Supply chain summed up: Innovations, partnerships, and deals in 2018

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Cybrain)
(Image: Getty/Cybrain)

Related tags Supply chain Logistics Supply chain management Cold chain World courier Clinical trials CRO Contract manufacturing organisation CDMO

Supply chain companies have been busy in 2018. Here, we're wrapping up some of the big moves made over the last year.


Marken launches kit-building facility​ for clinical trials in Asia Pacific

The company opened a facility in China which houses a processing area to assemble kits, a temperature-controlled storage area, and office space. Marken said that the site can produce up to 100,000 kits per month and will deliver sampling kits to all its depots and investigator sites.

The facility opened following an increased number of clinical trials​ taking place across Asia Pacific.


Almac opens £20m cold chain​ facility

A 95,000 square foot, cold store facility upped the company’s cold storage capacity by 300% and its frozen storage capabilities by more than 50%.

Robert Dunlop, president of Almac Clinical Services said, “Both clinical and commercial client requirements were a priority throughout the design and construction of this new facility, giving consideration to the uptake in orphan drug products, changes to regulatory compliance and a more stringent focus on data across the supply chain.”


World Courier forms ‘personalized’ supply chain​ teams, opens four new offices

Direct-to-patient, cell and gene therapy, and clinical trial execution were among the reasons World Courier created personalized supply chain teams.

World Courier’s personalized supply chain teams work directly with customers to offer project management and customer service support. At the time the company also opened offices in China, Philippines, Lithuania, and Serbia.


Catalent completes $5.5m expansion​ to help serve large-scale clinical studies

Catalent Pharma Solutions completed a $5.5m expansion program at its 200,000 square foot facility in Philadelphia, one of the largest sites in Catalent’s global clinical supply network.

The investment resulted in a 40% increase in pallet space for both refrigerated and ambient clinical storage. It also has added cold chain packaging areas and clinical label control area.


J&J cutting costs across supply chain​ to focus resources on ‘newer technologies’

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) reported plans to makes cuts across its supply chain to shift its portfolio towards newer technologies such as biologics.

The actions intended to focus the company’s supply chain resources and increase investments. An expansion of J&J’s use of strategic collaborations was also intended to improve the company’s supply chain.


Marken upgrades, expands Chicago logistics​ hub

Marken announced the relocation of its Chicago logistics hub to a new, larger facility enabling cold chain technology for clinical trial material shipments.

The facility holds a walk-in freezer, walk-in cold room, ultra-low temperature freezers and conditioning areas for special cold chain packaging. It will support shipments throughout the US Midwest. It will also support its cell and gene transportation services with plans to add a liquid nitrogen service station at the facility.

Ariette Van Strien, CCO of Marken told us, “Upgrading and expanding our Chicago facilities was an obvious choice.” ​She further explained that the site will be, “leveraging the proximity to Chicago O’Hare Airport to provide our clients with improved services.”


Marken expands in Russia​ to support growing demand

Marken, a supply chain organization and subsidiary of UPS, opened a center at its Moscow depot to offer services to support shipments into Russia for drug storage and distribution as well as shipments from Russia for biologic samples.

The expansion came after a 2017 statistic showed that around 100 overseas pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies conduced multinational clinical trials in Russia with half involving CROS.


Clinical trial boom boosts Cryoport revenues​ 59% in Q2 2018

Cryoport, a temperature- controlled logistics company, announced its Q2 financial results that showed a growing number of clinical trials in the field of regenerative medicine.

The company added 22 new biopharma clinical trials ramping up a net total of 258 trials the company is supporting. Cryoport also partnered with World Courier earlier in the year to add a full suite of temperature-controlled solutions into World Courier’s network.


Two-thirds of medicines previously unprepared for Brexit now secured

European Medicines Agency (EMA) released results to a survey that concluded that nearly half of the companies were not prepared.

Brexit, a potential disruption to the supply chain due to the number of medicines that manufacture within the UK, created a need for transferring marketing authorization to a country within the European Union.

Many larger pharmaceutical companies began to stockpile medicines in preparation for the Brexit. The EMA stated at the time that it will work directly with marketing authorization holders to minimize potential supply chain disruption.


Thermo Fisher expands​ center to ease clinical trial logistics

The CDMO opened a business center and biorepository with an expanded distribution center to support clinical trial supply chain logistics.

Thermo Fisher’s facility was expanded by more than 190,000 square feet and will serve as a center of excellence for clinical research sample storage.


Sharp inks preferred partnership​ with CMO to reduce clinical trial complexity

Sharp signed a partnership agreement with Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, a fill/finish contract manufacturing organization. The agreement allows Sharp to aptly provide sterile fill/finish clinical manufacturing

Dan Gourley, senior director of global logistics for Sharp Clinical US told us, “This partnership simplifies our clients’ supply chain in that they can work with one contracted provider for all these activities.”


With December around the corner, no news of supply chain advancements have been announced for the last month of the year. However, it is most certain that the ever-changing industry will continue to move forward in the New Year.

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