We spoke with four of the leading lights in the sector to find out what they think 2017 has in store for pharma.
Manuel Leal Sanchez, business development director, Idifarma
I anticipate 2017 will be a very positive year for pharmaceutical contract manufacturers, especially for small and agile CMOs, which will continue to play an integral role in addressing the needs of innovator drug start-ups and niche generics players in the industry.
The necessity to offer a wide array of services will also be significant, from drug formulation and development to clinical supply and contract manufacturing. Also, capabilities to handle high potency and low-solubility products will be increasingly relevant in the industry.
Looking forward, the need to have a diverse offering across the sector will be integral to company success.
Joe Haugh, CEO, Zenith Technologies
It’s an exciting time for our sector. Several factors, such as the global diversification of manufacturing and the trend towards personalised medicines, mean operational and manufacturing challenges must be addressed.
With life sciences continuously evolving, 2017 will be a pivotal year in accelerating these changes - due to looming serialisation deadlines, industry reforms, data integrity challenges and technological advancements.
The next generation of digital manufacturing will begin to take hold as manufacturers witness the benefits of ‘Industry 4.0.’ 2017 will bring with it the technology and ability to drive change and to meet the requirements to live and work in a connected world.
Mark Quick, executive vice president, corporate development, Recipharm
I think that a major topic of 2017 will be serialisation.
Whilst a number of companies are in good shape, there are still many MA holders and CMOs taking an “ostrich” approach and they haven’t really understood the preparation that it requires.
Over the next few months, the impact of this regulatory change will soon start to dawn on them and many will be hoping it won’t happen or will at least be delayed.
If the industry does not get to grips with serialisation soon, it could be too late and it will become a major issue to be ready for the deadlines of November 2017 for the US and February 2019 for Europe.
Colin MacKay, CEO, Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services
In 2017, I expect to see further consolidation and M&A activity among the larger contract service providers that cater for large scale commercial supply.
However, with a real shift in the development of personalised medicines among emerging biotech and pharma companies, there will be a greater need than ever before for small, agile, specialist CMOs like Symbiosis that can rapidly manufacture small batches for small patient populations.
Ultimately, companies will grow, shrink, rise and fall based on their ability to be flexible and meet the evolving needs of drug development clients.