UBM-supported whitepaper from BioLive and CPhi Pharma has identified three main areas where the expertise of the small molecule field can be appropriated and used by the large molecule-based, biopharmaceutical sector of the industry.

The three areas highlighted in ‘The Pharma Insight Report’ are refining the supply chain with the help of application programming interface (API) technology and manufacturing methodologies, continuous bioprocessing, and the adoption of process analytical technology (PAT). API and PAT are viewed as important because they have most relevant and transferable skills sets from small molecule companies to the biopharma sector.

The BioLive report also notes that closer integration within the pharmaceutical industry could benefit the small molecule sector. Biopharma companies are usually more proficient when it comes to adopting new technological methods and processes, such as single use technology and complicated weighting, whereas small molecule companies are often more risk adverse.

Research detailed in the whitepaper also indicates that over the next few years collaboration between small and large molecule pharmaceutical companies will create a ‘technological arms race’ among outsourcing providers to improve efficiencies, and reduce costs and clinical timelines in bio development and manufacturing.

UBM pharma brand director Rutger Oudejans said: “We are only just now beginning to see the potential of a cross industry collaboration between these two formerly distinct industries. And our experts are only just starting to explore the ways in which these two industries could collaborate to improve production timelines, efficiencies and regulatory compliance.

“Already there is a consensus that API technology could be applicable and that bio companies should encourage more small molecule experts into the industry as it grows. Particularly, those with PAT and process development expertise.”

BioLive’s report was based on the opinions of a panel of experts from both the small and large molecules field. It also relied on BioPlan Associates’ 15th annual survey Manufacturing Production and Capacity, which includes data from 120 industry experts.

This data revealed that the main areas for successful collaboration were process control, quality management and training operations and technicians. Ulteemit BioConsulting principal Mike Ultee said: “These top three areas are not particularly surprising since they address current good manufacturing process practices, which are consistent across both the large and small molecule industries.”