CMO Management in the Life Sciences Industry | Highlights Video

Recent trends show that a lot of the industry focused events and conferences adopt a blanket approach and many feel that they don’t gain anything from it. On Thursday of last week I participated in our Next Generation Leadership Series Breakfast event that focused specifically on aspects of Contract Manufacturing Organisation (CMO) Management within the Life Sciences Industry. After meaningful conversations with our audience this specific topic was chosen and 50 of the C Suite leadership team in Pharmaceutical, Biologics and Contract Manufacturing attended.

The event was an invitation only event attended by senior specialists within CMO Management in the Life Sciences industry, who networked and discussed key challenges and best practices. The energy in the room was high as everybody’s sole focus was to knowledge share and transfer experiences and gain great insight from their peers.

It involved a panel discussion followed by a comprehensive Q & A, which was chaired by Linda Davis CEO of Next Generation.


The panel consisted of: Paul Condon, VP of Supply Chain in Horizon PharmaDavid Downey, VP of Sales, Marketing and Client Management in Almac and Noel Hassett, Supplier Director in Astra Zeneca. All of whom operate at a senior level within the CMO Management space.


Topics discussed by the panel included selection criteria when choosing a Contract Manufacturer, Governance, implications with mergers and acquisitions, CMO consolidation, capacity shortages and challenges arising from the inheritance of a legacy partnership.


The theme that rang throughout the discussion was that the most important thing of all is; the relationship and ensuring that a partnership is struck rather than treating the dynamic as a transaction. It is a two way partnership, where both sides need to show respect and meet obligations in order for the partnership to work.


As you know, an increasing issue with CMO’s is capacity, and David Downey, who spoke from the perspective of the CMO said that they are seeing trends where the partnerships have gone as far as a co-operating and consolidating ERP systems.   A new trend emerging is going as far a joint partnership to expedite the demand and, for both parties to have a vested interest in the successful delivery of the product. 


We are living in a world where the focus is about machine learning, artificial intelligence and huge advancements in technology, but the human relationship is still the most paramount element when doing business as partnerships rather than transactional business comes to the fore.


We all know the importance of data and measuring KPI’s to ensure the performance of a transaction, but our panel agreed that it is a two way street and it can be difficult to measure data to indicate the health of such relationships. We know that quality, dependability and cost are important from the customer’s side, and from the supplier’s side payment performance is hugely important to maintain the relationship. We are seeing CMO’s walking away from business due to bad relationships, showing the dynamic truly is a two way street.


The most important thing of all when selecting a partner is how easy it is to do business with them.  We all need partnerships whereby the supplier understands our business needs, our values, ethics, culture and requirements. We also need this partner to be easy to work with. To be responsive, contactable, have processes that can be easily navigated, and ultimately to be accountable. The partnership needs to be maintained throughout the relationship, and it’s important for both sides to maintain the health of the relationship with reviews, audits and temperature checks.

Relationships are the most important aspect to doing business. This can be seen from using CMO’s, recruitment partners, facilities providers and suppliers. The ease of doing business is key.

Metrics, capacity and the human element are all key considerations with a 2 way mind set essential!

CMO Management in the Life Sciences Industry | Full Seminar