Project Management and CMO–Sponsor Relations - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Project Management and CMO–Sponsor Relations
Using basic project management tools and ideas in the transfer process saves time and money and ensures high success rates.

Pharmaceutical Technology

CMOs must communicate issues early to their clients. If in the transfer process there are issues, do not try to solve those issues without good communication with the sponsor company or third-party laboratory. How often does a written method neglect the "art" part of the assay that can only be obtained through asking questions or trial and error?

Finally, and most importantly, ensure the timeline links method transfer with critical manufacturing dates. Demonstration runs and batches are to test quality-control processes and method usage and to validate the compounding and manufacturing processes. No one wants to be in the situation where the day before manufacturing the in-process test is not ready.

Quality is challenging. When thoughtfully considered and appropriately planned, however, it can actually be a pleasure. Many actually enjoy the laboratory. From a CMO scientist's perspective, nothing is more gratifying than valid results, successful filings, passing inspections, product release, and happy customers (CMOs, sponsor companies, and patients). These elements translate into excellent customer service.


Outsourcing with CMOs is a vital part of the pharmaceutical drug-manufacturing industry. Whether at the clinical-trial stage or the commercial production stage, sponsor company and CMO relationships are the basis for effective and timely regulatory filings and successful production.

As stated previously, it takes hard work, considerable organization, preparation, communication, and compromise to ensure the success of our projects. Companies using the principles reviewed here are those who will enjoy future success.

Sandra Lueken is a senior manager of quality control at Hollister Stier Laboratories, LLC, 3525 North Regal St., Spokane, WA 99207, tel. 509.482.0595, fax 509.484. 4320,


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