‘Thinking about the multi-vendor approach, let's say you decide to do your preclinical, early development studies with one CDMO and then go to another vendor for your clinical trials and another vendor for your validation and commercial. That creates a web of multiple vendors and multiple stakeholders that the clients are left managing on their own,’ says Hajir Mokhtari.
‘So, the responsibility ends with that one vendor. They don't have that shared commitment throughout the process. They just think about their portion of the work, get it done, and hand it over to the client.’
This poses the question – when does it make more sense for a sponsor to take the multi-vendor route, rather than selecting an integrated, ‘all under one roof’ solution?
According to Brian Scanlan, Operating Partner – Life Sciences at Edgewater Capital, mid-sized outsource partners may be a better fit for highly nimble biotechs who accept the added complexity of working with multiple vendors as a trade-off for quality and cultural alignment.
The challenge here is that a wave of acquisitions in the last few years means that the market is increasingly spilt into large and small contract providers. Moving forwards, the question is will we see many of the smaller firms, who often offer excellent chemistry services, grow to fill this gap? That might be a great solution in a growing outsourcing space.