Drug Digest: Early Phase Development and CDMOs in the Outsourcing Landscape

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In this episode of Drug Digest, Pharmaceutical Technology editors discuss what happens in early phase development, the role of CDMOs, and highlight the benefits and challenges of the outsourcing process.


Contract research organization (CRO) services are continuing to grow at an immense pace, driven in part by rapidly evolving technologies used in drug discovery and development. According to market research, the CRO services sector is forecast to be worth $127.3 billion by 2028, representing a double digit (10.7%) compound annual growth rate (1).

As the bio/pharma industry gravitates towards more complex clinical pipelines, outsourcing has been a necessity for many as it can control costs/minimize internal staff and resources, for example, in addition to getting products out in the most efficient way (1,2). An area that is not highlighted as much in industry commentary is the early phase development of outsourcing and what needs to be improved to remain in line with the fast pace of change happening within this industry.

Interview featuring:

Chris Moreton has been a partner at FinnBrit Consulting since 2007, providing consulting and advisory services in formulation and process design, development and scale up, and in aspects of excipients. Prior to FinnBrit Consulting, he spent approximately 35 years working mainly as a formulation scientist in large and small innovator companies, and in generic companies in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada and the United States. Dr. Moreton has worked on formulation development projects for tablets, hard gel capsules, soft gel capsules, oral liquids, parenteral solutions, creams, ointments, transdermal delivery, pessaries and suppositories. He has also worked in Technical Service, QA, QC and Regulatory Affairs for an excipient and drug delivery company. Dr. Moreton is a visiting tutor at the Manchester University (UK) on their Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT) distance learning program covering Units on Oral Solid Dosage Forms, and Liquid and Semi-solid Dosage Forms. Dr Moreton holds a B.Pharm. (Nottingham University, UK), a M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Analysis (University of Strathclyde, UK) and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics (University of Wales, College of Cardiff; now Cardiff University, UK).

Christine Fürst has been with Vetter since the early 1990s serving in various functions throughout the globally operating CDMO. Her roles have included customer service, supply chain and key account management. Fürst has supported multinational big-pharma companies at Vetter since 2001, bringing her background in economics to the forefront of her work. Beginning in 2011, Fürst began leading the Key Account Management Europe Team, incorporating additional global matrix functions like Demand Management and Pharmaceutical/Technical Alliance Management to her repertoire. Fürst began her career working in the electronics industry.


This episode of Drug Digest is sponsored by:

  • Adare Pharma Solutions

About Drug Digest

Drug Digest is a tech talk video series with the Pharmaceutical Technology editors, who interview industry experts to discuss the emerging opportunities, obstacles, and advances in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry for the research, development, formulation, analysis, upstream and downstream processing, manufacturing, supply chain, and packaging of drug products.

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  • June 2023: Analytics and Assay