Contract Services

Contract Services Market Overview

Increasing patent expirations of major drugs, the growing burden of chronic diseases, and elevated global aware­ness of vaccines are leading to a surge in outsourcing formulation development services. Industry experts say these trends put a value on the global pharmaceutical CDMO Market at $160.12 billion in 2020, and could reach $236.61 billion by 2026, while the North American CDMO market is expected to reach $101.1 billion by 2030. As more pharma/biopharma companies opt to partner with CDMOs, much of this activity is occurring in the early phase of de­velopment with the goal of overcoming risk, along with saving time and money as a drug passes through the develop­ment pipeline.

Sectors of the CDMO market – sterile injectables, prefilled syringes, biologics APIs, and viral vectors – are expected to expand quickly, driven by an accelerating shift in the pharmaceutical market toward innovative biologic and cell and gene therapy products. Nonetheless, small molecules will continue to represent the majority of prescribed drugs for the foreseeable future and thus are the major growth driver for the CDMO market.

Who Uses Contract Services?

Experts see a strong correlation between size of a company and its likelihood to outsource. In 2017, manufacturing of 20% of newly approved drugs was outsourced by Big Pharma; this increases to 80% of all manufacturing being contracted out by small biotech/pharma. And all 15 newly approved drugs in 2017 owned by small companies were supplied by CDMOs.

Rare diseases, fast-tracked drugs, and oncology treatments now account for much of pharma’s development pipeline, so it is important that CDMOs provide specialized capabilities, technology, expertise, and experience relevant to these types of programs. For expedited pathways, it is important, too, that development partners understand the interwoven and related steps essential to progressing a program efficiently and quickly. To that end companies have invested in technology and capabilities such as hot melt extrusion, spray-dry dispersions, and lipid formulation to provide options for small-molecule development, often to address the all-too-common hurdle of poor solubility and bioavailability.

How to Work with Contract Service Providers

Getting a CDMO engaged in the development process as early as possible avoids spending time exploring the wrong solutions and coming up with suboptimal formulations that need to be corrected before manufacturing. By bringing a CDMO in earlier in the process, they can more accurately assess which technologies and approaches can work on a project.

As drug products become more complex, there is increasing customer demand for relationships with CDMOs that have core competencies in highly specialized formulation and process technology areas.

One of these specialty areas is complex molecules. Biotech companies developing novel biologics are increasing in the market, thus there is an increase in outsourcing development services to BioCDMOs. To serve the needs of this market, companies are expanding their bio capabilities to offer advanced manufacturing technologies.

Another area of expertise where pharma is relying on CDMOs is in cell and gene therapy. Industry insiders expect gene therapy manufacturing market to boom and grow at rates ranging from 15 to 20%. Benefits of partnering with a cell or gene therapy CDMO include scalability, speed to market, access to technical expertise without overhead costs, and cost efficiencies. Demand for specialized manufacturing and clinical trial support for cell and gene therapies has resulted in more than 40 companies offering these services.