Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 18, 2020

Ten Top CDMOs

The landscape for contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) is a challenging one. Competition is fierce and regulatory scrutiny ensures that only the most efficient companies rise to the top of the industry. These firms use the latest technology developments to help their clients develop pharmaceutical products that meet the public’s need for effective treatments for a wide variety of conditions and ailments. 

The firms listed below comprise our selection of the top CDMOs, taking into account factors such as revenue, profits, efficiency, scope of operations, and innovation. They are listed in alphabetical order. 


Biovectra focuses on offering contract development and manufacturing capacity for intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) at four cGMP facilities in North America. The company has been in business for more than 45 years, and specializes in the following areas:

·      Microbial Fermentation

·      Complex Chemistry

·      High Potency APIs

·      Biologics

·      Process and Analytical Development

·      Drug Development


Cambrex is focused on small molecule therapeutics including drug substance, drug product and drug analytical services over the full drug lifecycle. The company offers its customers end-to-end partnerships to research, develop and manufacture their small molecule products.

Cambrex went private in 2019 after being acquired for $2.4 billion by private equity firm Pemira Funds. Cambrex had previously purchased Halo Pharma, a contract provider of drug development and manufacturing services, for $425 million. This expanded the services offered by Cambrex, which previously focused mainly on offerings targeted at small-molecule active pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. In January of 2019, Cambrex spent $252 million to acquire Avista Pharma Solutions, which focuses on early-stage development and analytical testing services. 


Catalent provides integrated services, delivery technologies and manufacturing solutions designed to assist companies develop and launch pharmaceuticals, biologics and consumer health products. In 2019 Catalent acquired Paragon Bioservices of Baltimore, Maryland for $1.2 billion for the company’s expertise as a contract provider of viral vector development and manufacturing services for gene therapies. 


CordenPharma is the global pharmaceutical service & manufacturing platform of International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG). The company offers full-service contract development and manufacturing services to produce APIs, Drug Products and Packaging Services. The company has invested across Europe and the US in the form of Technology Platforms to enable its experts to work with projects at any stage of the development process.

CordenPharma uses its vertically-integrated supply chain model to provide development and manufacturing know-how that covers the complete cGMP supply chain, from regulated raw materials through intermediaries, APIs, commercial-scale Drug Product manufacturing, finished dosage formulation, packaging, clinical trial services and pharma logistics. The company endeavors to provide development and manufacturing at a reduced time and cost. 

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a subsidiary of Japan’s Fujifilm, is a biologics CDMO/CMO. It purchased Biogen’s biologics manufacturing site located in Hillerod, Denmark, outside Copenhagen, for $890 million. Fujifilm Diosynth also announced plans to invest around JPY 10 billion (about $90 million) in order to add to its production facilities in North Carolina. The company also said in May 2019 that it would expand its UK operations via the creation of a new BioCampus, estimated to cost $16.4 million.

GSK Contract Manufacturing

Glaxo SmithKline’s contract manufacturing unit provides fully integrated supply chain services for small molecule and biopharmaceutical products. It offers early-stage R&D and clinical supplies to the launch and growth of small, medium and large-volume medicines. The company possesses state-of-the-art facilities in a number of locations around the world. The company’s offerings include fill-finish capabilities. 

The company’s contract manufacturing services cover:

·      Active pharmaceutical ingredients

·      Steriles and clean liquids

·      Antibiotics

·      Solid dose

·      Platform technologies

·      Inhalation

·      BioPharm

·      Foams, liquids and topicals

GSK Contract Manufacturing also offers discovery and development consulting aimed to help find innovative medicines to treat a broad range of diseases.

Lonza Bioscience

Lonza offers researchers in the life science sector the tools necessary to develop and test therapeutics all the way from basic research to product debut. The company’s products and services cover a wide range, including cell culture and discovery technologies for researchers and quality control tests and software to help in the biomanufacturing process. The company offers a variety of models to help safely test biopharmaceuticals. Lonza’s new eCHO Medium product is intuitive to use and economical while supporting a consistent yield of high-quality products for recombinant protein manufacture.

Pfizer CentreOne

Pfizer CentreOne is a global contract manufacturer focusing on API synthesis and sterile injectables fill-finish. It is a self-contained CMO embedded within the larger Pfizer organization. The company was formed from the merger in 2015 of Pfizer CentreSource, a leader in specialty APIs, and Hospira One 2 One, a major sterile-injectable CMO. The combination enabled the companies to offer a broader set of services to the biopharmaceutical industry. 

In Pfizer CentreOne’s two main areas of specialty, API and drug product, the company focuses on the following:

  • Small-molecule steroid and hormone intermediates and APIs
  • Custom small-molecule API synthesis, and
  • Sterile injectables fill-finish

Samsung Biologics

Samsung Biologics offers end to end comprehensive one-stop service to provide cell-line development for commercial manufacturing of drug substances and products and biosafety testing services. The company’s manufacturing services include cGMP DS and DP manufacturing. Samsung Biologics also offers research services in its world class, state-of-the-art facilities which feature bioreactors that can manufacture at both large and small scales. The company has the largest single plant worldwide, with total capacity of 364,000L. The company has received the CMO Leadership Awards in all six categories for three years in a row through 2019.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Patheon division offers CDMO services along with clinical trial solutions. The company utilizes over 55 locations worldwide to support end-to-end drug development in the following areas:

·      API

·      Biologics

·      Viral Vector Services

·      Early and Late Phase Development

·      Clinical Trial Solutions

·      Commercial Manufacturing

Thermo Fisher spent $1.7 billion in 2019 to purchase Brammer Bio, a CDMO specializing in viral vector manufacturing for gene and cell therapies. Also in 2019, Thermo Fisher purchased a site in Cork, Ireland for around $100.6 million for drug-substance manufacturing. The company said it plans to expand the site’s capacity to develop and commercially manufacture complex APIs.

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