Searching for More: The Hunt for Diversification, Multimodal Approaches, and Top Talent are Rapidly Reshaping Life Sciences, New Horizons Report Finds

Data-driven CRB report reveals critical insights on what companies manufacturing novel therapies need to keep pace with today’s unprecedented rate of discovery and innovation

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – From novel cell therapies to innovative RNA treatments, one thing is certain: The world is entering a new era defined by innovation and therapy breakthroughs, when patients need them the most. A groundbreaking new report from CRB – a leading provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting solutions to the life sciences industry – reveals the challenges facing manufacturers and how they can keep pace with this new rate of discovery.

Launching today, CRB’s new Horizons: Life Sciences report finds a rapidly maturing life sciences industry chasing more: more diversification, more multimodal and nimble development processes, more partnership, and more talent.

The report features perspectives from nearly 500 industry leaders representing North American, European, and multinational companies, primarily from R&D roles upstream of GMP manufacturing. The new report finds that companies are investing in novel research, pushing beyond traditional comfort zones, and moving cautiously but unwaveringly toward an advanced standard of care for critically ill patients.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic taught us new lessons about the quick and safe delivery of critical vaccines, the learnings from that global shock are only now being understood,” writes Tim Barba, CRB’s Chief Operating Officer for Global Technical Operations, in the report’s opening passages. “They guide our thinking about highly adaptable research and production environments. They inform our collaboration with industry and trade partners in the pursuit of cures. They even teach us to focus inward to make sure our researchers, support teams and staff have the right tools, technology, and high-level support required to get the job done.”

Available as a free download, the report’s eight chapters analyze the nuances driving today’s trends and their impact on submarkets within life sciences. Each provides a contextualized view based on the Horizons survey data of what companies are doing to drive success -- from the lab through manufacturing, and at every point between.


  • Diversification: The days of single-product specialization are receding. As the survey finds, today’s companies are utilizing the vast array of available tools to expand their pipeline and address diverse indications rapidly.

  • Multimodal manufacturing: To build resilience and scalability into increasingly complex product pipelines, companies are pushing beyond traditional processing approaches and toward nimble spaces that can accommodate rapid changes in product pipelines. The report finds the vast majority of survey respondents are developing or manufacturing multiple therapy modalities in a single building and will continue doing so into the future.

  • Partnership: Pipeline complexity and a push toward multimodal approaches are accelerating the relationship between owners and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). More than half of survey respondents plan to rely on CDMOs over the next three years, the survey found.

  • Talent: Underscoring each of these high-level shifts is the escalating competition to attract and retain skilled workers. For example, more than half of survey respondents with cell therapies in their pipeline cited a lack of trained staff as an ongoing weakness.

The Horizons: Life Sciences report is the third in a series of CRB’s survey-based Horizons explorations of critical trends in the life sciences industry. See previous Horizons reports here.

Media Contacts:
CRB Clarity Quest
Chris Clark Bonnie Quintanilla or       Phyllis Grabot
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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.


CRB is a leading provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting solutions to the food and beverage and life sciences industries. Led by its innovative ONEsolution™ service, CRB provides successful integrated project delivery for clients demanding high-quality solutions, on time and within budget. The company's nearly 1,800 employees provide world-class solutions that drive success and positive change for clients, people, and communities. CRB is a privately held company with a rich history of serving clients throughout the world, consistently striving for the highest standard of technical knowledge, creativity, and execution.