason why the number of contract manufacturing organizations is growing very rapidly because they enable smaller biopharma companies to compete. Of course huge companies are also outsourcing some of their production needs not only to cut costs but also to ensure that new product lines are religiously being rolled out. In fact, biologics represent more than 3 in 10 drugs in the development stage in the world. Companies have found the value of outsourcing their requirements for cell line development, biosimilars or biobetters.
It’s easy to think that the market is already saturated with CMOs, but you would be wrong. Between 2011 and 2018, for example, blockbuster biologics (or those belonging to the top 30 biologics) worth $30 billion in Europe alone are scheduled to lose their patent protection. That means a free-for-all frenzy to develop similar products that may be cheaper and better. Whether you can afford to
Working with a pro
There’s an unjust apprehension regarding biosimilars, and maybe you can include there the Biobetters, but this is typically driven by the type of research and development methods being employed as well as the facilities used to manufacture those products.
Therefore it’s paramount that you work with a professional with the track record and the knowhow to deliver your requirements on time and on competitive rates. In a cutthroat industry, it’s important to gain whatever edge you can get and selling cheaper medicine is always a nice marketing come-on. To think about partnering with CMOs for radiolabeled antibody products or cell line development in order to cut costs is a shallow way of looking at it. More than the savings, it’s one way to make sure that whatever drug is being sold in shelves is not compromised by the biopharma company’s decision to cut some corners in safety procedures and quality ingredients.