Tom Wilson Global Business Development Lead
"As we get into precision medicines, therapies, parallel trials, and getting medicines to patients faster, that will require CDMOs to work together, and this is where our growth will come from."
Can you present Pfizer CentreOne and the group’s role within Pfizer?
Pfizer CentreOne is Pfizer’s integrated CDMO. We are multidisciplinary specialists, and as such we are active in the biological drug substance arena, mammalian, sterile injectables, oral solids, cell and gene therapy, as well as APIs and intermediates. We leverage the drug development and manufacturing power of Pfizer: our customers’ products are built by Pfizer operators and tested by Pfizer analysts, overall unleashing the science of Pfizer for customers. Customers' IP is very sensitive, so we have very strong protection programs. We are focused on sustainability initiatives, being carbon-neutral by 2040 and are motivated by getting medicines to patients.
Which of your development and manufacturing capabilities attract more demand?
Growth drivers remain within complex precision therapies, and this is where we are uniquely placed to succeed. We also have a successful track record in API and intermediates, high-potency products, and an ability to work with challenging technology platforms like laser drilling.
What recent innovation are you most excited about?
Continuous flow API is interesting, but green chemistry is the most fascinating innovation aspect these days. It is key to us given our sustainability journey. With green chemistry, the ability to remove chemical steps and replace that within enzymatic reactions is an amazing next step in API manufacturing. A flagship example is our first-of-its-kind API in that area, Enviero Progesterone. By eliminating metal catalysts, it reduces our carbon footprint, energy consumption rates, and water requirements. This green chemistry is a fascinating breakthrough allowing us to reduce steps through fermentation and enzymatic reactions.
Can you present Pfizer CentreOne’s approach to environmental, health and safety standards?
Pfizer has made its green journey part of its culture. First, we established measurement systems and held people accountable to them. We took that further by working with everybody in the company and engaging people as to what we are trying to achieve, and how outcomes benefit the communities we operate in. There are regions where sustainability efforts are an expectation and key criteria in partner selection: every European company that explores us as a partner has ESG as their key expectation, and I am seeing those expectations grow exponentially in North America. Through the course of taking the product to market, we identify green steps. We always start the conversation around how the medicine will change patients’ lives, and what it would take to make it in the most community-friendly way possible.
How do you see green chemistry trends evolving in 2023?
Green chemistry is a growing trend. That growth is translated by the transition from a premium offering to an expectation, to a foundation. In Europe, it is an expectation. In the US, we are starting to see that transition from premium to expectation. As more people become aware of what it means for their communities, it becomes a real driver.
What are the key drivers of the CDMO market in the US currently?
Reshoring manufacturing is a big investment. The industry now has practical data points driven by performance that can be used to check value and opportunity versus risk. Instead of an increase in onshoring or localization, I see something in between happening, such as regionalization and diversification of key supply chains. People are looking at key products and looking for a diverse source for these, geographically dispersing them to avoid localized disruptions. Working with upstream suppliers is the next step, and we are seeing more of that. Today, with new technologies, we have enterprise systems allowing us to do analytics to assess the risks to our bottom lines.
What is the ambition for Pfizer CentreOne in 2023?
I believe we are entering a golden age of manufacturing. We want to continue to make Pfizer's capabilities available and bring these resources as well as the knowledge of our scientists to our customers so they can get their innovations to patients. This is our fundamental mission. What scientists can create with new medicines is impressive. As we get into precision medicines, therapies, parallel trials, and getting medicines to patients faster, that will require CDMOs to work together, and this is where our growth will come from. Science continues to evolve and improve patients’ lives. This is a rising tide that will raise all ships. In conclusion, manufacturing is becoming “sexy” again.