Pandemic demands collaboration

Apr 2, 2020

Global response requires partnerships, efficient supply chains and plenty of patience

How long will it take?

It’s the question of 2020. Vaccines and therapies can’t come soon enough for a world desperate to limit or erase the threat of COVID-19. But there’s good news from an industry long accustomed to a speed-to-market mentality: Pharmaceutical companies are fully engaged. And as CRB’s Christa Myers writes in a just-published column for Contract Pharma, “full collaboration across organizations will be needed to research and develop, scale-up, and manufacture the products that will have profound effect on the patients and even the bystanders to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

This tedious but crucial work will test the patience of a population that may not fully understand the complexities and infrastructure realities of a pandemic vaccine or therapy. In the Contract Pharma piece, Myers suggests a scale-out approach may offer a quicker path than a scale-up.

“Unbridled enthusiasm for the treatment must be tempered by the truth: It takes time to make and test drug products so that they are safe and effective,” Myers writes. “A great deal of work must occur to plan a facility so that the product can be produced and filled into the final vial or syringe that shows up in the clinical setting. One of the ways to shorten the duration and provide product sooner is to utilize an existing facility or existing equipment.”

As CRB’s Pharmaceutical Market Sector Lead, Myers keenly understands the industry’s shifting landscape. Her deep background in the design of fill-finish facilities, chemical kilo labs, pilot plants, API research and manufacturing, bulk pharmaceutical chemical and other facilities has brought benefit to clients for more than 25 years. Her operating experience with a leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical company as a Process Engineer in the fermentation and purification suites, as well as pilot scale fill-finish suites, gives her unique perspective on the reality of daily operations.

To read more of Myers’ insights into how quickly organizations are moving against Coronavirus, see the article here.