‘From grass to glass’: how BioPhorum’s Strategic Framework will influence the whole in-bound supply chain

newsJul 8, 2021 | News | Phorum : Supply Partner

biophorum post images website image july7 121

Covid-19 has not only highlighted the criticality of the in-bound supply chain but some of the long-standing, systemic frailties that have allowed demand to outstrip supply and limited the supply chain’s ability to support industry growth. These include the poor interaction between biomanufacturers and suppliers and bottlenecks that could impact rapid scale-ups.

If we are to adjust to the new normal as we move from ‘pandemic to endemic’, industry must take ownership of the in-bound supply chain. It needs an overarching strategy to guide plans for solving the most critical issues and strengthen and advance in-bound supply chain operations.

BioPhorum’s Supply Partner leadership team decided it needed to ‘own’ this action and has launched its Strategic Framework for the Development of the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry In-Bound Supply Chain.

The vision is for the in-bound supply chain to be one of the best understood and managed of any industry in the world. BioPhorum  Supply Partnerwill facilitate this by being the most trusted, collaborative advisory group and an engine for driving change across the global industry for everything relating to the in-bound supply chain.

Guido Kremer, Senior Consultant, Global BioPharm Center of Excellence at Merck , said that the framework would bring value to companies and their supply chain partnerships. “Going through the tough time of Covid-19, we realized that we needed to strengthen our relationships with our suppliers. The framework will allow us to work on a one-by-one basis in collaboration with our suppliers to enhance our relationships in terms of business continuity, future plans, digitalization and so on.”

The framework will guide BioPhorum’s collaborative approach to solving industry’s most important supply chain issues over the next two –five years. To support this, the team has developed a series of strategic objectives (such as ‘Providing safety, resilience and quality’ and being ‘Underpinned by end-to-end digitization’) and related success measures to evaluate progress over time.

Priority projects

Helped by BioPhorum Supply Partner’s membership reaching a critical mass of 30+ biomanufacturers and a similar number of suppliers, the framework will provide added focus on project selection and prioritization.

It will help us drive how we affect industry’s long-term, strategic outcomes while binding the biomanufacturer and supplier collaboration together even more because everyone will work towards the same goals. The framework will also give each member company a narrative to get the in-house support needed for their tactical and strategic initiatives.

“Biomanufacturers and suppliers generally work in parallel and do not necessarily share the same goals,” said Benjamin Jequier, Head of Site Supply Chain at Takeda. “Covid-19 has shone a light on this situation and has been a nightmare in the supply chain. We recognized we needed a common language to understand each other’s challenges and needs. The Framework is patient-centric, responds to regulatory affairs and will allow us to put all of our energy into solving industry’s most important challenges.”

Developing the framework echoes the conversations of the Senior BioPhorum Connect group consisting of senior sponsors in the industry, which has looked to find a way to move away from point solutions to industry-wide solutions for problems that need to be addressed.

To share a phrase with Dutch multinational dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina (one of our members that supplies cell culture media ingredients), we want to influence the whole supply chain ‘from grass to glass’. For example, from the soya bean field that makes the protein for cell culture media through to the glass vial containing the end product before it is injected into a patient.

The framework may even lead to self-sustaining projects that exist beyond the interaction with BioPhorum. These projects may be independently run and funded, such as training courses with BioPhorum best practices built-in, a web platform for pre-qualifying suppliers and/or allowing the use of standard processes across the in-bound supply chain (e.g. with common contract terms). This will involve BioPhorum forming partnerships to collaborate with other external organizations to help achieve the in-bound supply chain vision to benefit all stakeholders and, ultimately, patients.

It will also help with BioPhorum’s ‘One voice’ conversations with regulatory agencies and other bodies so they can see we have a clear direction that our individual projects are working towards.

This unifying framework will help unite biomanufacturers and suppliers in collaboration and partnership. This is the first strategy of its kind to develop the in-bound supply chain for the biomanufacturing industry and show a higher level of commitment and partnership to make sector-wide changes – rather than the current complicated, confusing and inefficient way with every company having to create multiple individual ways of addressing shared issues.

Follow BioPhorum

Related tags

Recent releases


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cell & Gene Therapy

Maximizing the impact of the many advanced therapies under development requires that the industry comes together to improve understanding of how to develop, control and manufacture these life changing therapies.

We connect strategic thinkers in drug development and contract manufacturing organizations with the aim of ensuring harmonization and alignment around issues such as potency assays, phase-appropriate guidance for critical quality attributes, operator safety, regulatory guidelines, and C&GT-specific validation issues, as well as working toward resolving the current challenges to commercializing C&GT products. Discover more and learn about the outputs here.

Development Group

The ever-increasing need to reduce product development lead times and the opportunities to exploit innovative technologies in development are two key industry themes that remain at the forefront of our work. The Phorum successfully connects process development organizations and provides a space where subject matter experts can work on issues such as quality by design and process characterization, cell line technologies, and molecule selection. Read some of the outputs and discover how you could benefit by getting involved.

Drug Substance

Accelerating improvement, exploiting opportunities offered by innovation, and identifying best practice approaches across all aspects of the manufacturing process – these are the essential objectives

Data and digital capabilities are at the core of many of these industry challenges. Work in BioPhorum Drug Substance is informed by BioPhorum Technology Strategy, which has summarized our industry’s market drivers and trends. Capacity, flexibility, sustainability and pace all feature as requirements to succeed in a rapidly changing environment.

Find out more about what our members are currently discussing and learn about some of the successful implementations of our output.

Fill Finish

Quality and demonstrating compliance are two priorities of BioPhorum Fill Finish. Representatives of the world’s top sterile filling operations come together to develop solutions to some of the most intractable technical and regulatory challenges.To address these challenges in drug product aseptic filling (‘fill’) and secondary packaging (‘finish’) operations, our community of industry experts is working relentlessly to continually improve the pharmaceutical quality system (PQS). Together they continue to strive towards developing and implementing safe, predictable, lean, and agile processes in drug product operations. Find out more about the Phorum output here. 

Information Technology

IT and digital advances are crucial in responding to the pharmaceutical industry’s challenges around speed, cost, quality, flexibility, and sustainability. Unlocking and realizing the value in the industry’s IT opportunities is the core mission of the IT Phorum. 

The digital manufacturing facility of the future needs to consider technology advances alongside organizational perspectives while maintaining foundational security requirements. All elements must be considered in the long term to deliver systemic change toward the digital factory vision. Our members collaborate in a format that stimulates and supports industry innovation and implementation. 


BioPhorum Regulatory CMC is affording professionals the opportunity to shape their own collaboration program focused on challenges and opportunities across strategy, science, operations, submissions and compliance. Following a discovery program of work with Heads of Regulatory CMC, in which we identified some key topics of collaboration, we are giving you the opportunity to participate and help us to shape the final collaboration program. This will focus on, filing and review, interactions with Health Authorities, and harmonization. Our mission is not just to discuss, but to deliver applicable outputs and publications that will have an impact – learn more about how you can get involved.

Supply Chain to Patient

The pharmaceutical outbound supply chain was built on a blockbuster model and doesn’t fit the needs of the changing pipeline and new modalities currently being developed. The geopolitical challenges of recent years have shown that the outbound supply chain needs to evolve to become more agile, and resilient, and address a more expectant end-user bying on patient-centricity. Industry collaboration can accelerate improvements and transform performance in a way not possible when working independently. This Phorum is founded on the belief that learning from each other and challenging current thinking to re-imagine the supply chain can reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Supply Partner

BioPhorum SP members want the inbound supply chain for the biomanufacturing industry to be recognized as one of the best-understood and managed global supply chains. They intend to be not only a trusted advisory group but also the engine that drives change for the industry. Working together, we aim to achieve supply chain transformation that provides:

  • an enhanced robustness and resilience
  • accelerated capability and capacity to effect technology adoption
  • reduced cost of quality, and
  • industry-wide alignment on operational implementation

There’s an extensive list of Phorum successes and tangible benefits that have been delivered to define industry best practise.


The BioPhorum Sustainability program is jointly designed, governed, and delivered by a membership drawn from licence holders, contract manufacturers, major suppliers and niche suppliers. This dynamic partnership means that we can quickly focus on the areas that have the greatest industry impact, and we can leverage learning from each other and other sectors – the chemical industry and the built environment for example.

BioPhorum’s unique ability to build a strong coalition for change for an entire industry is now being applied to the greatest challenge of our generation. Driven by evident industry needs, Phorum members are working to develop agreed industry benchmarks, establish the ROI of sustainability investments and to increase the efficacy of implementation of members’ sustainability strategies.

Technology Strategy

With a mission to define strategies to accelerate technology transformation and support the adoption of innovative technologies, BioPhorum Technology Strategy evolved from BioPhorum Technology Roadmapping, strives to realize the technology roadmap vision 2.0.

This is being achieved through a multi-stakeholder team of member companies with collective capability and influence who are committed to driving forth industry goals associated with: Speed to market, Quality, Value, Agility and On-Demand Supply and Sustainability.

Building on industry feedback to standardize plasmid release specifications

Plasmids release specifications are critical to the manufacture of many cell and gene therapy (CGT) products, but current regulatory... read more

How to predict, optimize and analyze high-concentration biologic therapeutic formulations

Developing high-dose biologic drugs for subcutaneous injection often requires high-concentration formulations. It also needs to optimize... read more

A media fingerprinting toolbox that comes with a host of benefits

Cell culture media raw materials can contain many chemical substances, each with its own properties. While simple substances can be... read more

Why 100% visual inspection does not mean 100% defect detection

There is a common misunderstanding that 100% visual inspection (VI) of biopharmaceutical products should mean 100% detection of defects.... read more

How to bridge the data integration gap between sponsors and contract organizations

Bringing BioPhorum’s unique perspective to continuous manufacturing in biologics

Continuous manufacturing (CM) has been a goal for the pharmaceutical industry for several years. While small molecule drug substances and... read more

Supply Chain to Patient has launched!

Have your outbound supply chain costs increased? Do you want to leverage data and digital technologies more effectively to reduce... read more

Electronic data exchange – the foundation for an efficient, resilient inbound supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical unrest, and military action across the world have fundamentally disrupted the assumption and practice... read more

How are you improving your environmental sustainability performance?

Climate change and global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions are widely recognized as the biggest threats to global health.... read more

Adding value for analytical instrument partners

Analytical instrument vendors have been integral to developing and publishing our technology roadmaps and developing product... read more

Introducing MediPhorum

The medical technology (MedTech) industry is a critical and complex sector. As highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic, the MedTech industry provides a wide array of products and technologies that are vital to the safe and effective provision of care to many. Also, as seen over recent years, there is often the requirement for flexibility in supply, rapid development, and the introduction of new products to keep pace with global public health demands.

Advanced Wound Care and Wound Management

Advanced wound care (AWC) is the medical treatment for wounds that have not healed properly using conventional wound care products such as gauze, bandages, plasters, and wadding.

AWC involves treating chronic or complex wounds using products that are not as easily obtained over the counter. AWC can be divided into three main categories: wound healing, infection prevention, and restoration.

Drug Delivery

Drug delivery products are therapeutic and diagnostic products combining drugs, devices, and/or biological products, which enable safer and more efficient treatment due to careful and precise drug targeting, local administration, and tailored treatment.

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more
BioPhorum Deliverables Report
BioPhorum brings you the latest Deliverables Report, an informative and inspiring consolidation of the benchmarks, position papers, guidance documents, assessment tools, industry user requirements, study results, and roadmaps produced in the last twelve months.
BioPhorum Downloads
Access a variety of free tools and papers and other resources designed to provide you with up-to-date information and insights to help you make informed decisions and maximize your success. Access our resources today and start making improving and streamlining your business processes.
Case Studies
Welcome to the BioPhorum case studies page, where you can learn how our clients have used our service to discover innovative solutions and save money. Here you can read real-life stories of how various organizations have used our unique data-driven approach to streamline their processes and make the most of their resources. Whether you're looking for inspiration or want to learn more about the potential benefits of our service, you'll find it here.
Webinars and podcasts
Welcome to BioPhorum Connect, the podcast series that keeps you up to date with the latest news and trends in the biopharmaceutical industry. From experienced professionals to thought leaders, this podcast brings you the insights and perspectives of experts from around the world. We'll discuss all aspects of the biopharmaceutical industry, from digitization and knowledge management to raw materials, supply chain, sustainability and more. So, join us on our journey as we explore the world of biopharmaceuticals and learn from the perspectives of those at the forefront of the industry.
Share This