Q: Given the ongoing evolution of the pharma industry today, how does your organization incorporate ethical concerns into your business practices?

Ethical Practice

Olivier Loeillot
Senior VP, BioProcess, GE Healthcare

A: The biopharma sector has been growing incredibly fast over the past few years. Biologics are now the fastest growing class of therapeutics in the world, with the market growing at 7–8% in the United States and Europe and around 18% in India and China. However, there are still some major challenges around affordability and access that need to be tackled before biologics become a realistic treatment option globally. Most of the manufacturing capacity is still located in the traditional Western markets, and we need to develop fast, flexible and cost-efficient manufacturing solutions that spread biologics production more evenly, as a local presence has a central role in driving the increased availability of these treatments.

Due to these requirements, we launched the first prefabricated, modular manufacturing solution for the manufacture of mAbs in 2011. This has been successful and, so far, we have signed and delivered four KUBios to China, most recently to Lonza. In addition, we have installed over 50 biomanufacturing platforms — called FlexFactories — globally. We have also extended our product portfolio with a ready-to-run “factory-in-a-box” for viral vector–based therapeutics and a semi-automated, modular end-to-end manufacturing platform for cell therapy.

Ed Price
CEO, SEQENS North America CDMO (previously PCI Synthesis)

A: Transparency is the best policy. I learned from a consultant that, if you want to set yourself apart from your competition, you need to identify what people hate about your industry, and then find ways to correct that problem within your organization. We know people hate negative surprises like delays and out-of-control costs, and just not knowing the status of their projects. That happens a lot with other CMOs.

Our goal is to make sure people feel they’re getting good value from start to finish. So we decided to focus on delivering transparency. We made our business model transparent, including costs. We continually improve our process to keep clients fully informed every step of the way. We come up with solutions before issues become problems, quickly letting our customers know.

Sometimes clients think CMOs make more money if a project takes longer than estimated, but that’s not the case with us. Delays hurt us, too. We always have another client scheduled, and we want to avoid a cascade of delays.

Making our process transparent ensures that we are ethical and keeps us focused on what clients want and need when they work with us. We’ve found that is very reassuring to customers.

Franco Negron
President, Commercial Operations, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pharma Services

A: The pharmaceutical industry is continually evolving — from laboratory and research advances in life sciences to the rapidly expanding use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and robotics. The one thing that has remained constant is our mission — to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. This is the foundation for all that we do. We offer integrated solutions that help our customers bring medicines to the market.

While we focus on accelerating life sciences research and delivering medicines to the market utilizing the latest technologies, we have and always will begin with doing the right thing. Ethics and integrity are critical for us at every stage and every step in the development of new medicines. We maintain a laser-like focus on quality — right first time, on-time delivery — ultimately, flawless execution. 

Shannon Trilli
Director of Corporate Responsibility, Catalent 

A: Catalent formally introduced a corporate responsibility commitment in 2017 that cements our belief that ethical business practices are essential to fulfilling Catalent’s mission of helping people live better, healthier lives. Our corporate values, including integrity and ethics, are at the foundation of our culture.

Internal initiatives, such as “Patient First” and corporate responsibility, combined with clear ethics and business conduct policies and procedures, create the holistic enabling environment to maintain an ethical business.

We put patients at the center of our work to ensure the safety, reliable supply and optimal performance of our products. 

Catalent’s commitment to bettering communities, promoting a healthy environment and investing in people to help them and our business grow demonstrates our overall ethical, sustainable business framework. 

Catalent has established an Office of Diversity & Inclusion, founded in our belief that part of being an ethical organization is treating everyone with respect and providing all our people with opportunities.

Finally, our Standards of Business Conduct, supported by best-in-class reporting and follow-up procedures, clearly guide our actions. The codes of conduct for our employees and our suppliers help us live up to our vision, mission and values every day, everywhere we do business. 

Jessica Martin
Global Head of Marketing, SGS 

A: As a company, SGS takes ethics very seriously and conducts itself to the highest standard of professional behavior. The SGS Code of Integrity defines the main principles of professional integrity for the organization, and all staff — from the senior management to entry-level employees — must complete the corporate integrity training program each year. 

In addition to SGS employees, the Code of Integrity is applicable to anyone that acts on behalf of or represents SGS, including subcontractors and joint-venture partners. This policy allows the impartiality of SGS to be upheld and business to be conducted honestly and transparently.

The company also believes that it has a responsibility for its own operations and practices to ensure that all life is protected and preserved, in its many forms. The company does not perform animal testing, and seeks to promote alternative methods, as seen in the recent expansion of in vitro toxicology testing being offered at the Mississauga, Canada facility. SGS is an award-winning leader in sustainability as a RobecoSAM Gold Class sustainability award winner four years in a row and has achieved an Ecovadis Gold Rating Sustainability Performance three years in a row and a CDP Climate A list.

Read Part 2: Artificial Intelligence

Olivier Loeillot

Olivier Loeillot is Senior VP BioProcess at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a business that provides a wide range of bioprocessing technologies and solutions for the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. After twelve years at Lonza in different leadership positions, Olivier joined GE, eight years ago, to build the company’s Enterprise Solutions offering (KUBio, FlexFactory) and then run the Genomics & Cellular Research division. Olivier has a master’s degree in Chemistry and in Business Administration.