Report: Dose CMOs Stuck in Idle

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Contract manufacturers await a promising pipeline of drug products to jump-start stagnant growth.

While other contract service providers enjoyed double-digit growth rates in 2016, contract manufacturers that produce drug dose products grew only 4%, according the PharmSource’s Trend Report, Contract Dose Manufacturing by the Numbers–2017 edition. The performance marked the fifth consecutive year that the industry’s growth rate has declined after peaking at 7% growth in 2011, PharmSource noted in announcing the report on July 18, 2017.

The PharmSource report authors, Saul Richmond, director of market intelligence, and Jim Miller, president, identified factors for the weak performance by dose manufacturers, compared with nearly 15–20% achieved by contract API manufacturers and chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) development services.

While early stage development outsourcing service providers have benefited from the rebound in drug development since 2013, this surge is too recent to benefit dose CMOs, which do not get involved with a drug product until late in the development process.

Investment by global bio/pharma companies in captive capacity also has hindered CMO growth; PharmSource reported that the Top 25 bio/pharma companies by revenues spent more than $125 billion for new plant and equipment in the past six years.

A third factor is the declining significance of dose manufacturing in drug cost of goods; new drugs with high value APIs, including biologics and high potency small-molecule products, dominate the pipeline, they report.


The report authors did note some reason for optimism. “The dose CMO industry has struggled to keep up with the performance of other bio/pharmaceutical contract services sectors,” said Richmond, “but innovation-driven CMOs are likely to benefit from the rich pipeline of novel products and technologies. The industry continues to attract strategic and financial investors drawn by the promising pipeline.”

PharmSource has published Contract Dose Manufacturing by the Numbers annually since 2012. The findings are based on a CMO financial performance data built on 20 years of tracking and analyzing the dose CMO industry.

Source: PharmSource, A GlobalData Company