December 30, 2019

Advanced therapy supply chains: lessons from 100 meetings

You can learn a lot in 100 meetings.

In 2019, I conducted more than 100 discussions on advanced therapy supply chains with Vineti’s clients, interested prospects, and partners. Every meeting was focused in some way on enabling the success and scale of advanced personalized or precision therapies. What is clear is that as this industry evolves and new science continues to emerge, the drive to industrialize the patient-centric supply chain is more critical than ever. 

With that in mind, I co-authored a recent whitepaper on advanced therapy supply chain readiness. Now, as I get ready for my first meetings of 2020, I wanted to share three main thoughts that I think are critical for cell and gene therapy companies as we move into the new year: 

  1. Standardization will enable this market: With the rapid growth in advanced therapy funding comes an expansion in clinical trials and increasing demand for more patients at clinical sites. Feedback to sponsors and manufacturers from clinical sites is clear: please help us make life easier for our employees and patients by minimizing variability in processes. A more standardized approach not only benefits the clinicians in hospitals treating patients on a daily basis but makes it more rapid and economical for the treatment manufacturers to access a larger patient population. (You can read more about the need for advanced therapy industrialization in this recent STAT News op-ed from our CEO.)
  2. Serving patients requires a collaborative ecosystem: To move cell therapies from clinics, though manufacturing, across borders, and back to patients requires an alignment of partners and vendors at every step of the way. No one company can address all aspects of this complex supply chain. As a result, to best scale this market, companies serving the pharmaceutical innovators need to work together, proactively, to build the integrations that will allow for faster and more efficient launch of these therapies. As an example of how integration can support CGT growth, Vineti was selected as a Lonza integration partner in 2019.) 
  3. t is important to start planning for scale early in the process: Too many times, I  speak with companies that are urgently feeling the pressure of upcoming studies or other critical milestones and are still in the midst of making critical decisions for their supply chain setup. There is value in investing time and money upfront in order to be ready for future manufacturing, logistics, and IT implementation and rollout across all sites. Working in reactive mode can result in rushed and suboptimal strategies, with costly rework or even missed deadlines. (You can read more about supply chain readiness in our recent whitepaper.)
whitepaper supply chain screenshot

As I look at my packed calendar for Q1, go into 2020 extremely excited about the state of advanced therapies. The clinical data continues to be promising, and the level of investment and talent moving to these new therapies gives me confidence that this industry will truly transform medicine. I’m looking forward to working with other innovators in this space to continue this journey!  

Marc Puich has extensive experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing systems and cell therapy workflows, and is Vice President of Business Development at Vineti. If you’d like to see how Vineti’s Personalized Therapy Management (PTM) platform can help you solve your advanced therapy supply chain and workflow challenges, please contact us to schedule a demo.