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The 5 Qualities to Look for in a Pharmaceutical CDMO Partner


Finding the right CDMO partner in pharma has become even more challenging due to stricter manufacturing standards. If you're looking for the right CDMO to partner with, you'll have to keep in mind factors like quality, capacity, adherence to regulations, and long-term practicality. 

In this article, we'll take you through an in-depth list of the qualities you should look for to find a pharmaceutical CDMO that fits your needs.

1. Great Communication

A collaboration's success or failure primarily depends on the quality of communication between partners. Make sure to look for signs of productive and positive communication in your meetings with your shortlisted CDMOs. 

You should also examine the communication norms within the CDMO, such as the internal collaboration of their project teams and the involvement of senior leadership. You need to have open communication with your CDMO partner to encourage compatibility, constructive criticism, honest feedback, and deeper mutual understanding between partners. 

2. Capacity

Before you set out to find the right partner, make sure you have precise knowledge of your needs ” starting from the required capacity. You'd be surprised how many small to mid-sized CDMOs can handle your required quantity of outsourced manufacturing, so there's no need to spend the big bucks on large names.

The outsourced manufacturing industry in pharma has seen a wave of acquisitions and mergers in recent years. This means more smaller-sized CDMOs have expanded their production potential through collaborations and managing their own outsourced partners. 

3. Track Record

When it comes to finding the right pharmaceutical CDMO for a long-term partnership, the track record is probably the most indicative factor there is. Nothing beats a well-established track record of quality and service in the field of pharma. You should prioritize a spotless track record as one of the main things you look for before sealing the deal.

4. Reliability 

The reliability of a manufacturing organization should be evident by its track record, but it's something you should especially look for. Since it's going to be a long-term collaboration, it's important to work with a CDMO that honors its word, remains punctual, and makes no compromises on quality. 

Besides a CDMO's track record, there are many other indicators that speak volumes about its reliability. These include having access to cutting-edge technology and long-standing relationships with previous clients.

5. Technical Competence

There's a reason why we've placed this essential quality last. That's because technical competence comes with years of experience and a large production capacity. A CDMO that is technically competent represents high adaptability to change and exposure to the latest techniques and equipment ” both of which are vital factors in a long-term manufacturing partner.

Technical competence in a CDMO shows its forward-thinking tendencies which means it won't be overrun by the market anytime soon. As the challenges of the world of pharma diversify, so will a technically competent CDMO ” and that's exactly what you need. 


Like all other sectors of the industry, the healthcare space has seen extraordinary growth in the last few years ” partially fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has posed all-new challenges in the outsourced manufacturing realm. However, it has also provided all-new opportunities for growth, such as being forced to implement more efficient models for production, management, and delivery. 

Amidst all this, you should look for a partner that prioritizes product quality, punctuality, and communication to ensure a long-term productive collaboration. All the best!