Mixed sourcing strategy
For both Biogen Idec and Eisai, the new manufacturing partnership is part of a sourcing strategy in which both internal capacity
and CMO relationships are key components. Biogen Idec has traditionally outsourced its fill-and-finish requirements while
maintaining its own large molecule API manufacturing facilities. While it will manufacture its own products at the leased
Eisai facility, it has also outsourced the manufacture of a new solid-dose product in its pipeline.
Eisai plans to continue to invest in its injectables capabilities to support its own pipeline, and sees the additional volume
from Biogen Idec as helping to justify the additional investment. However, Eisai will use CMOs where appropriate: it recently
announced a three-year master supply agreement with DSM Pharmaceutical Products for manufacture of eribulin mesylate (Halaven)
at DSM’s Greenville, N.C., injectables manufacturing facility.
Whether the partnership between Biogen Idec and Eisai is just a one-off event or becomes a model for the industry remains
to be seen. It may be that unique factors like geographic proximity, interpersonal dynamics, and complementary needs facilitated
an innovative approach that may be hard to duplicate. Or it may be that having seen this example of a new partnership approach,
other bio/pharmaceutical companies start looking for innovative alternatives to addressing their manufacturing requirements.