For more than 125 years, our business has consistently embraced change in order to remain relevant to our customers and the world around us. Here, we explore some of the current tectonic shifts underway within our industry and the wider world. We see these trends as opportunities to innovate and apply our initiative to fulfil our purpose of enabling a healthier world.

A changing world

Population growth and globalization

There is a convergence of change as the world’s population continues to grow and experience higher levels of global mobility. This can deliver many benefits, from improved life quality to accelerated economic development. However, it can also contribute to serious health challenges, as seen in the speed and scale at which the recent COVID-19 pandemic spread across markets and regions. These heightened levels of vulnerability to population-level infections must be met with a greater focus on the speed of commercialization and the scale of manufacturing, both of which are priorities for our business.

Aging world population

There is a complex relationship between health, nutrition and aging as life expectancy continues to increase in many markets. An ongoing focus on health and nutrition means that many people are living longer, but the rapid growth in elderly populations is tied to the growing prevalence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses. Across our divisions, we are playing an active role in addressing the increasing global need for medicines as a part in our commitment to enable a healthier world.

Technological advances

In recent years, digital advances have driven a new era of innovation. This global trend has wide-reaching implications for many industries including medicine, life sciences and healthcare manufacturing.

Digitalization brings opportunities to integrate innovative technologies into the drug development and manufacturing journey. The term “Bioprocessing 4.0” refers to a digitally connected process that supports improved speed, flexibility and efficiency, while managing cost. Such integrated technologies can unlock greater depth of knowledge, supported by advanced data insight, to optimize and control processes.

We are actively adopting technology and automation at Lonza to streamline operations, decrease manual involvement and improve data-driven decision making. This includes implementing virtual reality (VR) training, robotics, real-time data analytics and advanced modeling tools.

Sustainability: an ethical and operational imperative

In recent years, people, businesses and governments worldwide have become increasingly aware of the urgent need to address environmental issues, promote ethical practices, and build a resilient future for the planet. The corporate community has a critical role to play in securing a sustainable future.

At Lonza, our purpose to enable a healthier world shapes not only our products and services, but also our approach to doing business. Across our global network, we are committed to improving our social engagement and governance while reducing our environmental footprint. Our ambitious sustainability targets will deliver efficiency back to our business and stakeholders, while delivering long-term value environmentally, economically and socially.

A changing industry

Innovation in discovery, development and manufacturing

We see that large pharma companies are placing increased focus on drug discovery and development. At the same time, small biotech companies continue to drive innovation in discovery across both developing and emerging markets.

To support this focus on early-stage innovation, CDMO partnerships are becoming an integrated part of the healthcare business model. Manufacturing innovation by CDMOs provides critical tools to support the future success of novel drug candidates. By boosting manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness, we can enable developers to focus on novel and complex treatments to target unmet medical needs.

From “blockbusters” to “nichebusters”

There is a shifting focus in the pharmaceutical industry from classic “blockbuster” drugs – targeting widespread conditions with a large patient population – to the development of niche medicines designed to treat rare and orphan conditions. Advancements in genomics, proteomics, personalized medicine and technology, alongside a more sophisticated understanding of rare conditions, are helping to unlock new therapeutic possibilities.

Such a journey is never smooth, and innovators face challenges ranging from higher failure rates and development costs, to regulatory and manufacturing hurdles. Developers can benefit from partnering with experienced CDMOs to help de-risk this journey and realize the commercial potential of their novel therapies.

The rise of complex therapies

As treatments are becoming increasingly complex, the path to commercialization is becoming more challenging to navigate. The emergence of advanced modalities and technologies brings complicated manufacturing challenges. Advancing complexity can be observed in services relating to highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs), bioconjugates, bispecific antibodies, cell and gene therapies and mRNA.

This complexity in the clinical pipeline is driving demand for experienced CDMOs that can help drug developers to de-risk their investments and accelerate time to market. In a fast-changing environment, Lonza’s ability to support customers across the entire product lifecycle has never been more important.

Growing demand for integrated CDMO services

CDMOs now play a critical role in the value chain for large pharma, emerging start-ups and everything in between. The trend for outsourcing continues – driven by strong and sustained commercial demand and a healthy drug development pipeline.

By offering a range of flexible business models, and access to deep scientific, manufacturing and regulatory expertise, we can help drug developers of all sizes to bring their innovative therapies to life. Our breadth of offerings across services and modalities means we are well positioned to meet changing customer requirements while securing our own long-term growth and success.