Bringing Order To The Outsourced Manufacturing Space

Pharmaceutical Commerce, April 2011

New market-research service hopes to quantify trends in outsourced CMOs, CROs and related services.That’s Nice LLC (New York), a small full-service agency with offices worldwide, is setting up a proprietary information service that will track industry awareness of providers of contract services, to be called Marcom Tracker and Brand Index.

Marcom Tracker will be of value to marketing and business development managers at CMOs and CROs, if only to track the promotional activities of their competitors. Brand Index, meanwhile, is intended to be a measure of who the major players are in specific CMO services globally, such as product formulation, lyophilization, fill & finish or packaging. “This is new,” says Nigel Walker, managing director at That’s Nice, explaining that while there are many directories or compilations of service providers, there is very little available in syndicated market research that tracks the businesses by size, reputation or customer awareness. Bio/pharma manufacturers will be able to identify key organizations by type of service, geography and other criteria.

The Brand Index service will be updated quarterly. The first compilation shows that the leading brandnames among CMOs (alphabetically; the exact ranking is available only to subscribers) include:

  • 3M Drug Delivery Systems
  • Abbott
  • BASF
  • Baxter BioPharma Solutions
  • Baxter International
  • DuPont Pharmaceutical and Biopharma Manufacturing
  • Genzyme Pharmaceuticals
  • GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
  • Honeywell Process Solutions
  • Roche Custom Biotech

Victor Coker, a project manager at the That’s Nice, notes that a CMO is defined as “companies that provide services that assist in the development and commercial manufacturing of API and excipients.” Thus, Honeywell Process Automation—a process automation supplier primarily—becomes a CMO when it helps set up and run, for example, a batch management system at a client site. In this schema, conventional outsourced manufacturing, which is usually thought of as the totality of the CMO market, becomes only 30% of the companies that That’s Nice will track.

Lower awareness suggests a narrow strategic marketing focus, rather than communication to a broader prospective customer base to ensure sustainability.

Another finding of the survey is that 85% of companies score less than 40% in overall awareness, meaning that most CMOs and CROs are not well known beyond their existing customer base. “Lower awareness suggests a narrow strategic marketing focus, rather than communication to a broader prospective customer base to ensure sustainability,” says the company.

The research data are compiled by monitoring and tracking promotional and business activity, as well as by compensated panels of industry professionals who will regularly be asked to rate the contract firms they are familiar with. Given the dynamic forces coursing through contract manufacturing these days, with major pharmas divesting specialized services almost weekly, even as new outsourcing providers enter from Asia, there could be meaningful insights to the trends in the industry.


Nice Insight

Nice Insight, established in 2010, is the research division of That’s Nice, A Science Agency, providing data and analysis from proprietary annual surveys, custom primary qualitative and quantitative research as well as extensive secondary research. Current annual surveys include The Nice Insight Contract Development & Manufacturing (CDMO/CMO), Survey The Nice Insight Contract Research - Preclinical and Clinical (CRO) Survey, The Nice Insight Pharmaceutical Equipment Survey, and The Nice Insight Pharmaceutical Excipients Survey.