CDMO frustration driving ambition for advanced therapy startup GDMC

Forget CDMOs, a ‘PDMO’ brings greater benefits to a pharma firm looking to develop advanced therapies says GDMC, fresh from a $21 million Series A funding.

Millie Nelson, Editor

January 26, 2024

2 Min Read

Genetic Design & Manufacturing Corporation (GDMC) received $21 million in funding to bolster the design and production of advanced therapies in the US and Asia-Pacific (APAC). The Singapore-based company aims to support pharma and biotech from design and manufacturing through to quality assurance and regulatory help to reach commercialization.

GDMC claims its business approach can help customers decrease manufacturing times three-fold and says the Series A funding will drive down costs further. Its overall focus is to produce advanced therapy modalities including messenger (mRNA), lentiviral vectors (LVV), plasmid DNA (pDNA), and adeno-associated adenovirus (AAV).

However, GDMC is not a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), the firm says, instead defining itself as a PDMO — a ‘partnership development and manufacturing organization.’

“There is a significant feeling of high dissatisfaction related to CDMOs,” Michael Koeris, CEO and co-founder of GDMC, tells BioProcess Insider. In addition, Koeris has first-hand experience of not being able to find a “CDMO that would deliver on timelines, quality, and high communication with payment terms that were signed to the success of the program.”

A PDMO can meet these goals, the spokesperson continues. “PDMOs target a smaller number of clients with a longer-term relationship with multiple products in the pipeline.” According to the firm, this generates “a greater strategic understanding between the companies and the companies operating with higher levels of trust and execution.” In turn, this “would then put the PDMO into a similar relationship as a pharma partnership that has a success-based outcome focus for both parties.”

GDMC says the teams work collaboratively using a shared model to deliver “the highest quality product through the regulatory process” and seeks “companies that are looking for a partner that will challenge their design for manufacturability to reduce costs by genetic design.”

Different letters, different meaning?

As outsourcing blossomed, the term contract manufacturing organization (CMO) was considered ubiquitous across the industry. However, the term CDMO has become almost all encompassing, signifying the shift away from straight-up transactional vendor to a more integral relationship.

Recently, many variants have arisen, aiming to offer more nuanced services and to differentiate themselves from other third-party service firms. For example, the space has seen the addition of an ‘R’ for ‘Research’ in CRDMO, ‘T’ for ‘Testing’ in ‘CTDMO,’ and ‘E’ for ‘Engineering’ in CDEMO — Wuxi Biologics, MilliporeSigma, and Prestige Biologics are respective examples.

While some commentators in the industry deem it unnecessary to add the extra letter in the acronym CDMO, the trend continues, with companies constantly modifying the original acronym to create their own branding in the life sciences space. Cellares, for example, is marketing itself as the first ‘Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization,’ or ‘IDMO.’

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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