Hospira experience will aid Abzena success, says new CEO

The experience of leading the operational turnaround at Hospira provides a robust framework for advancing Abzena’s success.

Millie Nelson, Editor

January 16, 2023

2 Min Read
Hospira experience will aid Abzena success, says new CEO

The experience of leading the operational turnaround at Hospira provides a robust framework for advancing Abzena’s success, says newly appointed CEO Matthew Stober.

Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Abzena, which focuses on antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and biologic molecules, announced this month that Stober would replace Jonathon Goldman as CEO.

Most recently, Stober held position of CEO at CastleVax and Istari Oncology. However, while all of his past job roles are undoubtedly influential, his experience of leading the turnaround of Hospira, ahead of the $17 billion sale to Pfizer in September 2015, is one that will influence Stober’s strategy at Abzena.


Matthew Stober, CEO of Abzena. Image c/o Ramarketing

“Hospira is a contract manufacturing company and was the largest producer of sterile injectables in the US at the time,” Stober tells BioProcess Insider.

“My experience provides a great framework for expanding on the success Abzena has seen in recent years. By putting system improvements in place, alongside key personnel changes, the service offerings improved, and the business grew. I believe a similar approach will keep Abzena on a growth trajectory that is desirable to our stakeholders, as well as produce more innovative medicines for our customers and patients they serve.”

Stober says that delivering on-time for Abzena’s customers is a “non-negotiable” and the CDMO’s ability to provide monoclonal and bioconjugate treatment to individuals who might not have another suitable treatment option is “what motivates me, and I know motivates the team at Abzena.”

To meet this aim, Stober says his approach will be “inspired by the successful turnaround at Hospira” and he will work “with the existing Abzena team to put system improvements in place, while making some strategic personnel changes to target areas where we will continue to build on our strengths.”

Never a dull moment

Stober also says there is an absolute need to apply a different approach when acting as a CEO for a CDMO. He told us this is due to several reasons, one being that as a “service business we have tighter margins, which current global inflationary costs only make more complicated.”

Additionally, another key difference that Stober identifies is that “the final say on critical decisions lies with the customer.” While the CDMO provides the customer with “useful perspective and insight based on the wealth of programs we oversea […] the ultimate decision and perceived risk can only be determined by those we serve.”

Stober goes on to say “despite the challenges, I enjoy the fast-paced and widely varied nature of the CDMO world. Never a dull moment!”

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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