The continued rise in outsourcing suggests that product manufacturers are tending to view contract manufacturing and outsourced
services more as an asset to drive strategic decisions than as simply a way to save money. Some companies have also become
more comfortable letting go of some of their more crucial activities, and have become more trusting of CMOs.
Careful selection of an effective CMO with the requisite know-how and observation of industry standards and process can increase
the value of outsourcing, and potentially mitigate risks of outsourcing high-level activities. Biopharma CMOs are expanding
their manufacturing competence through the use of novel technologies, single-use/disposable bioreactors, and other differentiated
bioprocessing services. Expansions are resulting in increased adaptability, lower costs, faster turnaround, and higher yields.
For clients, this means that more CMOs will likely meet their needs (more competition, more choice), and the costs for using
CMOs for product manufacturing are becoming at least slightly more competitive. Biologics manufacturing is inherently complex,
and companies are becoming more aware of the value of experienced CMOs as a provider of expertise, as well as a back-up manufacturer,
with 'flex' capacity.
Outsourcing of biopharmaceutical manufacture is a long-term trend.
Outsourcing of biopharmaceutical manufacture is a long-term trend that will require adoption of project management processes,
and specific skills to manage external relationships. The industry and, particularly client-contractor relationships, will
continue to mature and become more complex. With these changes will come a more cooperative management and maintenance of
outsourcing relationships, which will increase the ability to partner on technically complex projects. We should expect to
see more companies become confident outsourcing core activities in the future.
Eric S. Langer is president and managing partner at BioPlan Associates, Inc. Rockville, MD, firstname.lastname@example.org
, tel. 301.921.5979,
1. BioPlan, 10th Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production, Preliminary Data, Publication April 2013, Rockville, MD,