Pharma Focus Asia

How can pharma and biotech benefit from strategic alliances?

A strategic alliance is an agreement between two businesses that have opted to pool their resources (such as manufacturing capabilities, knowledge, technologies, or risks) in order to work on a particular project that will benefit both parties and provide value. In the pharmaceutical industry strategic alliances are e.g. built between a young biotech with an innovative discovery platform and a cash rich pharma company looking to expand its portfolio of clinical candidate compounds. Another example would be a biotech or pharma company and CDMO to create value beyond just mere supplying API material.

“At Bachem we decided to implement strategic alliance function to engage, broaden and explore different levels of collaboration with large pharmaceutical customers beyond a mere sales-transaction-driven relationship.”- Boris Corpataux, Vice President Strategic Alliances, Bachem AG

Reasons for deeper cooperations in the pharmaceutical industry

The trend for pharma companies is to outsource parts of their manufacturing to CDMOs and instead invest in drug discovery, development, and commercialisation is still strong for several reasons: 

  • The demand for new clinical and commercial material may soon exceed the worldwide production capacities, especially for growing modalities in the world of medicine, such as peptides and oligonucleotides

  • Bigger Pharma companies value that external partners can operate fast and flexibly and smaller Biotech companies the knowledge, expertise an experienced CDMO has

  • It enables them to focus on their core competencies such as the scientific research and marketing of the drug

  • Across the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for the outsourcing of manufacturing. It highlighted the importance of a robust value chain with the disruptions in supply chains around the world

  • Shorten the time to market and help gain a strategic advantage in improving the return on capital employed. A CDMO has unique capabilities in manufacturing, for example, peptides and oligonucleotides efficiently at a large-scale

  • Pharma Companies have sustainability objectives and thus a shared interest when collaborating with innovative CDMOs that focus on green chemistry. 

Historically, outsourcing was viewed largely as a cost-cutting tactic. Partnerships have evolved into strong, strategic pillars in recent decades, with tight relationships, shared culture, and strategic fit becoming as crucial as technical capabilities.


Strategic Alliance at Bachem

We established the Strategic Alliance function to engage with large pharmaceutical customers beyond a mere sales-transaction-driven relationship and to expand it to a broader collaboration that brings long-term benefits to both the pharma customer and Bachem. It is not only about our abilities to manufacture peptide and oligonucleotide-based active ingredients but also our chemistry and engineering know-how and innovation of the manufacturing process.

“We want to create long-term valuable collaborative partnerships beyond old habits and ideas by fostering trust, collaboration, and integration with our partners but also with diverse internal functions from Operations, Sales, Engineering and frequently Bachem’s Senior Leadership and CEC.”- Boris Corpataux, Vice President Strategic Alliances, Bachem AG 

With well-timed investments in commercial-scale manufacturing capacity, production sites such as Bubendorf and Vista can offer large-scale manufacturing capabilities to customers. 

With innovation and technologies such as continuous chromatography and Molecular HivingTM synthesis, we gain early-adopter advantages and make these sustainable innovations available to biotech and pharma companies. 

The purchase of land close to the pharma hub Basel, lends another opportunity to forge strategic alliances. The development field for peptides and oligos manufacturing may include new models wherein a customer and Bachem co-invest in the construction of the building and installation of equipment. 

About Bachem

Bachem is a leading, innovation-driven company specialising in the development and manufacture of peptides and oligonucleotides. With over 50 years of experience and expertise Bachem provides products for research, clinical development and commercial application to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of services. Bachem operates internationally with headquarters in Switzerland and locations in Europe, the US and Asia. The company is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

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