Planning the Future of Pharma at CPHI

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, June 2023, Volume 47, Issue 6

The future is set to be a running theme for this year’s CPHI event, which will take place in-person at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via in Spain between 24–26 October 2023.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in the world’s ‘rear-view mirror’ to some degree, the future for the bio/pharma industry is expected to bring a plethora of opportunities. However, along for the ride with these opportunities, there will also be a unique set of challenges to overcome to ensure prospects are taken advantage of successfully.

Over the past few years, the bio/pharma industry has been experiencing a shift in focus. Of particular note are the increasing numbers of complex and biological therapies entering the development pipeline. These novel therapeutics can prove to be difficult to handle from formulation to manufacture and further along the supply chain.

Addressing innovation

The topic of novel therapies will be well covered in CPHI’s 2023 conference agenda, featuring a number of tracks aimed at assisting with the potential challenges the near future may hold (see ‘Future‑focused agenda’ for a full outline of the topics to be covered during the in-person event).

From 11:15 am on day one of the event (24 Oct. 2023), Lonza Capsules and Health Ingredients will be presenting on future formulation challenges in “Emerging Drug Delivery Technologies for Novel Formulations.” In this 20-minute session, the characteristics of developed products will be reviewed so that the required tools for drug delivery can be determined, and alternative delivery routes will be evaluated.

On the second day of the conference (25 Oct. 2023), Moderna is set to delve into potential applications of messenger RNA (mRNA). The session, “From COVID to Oncology—What’s Next for mRNA Applications?,” will run from 11:40 am for 20 minutes and will look at lessons learned from the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and the role of nanoparticles in vaccine efficiency.

Technological innovations have been filtering into the bio/pharma supply chain for a while, albeit at a slower pace than other industries have experienced. In a panel session, “Generating the Potential of Artificial Intelligence for Pharma Manufacturing,” held from 12:55 pm on the second day of the conference, experts will give their thoughts on how artificial intelligence can help to improve batch manufacturing, quality and regulatory compliance, and patient engagement. The panel will also assess the role of chatbots and where training can be improved within the manufacturing sector.

A new addition to the 2023 event will be the Start-Up Market, taking place across the whole three days of the event (24–26 Oct. 2023). The Start-Up Market will be located in Hall 3 of the conference centre and will provide a space for start-ups, innovators, and small enterprises to connect and exhibit their new products and solutions.


Driving efficiencies

With high inflation also comes budgetary pressures. One way to alleviate the financial burden and improve the all-important return on investment is to accelerate molecules through the development pipeline to commercialization.

Tackling this very topic on the first day of the conference at 11:40 am will be Magnus Blomberg from AstraZeneca. In a 20-minute slot titled ’Speed to Market’—Pipeline Acceleration Strategies for Biologics Manufacturing, Blomberg will provide insights into strategies that can speed up biologics manufacturing and hence drive efficiencies.

Another tool that can drive efficiencies when implemented correctly is the use of a suitable contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Towards the end of the first day at 3:55 pm, Federica Fraschetti from Merck, Julien Laizé from Valneva, and Shilpi Ghosh from Roche, will all sit on a panel for “The CDMO Outlook,” where they will cover ways to determine what services a sponsor company may require, whether it is more economically beneficial to perform tasks in-house, ways to optimize communication with a partner company, and the times when outsourcing should be avoided.

Sustainable goals

Sustainability is becoming an ever‑important aspect impacting day‑to-day life. The bio/pharma industry is not excluded from this shift, with expectations for more sustainable practices to be implemented throughout the life cycle of drug products.

During the Formulating the Future track on day one of the conference, Juan Colberg from Pfizer will detail ways in which companies can make their businesses greener. In “Green Chemistry Initiatives in APIs” at 12:05 pm, Colberg will broach greener alternatives for API production, investing in sustainability as a long‑term growth opportunity, and ways to incorporate sustainability into the production lifecycle.

After lunch on day one at 15:05 pm, Berta Mota from Anthesis Group will give an overview of the financial benefits that can be gained with a strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy. “Driving Profitability Through a Solid ESG Strategy” will cover topics such as how open transparency can aid in the identification of appropriate investors and lessons for pharma to learn from non-governmental organization green action schemes.

Much, much more

There will be many more sessions to enjoy while attending the event in person than those listed here. For up-to-date information on the conference agenda, visit the event website at

Furthermore, for the duration of the in-person CPHI event, the Fira Barcelona centre will also be home to a vast number of exhibitors, located across eight halls. If you would like to visit the Pharmaceutical Technology® Group team while attending the show, you can find us in Hall 3 Booth Q74.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 35, No. 6
June 2023
Pages: 32–33


When referring to this article, please cite it as Thomas, F. Planning the Future of Pharma at CPHI. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 2023 35 (6) 32–33.