For all the cutting-edge biopharmaceutical advances of the past decade, drugmakers largely remain wedded to manufacturing methods that have served them well for half a century or more. Other industries have jumped ahead, adopting a technique called continuous manufacturing, which holds a number of clear advantages in speed and flexibility.
Biotech and pharma firms, though, are still figuring out exactly how to embrace the concept — or if they even want to, in some cases.
In the following series of stories, we explore this technology and why pharma has been slow to adopt it, generics have pushed back against it and the role of CDMOs. We also went directly to the source: interviewing top officials at the FDA, Johnson & Johnson and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Pharma's slow embrace of continuous manufacturing
On the whole, drugmakers cling to traditional production methods. Some, however, are shifting to newer technology. Read More »
FDA's Woodcock on drug companies' sluggish march toward manufacturing's future
The CDER chief said the agency won't force companies that want to stay "in the 1940s" with traditional methods — as long as they meet FDA standards. Read More »
As FDA and pharma warm to continuous manufacturing, generics stay skeptical
Generics companies worry continuous manufacturing could become another tool for branded drugmakers to protect their products. Read More »
For CDMOs, continuous manufacturing isn't an 'if,' but a 'how'
Contract services providers are receiving more interest from drugmakers keen on the technology's potential cost-savings and better efficiency. Read More »
J&J still has much to explore with continuous manufacturing
More than two years after getting an OK to switch Prezista manufacturing from batch to continuous, the big pharma has no intention of backing away from the increasingly turned-to method of production. Read More »