Top 10 Standout CMOs

The difference between outsourcing success and failure is often in CMO selection. In addition to having the basic tools and expertise required for your project, a CMO needs to be a good fit--in tune with both a client's corporate culture and processes; in sync with both scheduling and reporting needs.

Nice Insight finds that it's a good time for biologics-oriented CMOs: the market analyst anticipates increased demand from biotechs in custom manufacturing and process optimization. It projects a 75% increase in biopharma-related spending. Big pharma, on the other hand, appears to be cutting back to maintain profitability.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst Aiswariya Chidambaram told us via email that biopharmaceuticals "are likely to be the length and breadth of healthcare in the future." A strong R&D pipeline of its own, in addition to the work it provides clients, will be important to the success of CMOs in the future.

To develop this list, we approached Nice Insight, which has developed an analytical system for scoring and a growing database of CMO ratings based on client perception (CP) and awareness (CA). CP, explains Victor Coker, Nice Insight's director for business intelligence, is a relative ranking of each company based on communications that Nice analysts find in the public domain. CA ranks whether the market is aware of the company's services. (Nice Insight is a division of the New York-based marketing firm That's Nice, yet the research unit's analyses are completely independent from the its parent group and the parent's client relationships, Coker says.)

We asked Nice to prowl its CMO database to develop a Top 10 list based on 5 bread-and-butter contract manufacturing functions: process optimization; lyophilization; fill/finish; packaging; and stability, storage and testing.

Here's the list:

1.     Therapure Biopharma
2.     Xcelience
3.     Ben Venue Labs
4.     UPM Pharmaceuticals
5.     Boehringer Ingelheim
6.     Hospira One 2 One
7.     Pfizer CentreSource
8.     Recipharm
9.     AAIPharma Services
10.   Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals