Guest Columns

  1. 5 Best Practices Merck Used To Implement Strategic Sourcing Partnerships
    3/21/2019

    In order to effectively extend the capacity of its organization using external partners, Merck & Co., Inc. decided to shift from limited, tactical, piecemeal outsourcing to a strategic outsourcing model. This article summarizes the first five of 10 key elements — or best practices — that were critical for the successful implementation of its strategic partnerships.

  2. Will CDMOs Commit To Fully Transparent Audits?
    3/19/2019

    The first two articles in this series discussed the physical elements of facility design that sponsors look for in their contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) and sponsor requirements for dedicating equipment to GMP operations, equipment redundancy, and immediate disclosure of equipment and facility issues. This article presents solutions to improve transparency during sponsor audits of CDMOs.

  3. Key Takeaways From The FDA’s New Continuous Manufacturing Guidance
    3/15/2019

    The FDA recently issued a draft guidance entitled “Quality Considerations for Continuous Manufacturing” in an effort to advance greater predictability for companies adopting CM technology. Specifically, the FDA hopes this draft guidance will support the development and adoption of CM for brand, generic, and over-the-counter drugs.

  4. FDA’s First DSCSA Warning Letter — A Closer Look
    3/11/2019

    The FDA issued the first warning letter citing failure to comply with requirements of the DSCSA amendments to the FD&C Act. This article takes a close look at this warning letter, but first it examines why McKesson may have received the first warning letter in this category, and explains why pharmaceutical manufacturers should care and what precautions they should take.

  5. Raising The Bar: The Silver Lining Of FDA Commissioner Gottlieb’s Exit
    3/7/2019

    It was the announcement many have been dreading — but expecting — for several months now. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, 23rd Commissioner of the FDA, announced his decision to step down after 663 days (22 months) on the job. The news is sure to raise concerns for many. But I think the biggest surprise is how equally sad thought-leaders within the agency will be to say goodbye.

  6. Become A (Better) Facilitator For Risk Assessment And Root Cause Analysis
    2/28/2019

    When SMEs, management, and others gather to perform a risk assessment or a root cause analysis on a failure, they’re sure to achieve the desired outcome, right? Perhaps for a simple risk assessment or investigation, but success is not very likely for one that is even moderately complicated. That’s where a skilled facilitator is needed.

  7. Big Data And AI In Pharma Development And Manufacturing: An Inside Look
    2/27/2019

    Artificial intelligence and Big Data have the potential to lower the cost and time of drug trials, to better determine patient outcomes with established drugs, and to better design new drugs.

  8. Bridging Chasms In Equipment Qualification And Software Validation
    2/27/2019

    Equipment qualification seems like a straightforward process. However, things usually go awry when gathering a validation team and defining and documenting the intended use and system requirements. 

  9. FDA Approval Of The First nr-AxSpA Biologics: Projecting Regulatory & Market Dynamics
    2/27/2019

    Although we expect the FDA approval of therapies for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-AxSpA) to be an important event in the coming year, questions remain about the U.S. market potential. Because three therapies are expected to be approved within a similar timeframe, any first-to-market advantage may be limited.

  10. Recalibrating The Supply Chain For Allogeneic Cell Therapies
    2/25/2019

    In November 2018, I wrote an article about establishing a supply chain for autologous cell therapies — those formulated using a patient’s own cells. This partner piece highlights considerations that need to be taken into account when developing a commercialization and supply chain strategy for allogeneic cell therapies.