Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) play a significant role in meeting today’s massive demand for drug development. Therefore, finding appropriate CMO partners is almost necessary for any pharmaceutical company to thrive in the market. 

As demand continues to rise — further accelerated by catalysts like a global pandemic — CMOs continue to expand and develop. Here are the projected developments for contract manufacturing organizations in the future:

  • Advancement in Technology:

Many pharma contract manufacturing organizations are bringing in new technology to optimize efficiency (both in terms of cost and time) in the manufacturing process. Some of the latest technologies that will catch more traction with time are:

  • Automated data collection
  • Use of machinery to specify the cell images 
  • Automated analysis to find cures for complex ailments like Parkinson’s Disease
  • Artificial intelligence to speed up risk detection and analytical procedures
  • Artificial intelligence to improve the efficacy and safety of products and packaging
  • Remote Tracing:

To ensure product safety and quality, pharmaceutical firms audit or supervise the manufacturing process of the CMOs they’ve partnered with. Through remote tracing, companies can speed up this process and carry it out even more accurately. 

Moreover, the Internet of Things (IoT) enables companies in the supply chain to share data continuously and provide quick response times in cases of emergency. As a result, pharmaceutical industries will have more control over key outcomes in the future.

  • Development of Secure Channels:

Secure and encrypted channels allow companies and CMOs to exchange manufacturing, research, and development updates quicker and easier. 

However, while electronic communication has many benefits, it also introduces cyber risks like theft of essential intellectual property (e.g., vaccine formulae) — especially when companies use conventional means of online communication like emails.

With time, the use of secure communication channels is expected to increase as they become more and more accessible.

  • Blockchain:

Speaking of safe communication channels — it doesn’t get much more secure than the blockchain. It has major quality control applications in the pharmaceutical industry and provides a secure means of communication since it’s decentralized and encrypted (which means it’s safe from hackers).

For instance, it allows companies in the supply chain to scan barcodes at every step creating a trail that all stakeholders can track. 

  • Specialized Services:

Manufacturing personalized medicines according to the customized requirements of a specific group of patients is another quickly growing trend in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Producing custom medication relies primarily on advanced machinery that can make small batches. 

Production of medicines in small batches also helps produce medicines rapidly to deal with an emergency break out. Small batch production also prevents the risk of drugs reaching their expiry date. 

  • Late Stage Customization:

The latest expected development in CMOs in the near future is late-stage customization. It means the products are pre-assembled and can be quickly passed through manufacturing stages to be processed into the final product as needed. 

Pre-assembly also reduces the chances of error and also frees up storage space. It is an essential benefit for medicines that require a specific storage environment, such as the temperature sensitivity of insulin.

Another significant benefit of late-stage customization is that it ensures all the labels and packaging are in line with the relevant legislation.

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