Seven always has been considered a propitious number — in many cultures, in the Bible, and for gamblers who believe in “lucky seven.” There are seven seas, seven continents, and seven colors in a rainbow.
And now, we have the seventh annual Life Science Leader CMO Leadership Awards. So a special congratulations to this year’s winners, who’ve received these awards in recognition of the highest level of accomplishment in the drug development and manufacturing industry. And the drug sponsors who have worked with these organizations should also be feeling lucky. That’s because what these CMOs have really accomplished is to help you be successful. Sponsors and service providers alike understand that these awards are so meaningful because recipients are evaluated only by the customers they have actually worked with.
Last year in this space, I mentioned we conducted these awards in cooperation with our partners at Industry Standard Research (ISR), advanced professionals in the field of survey research. Well, as if we needed more proof this is a lucky awards year, it’s my pleasure to now introduce the ISR team as my colleagues. You may have heard last June that our organization, Life Science Connect (LSC), acquired ISR. To obtain the most accurate survey results, we focused again this year on the key attributes biopharma companies tell us are most essential in deciding which CMOs best serve their clients: Quality, Reliability, Capabilities, Expertise, Compatibility, and Development.
Regarding this special issue of Life Science Leader, along with the all details of the awards and winners, I’m sure readers will benefit from the informative articles we’ve collected for you. On both a strategic and detailed level, you’ll hear from some of the most experienced professionals in our industry on topics such as tech transfer, data integrity, outsourcing preformulation, quality specifications, the decision to “go virtual,” outsourcing challenges of smaller sponsors, and how to work successfully with FTEs. You’ll receive a variety of best practices and advice on all these aspects of the outsourcing function. Whether you are a reader new to working with contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), or one who’s been at this for years, I’m certain you’ll derive measurable value from the following pages on the increasingly important activity of outsourcing.
I’d like to extend my personal thanks — and you’ll be thanking her as well after reading our cover story — to Vinita Kumar, VP QA/ QC at Versartis, for being our featured expert this year. Besides gaining some new perspective on the quality function, you just might end up changing your opinion of the quality professional. In Kumar’s own words: “Truthfully, when you think of a quality head, what image comes to mind? Certainly not a pleasant person with a smile on her face!” Well … it does now.
Finally, on behalf of all my colleagues at Life Science Leader and our entire Life Science Connect organization, a special thank you to all our readers who participated in the awards survey for 2018. These are, in fact, your rewards. Lucky you.