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Adaptive, Innovative and Future-Ready: How CDMOs are Staying Sharp 

As the pharma and biotech sector navigates economic uncertainties and evolving customer demands, the contract development and manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant transformation. To enhance their supply chain strategies, drug owners are increasingly relying on companies that can adapt to shifting requirements and maintain a competitive edge.

Leading CDMOs are demonstrating a heightened commitment to customer partnerships through strategic investments designed to adjust with evolving market demands. This is reflected in a forward-thinking approach, which aligns with the broader industry trend of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5–8% in global spending and demand for medicines through 2028, which raised by 2 percentage points compared to previous forecasts, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science Analysis.

Despite rising costs, strategic decisions are necessary to maintain a competitive advantage and uphold the highest-possible quality standards in the development, aseptic fill and finish and packaging services. Outsourcing partners that invest throughout the value chain are well-positioned for future success. This includes contributing to reliable supply chains, providing advanced infrastructure, efficient processes and sustainable practices to expedite the market delivery of drug products.

To meet rapidly evolving customer needs, CDMOs should focus on the following areas:

Investing in Resilient Supply Chains

In an industry where speed is critical, supply chain disruptions can have severe consequences. Natural disasters, international trade tensions, cyberattacks and global pandemics are just a few of the shocks that can immobilise life science companies. Customers are recognizing the importance of real-time tracking, monitoring and traceability of products, from development, manufacturing to distribution and patient delivery. By understanding that every step of the supply chain is visible and accountable, companies can enhance their operational efficiency, build trust with consumers and adapt more effectively to unforeseen challenges.

CDMOs are well positioned to manage resilient supply chains due to their specialised expertise, resource allocation and advanced technological capabilities. The foresight of purchasing, sales, and operations planning processes are vital in balancing cost containment and resource availability. These teams play a critical role in supplier negotiation, enabling strategies, internal collaborations, and navigating changing market demands. Established relationships with a comprehensive network of suppliers and logistics providers strengthens their ability to coordinate effectively and maintain supply chain integrity. By leveraging these strengths, outsourcing partners maintain the reliable and efficient delivery of pharmaceutical and biotech products, meeting the industry’s high standards for transparency and accountability.