DSM Biologics:Transforming Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing




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Video title: DSM Biologics:Transforming Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing
Released on: July 20, 2012. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, filmed at #BIO2012 Convention in Boston, Fintan Walton talks to Karen King, President at DSM Biologics
DSM : Focus areas and four business units
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BIO in Boston, in 2012. On this show I have Karen King, who is President of DSM Biologics, welcome to the show.
Karen King:
Thank you Fintan.
Fintan Walton:
Karen, you are part of DSM, DSM is quite a large organization people often known it in the pharmaceutical industry for it's pharmaceutical manufacturing side, but lets just look at DSM in its entirety, because it's quite a as I said large corporation, so how would you describe DSM ?
Karen King:
So DSM , is a life sciences and material sciences company, we use our competencies in science to focus on areas like health and wellness, climate and energy and some of the global shifts that we are seeing, we do that through four really pillars for growth, one being innovation, the next being sustainability which is really our core value of DSM also through addressing the high growth economies and then through partnerships and acquisitions, but at our base we are a material science and life sciences company.
Fintan Walton:
And, I mean obviously you're better known as a contract manufacturer, so how does innovation sit with contract manufacturing?
Karen King:
So within our life sciences business I should just mention that there is a nutrition cluster and then a pharma cluster and that's the group that I am part of and within the pharma cluster we also have two businesses, one is DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals that's a 50-50 joint venture between DSM and Sinochem, and the other business is DSM Pharmaceutical Productsthat's the group that I represent, within pharmaceutical products which is a custom manufacturing organization we have four businesses, one addressing small molecule chemical synthesis, one addressing biologics that's my particular business, one addressing microbial fermentation and then the last which is a fill-finish business covering all dosage forms. Now in each one of those areas we really focus on innovation and innovative solutions for our clients and how we can again employ our science, because at our heart DSM has some great science and really is all about how can we deliver creative solutions for our customers to help solve their issues. Some of the examples that I could share with you is in the biologics business we have a very innovative technology portfolio which is really transforming biopharmaceutical manufacturing lowering cost, lowering the footprint, lowering the capital risk and scale up risk and really just bringing it to the future, in some of our other areas we do things that focus on innovation and sustainability like using microreactors technologies which mean higher yields less material usage all getting back to our core value of sustainability as well.
Innovation and competitive advantage
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so clearly then just to look at you just purely as a contract manufacturing organization is fine, but off course you have to compete in the general marketplace too so your competitive advantage is your innovation?
Karen King:
Well it's several things, so one is our very high quality services. So DSM Pharmaceutical Products really stands for very strong quality position always assuring that we are meeting all the regulatory compliance and giving our customers exactly what they need there first time. Additionally and tied to that we have an extremely impressive regulatory track record and one of the issues that you are aware of in the industry right now is the intense scrutiny from FDA on many companies that have come up against issues with the FDA, we have an impeccable track record in terms of FDA and other regulatory bodies which is another major advantage for clients wanting to work with a CMO. Certainly our innovation is one of our key pillars and really bringing new solutions and helping clients think through their needs and where they are gonna go in the future.
Karen King's perspective: General trend in biologics field
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so obviously as you started out this quite, DSM is quite a diverse organization looking at the division, the pharmaceutical division again what trends do you see occurring within the industry, because obviously you are in the biologics field which is one of the areas that is changing a lot, but bringing in new technologies, new innovations bring with it new risks along side that, so where do you see these general trends going?
Karen King:
Okay, so the general trends that we all see are first of all our clients, for the first time in at least my time in the industry which is about 30-years are really facing cost pressures, so when we look at large pharma because of the patent cliff, because of the state of the pipelines they really for the first time having to think about their cost positions and rationalize what they are doing. We are seeing a move towards more focus specialization areas including biologics which is certainly an area where everybody is putting a lot of focus for growth, we see as I mentioned earlier increased regulatory scrutiny which is really impacting a lot of companies and how they do business and how they can continue to sustain getting their products out there all of these factors are translating to people looking for different solutions and we are seeing an increase in outsourcing and the utilization of suppliers like DSM who can help them with their issues and overcoming some of the challenges that they face.
Relationship with large pharma companies
Fintan Walton:
Okay, I assume you know often people think well it's gonna be smaller companies that are gonna use a company like DSM because they don't have the manufacturing capabilities, so how would you describe your client base do they include large corporations as much as smaller organizations?
Karen King:
Well absolutely, so the very large pharma companies in fact do do a lot of outsourcing and have worked extensively with DSM Pharmaceutical Products for many years, that's particularly true in our fill-finish operation and in our chemical API business. In the biologics space it is conventionally been some of the smaller to mid-size companies because that's where a lot of the innovation happens in that space innovation is occurring at the small companies and eventually they partner with the large companies, for us we are now starting to see that shift, we are working with more at the large companies as well as the products have progressed, but certainly we have very key strategic relationships with many of the largest pharma companies.
Funding environment and development programs
Fintan Walton:
So the other trend that's occurring in the industry off course is that lot of biotechnology companies are finding it difficult to get funding and so forth, do you find an increased interest by biotech companies to for you to take some of the risks in some of the development programs that they have and if so are you willing to do that?
Karen King:
Well you are absolutely right, there is a challenge with funding particularly for some of the smaller biotech's these days, what we are seeing is people going to different models perhaps starting to involve pharma earlier and we are seeing pharma get involved in earlier stages than they typically used to. Yes, customers always are looking for creative solutions with their suppliers and how they can help keep their programs going and progressing as fast as possible and we do address that as much as we're able too to help them and make it a win, win for everyone, but conventionally we are a business that is here to provide a service and also our technologies.
Karen King's views: Future growth in Biosimilars business
Fintan Walton:
So Karen, if you look at your development program the people you are talking to in the industry and so forth looking now in your field, the biologics field what do you see in the future? What types of new innovations in terms of new products can you see arising as a result of companies coming to you and saying look this is a molecule that we have could you help us develop it?
Karen King:
The biggest thing happening in the biologics space is just the oncoming wave of biosimilars, it's astounding the number of players around the world that are getting into the biosimilars business.
Fintan Walton:
Even Pfizer is getting into the biosimilars business?
Karen King:
Everyone is getting into the biosimilars business. So it's absolutely astounding, and for us that means of course the lot of opportunity, because there is certainly is not capacity available on the world to address everybody that's working on biosimilars, but of course not everyone will be successful in getting through. So I think one of the things that we can provide and what companies really need to be thinking about is how to differentiate themselves because this is gonna be a highly competitive field and what things can someone like DSM bring to them that can help them have that competitive edge.
Fintan Walton:
And what would that be?
Karen King:
Well in particular our technology package is really designed around reducing costs, reducing capital requirements and reducing scale up risk also accelerating time lines, so all the things that could be really critical in biosimilars because you wanna be able to have a low cost position, you want to be able to not have to invest very large money's in a facility before you even know if the product is gonna make it all the way through and you want to eliminate as much as you can in the way of scale up risks, so it's a perfect fit in the biosimilars arena.
Impact of emerging markets on DSM 's business
Fintan Walton:
The other area that people talk about are the emerging markets and so forth, what impact does the emerging markets had on your business at DSM?
Karen King:
So in DSM Pharmaceutical Products quite a bit, because for our small molecules business which is our API business we've seen quite a shift of movement towards the emerging markets and many things coming out of China and India for example. DSM is uniquely positioned that across our pharma cluster we already have a presence in those parts of the world which we're able to leverage and we still are one that has a true global presence with facilities in the western part of the world for those customers that really want to address that security of supply and quality assurance that you might get from the west. In my particular business in biologics we are not seeing as much from the emerging economies like China yet a lot of biosimilar development, but certainly a lot of initiatives coming from Brazil, from India, from Russia. India has been in the business for quite a number of years, so of course and it's very established, so it's an interesting time what's happening around the globe.
Fintan Walton:
Well we look forward to seeing what happens in the future. Thanks Karen, for coming on the show.
Karen King:
Thank you Fintan.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Karen King
President
At the time of recording this PTV interview Karen King serves as President at DSM Biologics. Karen is responsible for all operations and sales for DSM Biologics's manufacturing business and biologics technology licensing. She has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
DSM Biologics
DSM Biologics a business unit of DSM Pharmaceutical Products, is a global provider of manufacturing technology and services to the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition to the offering of world-class biopharmaceutical manufacturing services, DSM Biologics provides and develops technologies relevant for optimized mammalian cell culture processes. Examples are the proprietary XD Technology for use with mammalian cell lines. The "XD process" leads to very high cell densities within the bioreactor, which result in maximum productivity using readily available equipment. DSM 's manufacturing services provides companies with a turn-key biologic manufacturing solution reducing cost, risk and time to market.