Economics

Shrink Your Inventory Costs And Make Your Staff Happier

Shire’s process development department recently overhauled its inventory control system. The result was a projected five-year net benefit of over US$1.5 million and an immediate increase in its scientists’ productivity and satisfaction. Hiding in Plain Sight We asked one of our scientists why he kept 12 cases of gloves on his laboratory bench. “I use a lot of them,” he told us. “I don’t want to run out.” When asked how long his supply would last, he replied, “I don’t know.…

Bridging Innovation and Partnerships in Mission Bay: Bayer’s CoLaborator Program

Looking at the landscape today, it’s hard to believe that in 2004 the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, CA, was home to only two biotechnology companies. Over the past decade, industry-leading organizations across academia, clinical care, and research have settled in the area, creating a thriving ecosystem of more than 100 life science companies. Prestigious academic and research institutions such as The Gladstone Institutes and University of California San Francisco as well as life science accelerators such as QB3…

Process Effectiveness Analysis Toward Enhanced Operational Efficiency, Faster Product Development, and Lower Operating Costs

Complex drug development and biomanufacturing processes involve back-and-forth shuttling of activities among multiple functions. Close communication, collaboration, and coordination among stakeholder departments and functions are needed to successfully execute these processes. Whereas collaboration between multiple functions leverages each function’s expertise, the resultant structure also poses several challenges, as listed in Table 1 (1). These challenges are further exacerbated as an organization grows in size and geography (2, 3). In the absence of clarity and appropriate assignment of roles and responsibilities,…

Creating Value Through Investment

During my MBA course, Professor Pierre Casse — then at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland — regularly reminded us that one key to success was constantly finding new ways to “delight and inspire your clients” by creating value. SAFC achieved that objective in its “Overcoming Supply Chain Vulnerability and Lowering Risk in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing” symposium 17–18th June 2014 in Turnberry, Scotland. Along with a day of industry insight, the event included a visit and tour…

Cost Estimation for Protein A Chromatography: An In Silico Approach to MAb Purification Strategy

Monoclonal antibody (MAb) production has adopted an accepted technology platform for downstream processing (1). The need for more economic processes has been addressed by increasing MAb titers in fermentation and aiming toward greater bioreactor volumes to increase productivity. Consequently, cost pressures are now passed on to downstream process groups. Membrane and chromatography resin savings are more important for MAb processes than ever before, with highly productive cell cultures generating large volumes of process fluid to purify (2). Traditionally, protein A…

Due Diligence of Early Stage Technologies: Achieving Rapid Product Development with Low R&D Costs

Increased understanding of human diseases at molecular and cellular levels is leading to development of novel life-science technologies. Such advancements typically pertain to discovery and manufacturing of novel human therapeutics, new modes of drug delivery, and novel diagnostic technologies. The majority of those technologies are developed by early stage biopharmaceutical companies that have a greater appetite for risk than do larger companies. Early stage biopharmaceutical companies, however, have limited capital raised through personal sources, angel investors, venture capital, or government…

Managing Contract Relationships with Quality Agreements: Keeping in Mind the New FDA Guidance

Using contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to augment your supply chain is not a new phenomenon in the pharmaceutical industry. One of my first projects in industry involved developing a process for a recombinant protein while manufacturing materials for clinical trials. My team recognized that the company did not have the money to build a plant for manufacturing an unproven product, and it was not bullish to the risk of investing, so we turned to a contract manufacturer in Austria. That…

Manufacturers Open Their Wallets for Outsourcing: Accessing Technical Expertise and Cutting Costs

Budgets for outsourcing activities have rebounded in recent years as outsourcing has gradually become a more common and core strategic decision made by bioprocessing companies. Some of the increase in outsourcing activity over the past few years has no doubt been spurred by cost-cutting behavior. But increasing evidence indicates that contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) are providing specific technical skills that clients may have shed during leaner recession years. In our latest annual industry report (1), we take a close look…

Rapid Development and Scale-Up Through Strategic Partnership: Case Study of an Integrated Approach to Cell-Line and Process Development for Therapeutic Antibodies

Over the past decade, monoclonal antibodies have become mainstream therapeutics for treating a broad range of conditions from autoimmune disorders to cancer. Part of this evolution is increasing time and cost pressure on biopharmaceutical companies to bring new drugs to market 1, 2. Additionally, companies now routinely engineer and screen molecules for developability and manufacturability during discovery before selecting a final candidate molecule. The biosimilar development paradigm also demands significantly more bioanalytical analysis during initial cell-line and process development. Thus,…

Risk Management in Financing of Capital Expansions: How One CMO Grows with Its Customers

BioVectra Inc. is an eastern Canadian contract manufacturing organization (CMO) with expertise in both synthetic chemistry and biomanufacturing techniques. In recent years, it has obtained specialized knowledge in production of highly potent small molecules from fermentation and functionalized methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) products (mPEGs). The focus of BioVectra’s contract manufacturing business is the transfer and scale-up of processes for manufacturing its clients’ products under current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) as appropriate for the clinical stage of each product. In the current environment,…