The deal will see contract manufacturing organization (CMO) Patheon provide manufacturing solutions to Biopharma giant Amgen.
Specific details as to what work will be done remain confidential, but Joe Principe, Patheon’s VP of strategic partnerships, told this publication the deal gives Patheon the ability to work on one or multiple products through its “flexible manufacturing offerings,” depending on Amgen’s needs.
“This is not a standard contract scenario. This is very much a strategic partnership,” he said. “This deal is a departure from the standard transactional type approach to CMO manufacturing offerings, and is designed to offer flexibility to client needs.”
This was echoed by Tom Sellig, Senior Vice President of Sales, Patheon, who told us at DCAT Week ’16 in New York that the deal fits with growing industry wide interest in strategic agreements.
“It is great example of innovative relationships that we’re starting to see across the industry,” said Sellig.
“As you look at the shift in how the CRO industry evolved, with consolidation, and strategic partnerships, we’ve been projecting it for while, but we’re really actually now seeing it in the CDMO space.”
Patheon – which launched an IPO last June – has long been an advocate of ‘strategic partnerships’ among its pharma clients.
Last year, CEO James Mullen told us the industry was likely to mirror the contract research organisation (CRO) sector with strategic capabilities becoming more of an appeal to customers. And in 2014 the firm attributed a “strategic co-production partnership” with Pacira to the turnaround of fortunes at a UK facility once earmarked for closure.
Forecast accuracy and flexibility
“[Such] solutions represent a set of specific business models designed to solve for forecast uncertainty associated with product launch planning,” Principe continued. “Too often clients rely on improving forecast accuracy as a means of planning for their production needs [yet] no matter how hard companies try to improve their launch forecasts, it is impossible to be completely accurate.
“We have seen through our own experience and also based on an independent study, that launch forecasts are usually off, and in many cases significantly off. Patheon believes that the answer lies in not only forecast accuracy, but having manufacturing options that flex with client needs in real time. We are pleased to be offering these innovative solutions to our clients.”
For the Amgen contract, most of the work will be conducted at Patheon’s Monza, Italy site which offers pre-filled syringes, sterile liquid, lyophilization and solid dose manufacturing.
“However, flexible manufacturing deals can include multiple sites within our network and the configurations can be changed as the client needs change,” Principe said.
DCAT Week ’16 is organized by the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT)*, is held annually in March and brings together many companies in the industry.
*DCAT is a not-for-profit, member-supported, global business development association whose unique membership model integrates both innovator and generic drug manufacturers and suppliers of ingredients, development and manufacturing services, and related technologies.