There's a lot of gloom and doom in the pharmaceutical outsourcing business these days. Drug companies are winning a fraction of the new product approvals that they were in the mid-1990s. Many of the big pharmaceutical chemical makers that serve them are saddled with too much capacity bought at prices that were too high.
Yet the drug industry is still a vibrant place. Entrepreneurial companies with interesting therapeutic ideas are developing new drugs, and many of them are outsourcing the scale-up and production of these compounds. Not all of these firms will succeed, but as they strive to turn their ideas into reality, they are a source of new business for pharmaceutical outsourcing providers.
In the pages to follow, C&EN presents four case studies of the relationship between a drug company and a pharmaceutical chemical supplier.
Two of these relationships involve traditional small molecules, one involves a fermentation product, and one involves compound libraries used in drug discovery. Some of the eight companies profiled are large, and some are small; some are old, and some are young. The relationships are unique, but they all have one thing in common: Companies that provide good service are rewarded with follow-up business from their drug industry partners.