Sharing Project or Partnership Details

September 1, 2015
Randi Hernandez

Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.

When should CMOs and their pharma clients share the details of their partnerships with outside parties?

CMOs and their pharma clients are generally not allowed to disclose details of their partnerships, although the decision to disclose information varies by company. Some see the value in public disclosures, says Jennifer Cannon, PhD, senior director of commercial strategy at Ajinomoto Althea, whereas others want to keep their business dealings private. Daniel Smith, chief scientific officer, Cobra Biologics, says pharma’s reticence to disclose partner/manufacturing details is often due to the competition to be first-to-market with a product. Jon S. Gingrich, manager of business development at Avid Bioservices, says that its contracts in highly competitive areas, such as biosimilars, explicitly state that information on the molecules being developed remain confidential. In the quest to produce biosimilars of comparable quality and efficacy to innovator products, biosimilar manufacturers may comb through patent documents to gain insight about compound formulation and process platforms used by branded drug makers. This is why details surrounding the partnerships between CMOs and branded biologic manufacturers may be another information entry point for biosimilars to gain a competitive advantage for comparability, and perhaps eventually, interchangeability.

Some clients give permission to serve as references, or opt to have CMOs make joint presentations with clients at conferences, says Marion Schrader, PhD, senior director of marketing at Rentschler. Despite what each company decides to do regarding information sharing, Schrader points out that for approved drugs, the name of a CMO that has worked with a pharmaceutical client can be found in drug-approval documentation.

According to Cynthia Wooge, global strategic marketing at SAFC, companies rarely disclose their supplier relationships until after the drug is approved and a commercial supply agreement is established. There is a growing trend, however, for companies to disclose supplier relationships earlier in development, but Wooge says “a significant majority continue to hold information fast until disclosure is necessary or beneficial later in development."

Article DetailsBioPharm International
Vol. 28, No. 9
Page: 26
Citation: When referring to this article, please cite it as R. Hernandez, "Sharing Project or Partnership Details," BioPharm International28 (9) 2015.