Pharma Integrates

Industry ‘resistance’ to disruption by advanced therapeutics

By Vassia Barba contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/JK1991)
(Image: Getty/JK1991)

Related tags: ACG, traceability, Supply chain, cell and gene therapy

ACG Inspection’s CEO talks about a ‘fear’ of the disruption caused by advanced medicine, which prevents big pharma companies from investing in the supply chain.

Speaking at a panel titled ‘Addressing the supply chain need for advanced medicines’, during the Pharma Integrates conference that took place in London, Ettore Cucchetti, CEO of ACG Inspection, stated that the industry shows signs of ‘resistance’, which obstructs the resolution of challenges in the supply chain.

“There is a fear among pharmaceutical companies facing the disruption that the advanced medicine have brought to the industry, and the changes required in the supply chain,”​ the executive stated.

According to Cucchetti, “Due to the existing profit model, leaders of big companies prefer to keep the focus on R&D and productivity,” ​and do not prioritize investment in the supply chain, even though “there is a lot of room for improvement.”

The executive noted that the shift of the industry towards the development of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) requires the transformation of the supply chain from a ‘linear’ to a ‘non-linear’ model, as a result of the complicated manufacturing processes.

Technology for this purpose already exists, according to Cucchetti, however, its affordability is still not addressed, with companies participating in the supply chain currently working on this challenge.

“There is a large amount of data flowing in and out across the supply chain, which we need to secure,” ​Cucchetti stated, explaining the challenge of guaranteeing the efficiency and the security of the supply chain, while concurrently simplifying the processes and minimizing the costs.

According to the executive, advanced supply chain solutions that are suitable for ATMPs are projected to offer significant return of investment for the companies that decide to adopt them.

To better describe the adoption level of the technologies by the pharmaceutical industry, Cucchetti provided the example of other industries, such as the automotive or aerospace industries, where the flexibility of the companies allows cooperation and sharing of information among them.

In contrast to that, the executive concluded that similar behavior is not seen in the pharmaceutical industry, which instead remains ‘resistant’ to change.

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