To develop and manufacture a biopharmaceutical, many companies seek outside help. Often, that means working with a contract manufacturing organization (CMO). Market forecasts envision big growth in this arena. For example, a 2019 study predicts that the global CMO market will grow from about $80 billion a year in 2018 to nearly $225 billion in 2027. To pick the best CMO for a specific job, here’s what two experts suggest.

Kassim Kolia, head of business development at CMO FinVector Oy in Kuopio, Finland, encourages customers to look for a CMO with experience and evidence of building long-term partnerships. In addition, he pointed out that the CMO needs to offer the scale, platform, and quality that a company requires for a particular product. In such a partnership between a company and a CMO, Kolia also said that there must be good communication.

With these ideas in mind, how does a company select the best CMO for a job? Kolia believes that a company should “approach several CMOs, and then narrow the selection down to three.” After that, making the choice depends, he said, on deep negotiating, pricing, and “the feel of the organization.” Last, Kolia said that a customer considering a CMO must ask: “Can they deliver?”

For another opinion, we asked Steven Pincus, head of science and innovation at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Texas, a CDMO in College Station, what features to consider. He said that a potential customer should expect a CMO to meet several standards: “visibility to the client in all activities performed; quick response to questions; ability to propose solutions and not rely solely on the client; experience in the type of work you are seeking in process development, analytics, manufacturing, and quality control; and tracking the work program to agreed-upon milestones.”

Put these expert tips to work in your next CMO search. The results could create a partnership that lasts for years.

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