Clinical Trial Supply Chain Developments in 2018

We look at some of the key developments in clinical trial supply over the past year

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A safe and effective clinical trial requires robust supply chain management.

With the global clinical trial supply market forecasted to reach 1,274.3 million by 2020, there are a number of developments to stay on top of.

In this round up of 2018, we highlight four noteworthy developments this year.


1. Catalent completed a $5.5m expansion to serve larger scale clinical studies

Catalent Pharma Solutions, one of the leading global providers of advanced deliver technology announced their completion of a $5.5 million expansion program at its 200,000+ square food Pennsylvania site to offer additional clinical packaging and storage capacity.

The investment provided the site with a 40 per cent increase in pallet space for both refrigerated and ambient clinical storage, additional cold chain packaging areas, and a new clinical label control area. The building also has a campus wide environmental monitoring system.

40% increase in pallet space, cold chain packaging areas and a new clinical label control area

This development clearly showed the need to meet the growing demands for large-scale clinical studies.


2. ThermoFisher expands their centre to ease clinical trial logistics

ThermoFisher opened a new business centre and biorepository alongside an expanded distribution centre.

The facility expanded by more than 190,000 square feet. A 77,000 square foot Cryo-Innovation Centre and National Cancer Institute Repository for Clinical Trials was added along with a 22,000 square feet dedicated to accommodate future advancements in automation. The investment is said to total nearly $10 million and was completed to support the high demand for clinical trial supply chain logistics.

A 77,000 sq foot Cryo-Innovation Centre supports growing demand

The expansion is a consolidation of several smaller facilities to create a centre of excellence for clinical research sample storage. The centre will also act as a third party logistics site to support clinical trials as well as commercial cell and gene therapy developments.


3. Cryoport revenues jumped 59% in Q2 2018 from clinical trials in regenerative medicine

Cryoport, one of the world’s leading temperature-controlled logistics companies, showed that their activities in clinical support programs and commercial agreements with Gilead and Novartis were able to drive revenue growth by 59%.

To support the anticipated growth of their partners, which would lead to greater reliance on their services, Cryoport invested in building out their global infrastructure. They moved to two new, state-of-the-art Global Logistics Centres in New Jersey and the Netherlands.

Demand for clinical trial supply is projected to grow in Asia Pacific

Interestingly, Jerrell Shelton, Chief Executive Officer of Cryoport said that “the demand we are experiencing from existing customers reaches beyond the U.S. and Europe to the Asia Pacific region, where we are also currently in various stages of planning to further expand our global footprint.”


4. Sharp agrees preferred partnership with Berkshire to simplify clinical trial supply

Sharp, part of UDG Healthcare, signed a preferred partnerships agreement with the fill/finish contract manufacturing organization Berskire Sterile Manufacturing. Their aim is to reduce “friction” for their clients while also decreasing the time, cost and complexity of managing clinical trials.

The agreement improves Sharp’s ability to provide sterile fill/finish clinical manufacturing service, while Berkshire’s clinets can access Sharp’s clinical trial supply and management services.

Consolidating partners could reduce supply chain friction and costs

Speaking to the partnership Dan Gourley, senior director of Global Logistics at Sharp, said that the partnership would simplify clients’ supply chains allowing them to work with a single providers for multiple activities.  


It is clear that growing demand for clinical trial supply is driving both investment and innovation. These are just a selection of developments in the field, with many sure to emerge as we enter 2019.