August 30, 2013

Recently launched CPhI Pharma Evolution is a thriving online hub that enables pharma and biopharma professionals to share their thoughts on a variety of topics including APIs, excipients, formulation, R&D, manufacturing, packaging and anti-counterfeiting, regulatory compliance, outsourcing and supply chain management. It is also responsible for producing a number of high-profile reports that examine current and future trends in relation to these key subjects. Kevin Wetzel, CPhI’s International Marketing Manager, and Agnes Shanley, CPhI Pharma Evolution’s Editor-in-Chief, spoke to me about the considerable behind-the-scenes effort that has gone into making this much needed service a reality.

A month ago, CPhI Pharma Evolution released the first in a lineup of 13 monthly industry reports, entitled ‘Formulation & Ingredients’, compiled using the expert knowledge and foresight of several specially selected industry expert panelists. According to Kevin, the report — addressing issues relating to growth of the market, development of tablets, QbD, PAT, bioavailability, outsourcing, dissolution and stability — has received “very positive feedback so far”.

However, this comes as no surprise, as CPhI is in a prime position for such a venture. As outlined by Kevin, CPhI is in its 24th year and has a cast iron reputation for “bringing the industry together”, and this in itself gave organiser UBM the foresight and confidence to bring together 13 world-renowned experts, between them covering the entire pharmaceutical supply chain, for the purpose of producing these reports.

It has been an almost natural progression. “CPhI having such a strong foothold, it then made obvious sense to introduce conferences — the Pre Connect conference is running for the third time this year,” said Kevin. “So we were quick to realise that there’s this huge demand from our audience for more knowledge, more content, not just at our yearly event but all year round.”

As a result of CPhI Evolution’s extensive research, aimed at both its audiences and media outlets, key areas of interest have been identified. Over the coming weeks, subscribers to these reports should expect to receive two more in the series, one focusing on ‘R&D’ and the other on ‘Manufacturing’, as well as the pièce de résistance annual report.

Agnes has overseen this huge undertaking of bringing together key contributors from the global Pharma community. “First off, the expert industry panel had to be established,” she said. “After an exhaustive selection process involving consultation of CPhI attendees and the media, 13 relevant panelists from right across the industry spectrum — able to offer valuable insights into the identified key areas of interest — have been chosen.

“For the annual report, the panel members, each within their respective areas of expertise, have been asked to predict how they feel the industry will look five years from now. This report aims to be a little like what you would expect from Deloitte or PWC but more from a practical rather an economical point of view.

“In essence, the monthly report provides readers with an overview of current situations and likely trends whereas the annual report offers the bigger picture with one to five year predictions.”

The yearly report is to feature 13 articles, each one written by one of the 13 panel members. Among those topics to be discussed are ‘antibody drug conjugates’, ‘regulatory changes in India’ and ‘continuous improvement’.

“The plan is to release the report one month prior to CPhI Worldwide (being staged in Frankfurt, Germany, this October)  then survey CPhI registrants to find out whether their thoughts marry with the experts’ thoughts, how far we are away from these future predictions and what it might take to achieve them,” continued Agnes. “We then have the viewpoints of the experts as well as a wider industry perspective and we will release the findings at CPhI.

“The annual report has been carried out the other way around to the monthly reports. With the monthly reports, we’ve conducted a survey within the general community, then gone over the findings with the relevant panel members. With the annual reports, we think it’s more appropriate for the panel experts to try and envisage the future of the industry first, then market test their opinions.”

In my opinion, having read some of the discussions on the Pharma Evolution website and read the first of the monthly reports, this is an extremely useful information source for the pharmaceutical industry, potentially helping to facilitate the delivery of future patient optimised products to market faster. As aptly summarised by Kevin: “Pharma Evolution is a platform where the community contributes and actively shares ideas. It addresses the different groups within the value chain, with which the monthly reports are actually aligned. There is a lot going on in the industry and people are keen to share their knowledge and ideas.”

To visit the CPhI Pharma Evolution website, click here.

To receive an advanced copy of the CPhI Pharma Evolution annual report and contribute feedback for the final report, register for CPhI Worldwide.

August 30, 2013

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