What to Look for in a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Partner

If you’re a small company just getting started in the field of pharmaceuticals, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed as a small fish in a big pond. From resources to expenses, there is so much to consider and not as much opportunity for smaller companies to grow without an experienced partner in the field. 

The best thing to do is look for a CMO or a CDMO to partner with through the process. When it comes to pharmaceutical manufacturing and/or development, a partner can save you time, money, and provide great insight and expertise along the way. 

So, what is a CMO? CDMO? And, what should you look for before committing to a partnership? Here’s a quick overview of what to consider when searching out a partner that suits your company’s unique needs.


A CMO is a contract manufacturing organization, meaning their job is to manufacture the drugs produced by your company. A CDMO—contract development and manufacturing organization—take things a step further, not only handling the manufacturing of the drug but also cover every aspect of development, including assisting with analyzing and blending the formula. Consider what your needs are, and choose an organization that has the services you need.



In the pharmaceutical industry, technology plays a key role in the production process. No matter what drug you’re developing, you need technology that suits your specific needs and optimizes the process. Aside from having access to the right technology to manufacture the product, your partner organization should have a competent team that knows how to use those advances appropriately and extensively.

Access to advanced, cutting-edge tech can also be an indicator of how well the organization is doing. It means your prospective partners have the funds to invest in improving their operation, likely meaning a track record of success with other partnerships.



As with any organization, reputation is vital to success. In the pharmaceutical industry, that reputation is even more important, because of both the amount of time and money that goes into drug development, as well as the standard of quality. There is no room for error in this industry, and the company that can take you from trials to FDA approval will have a reputation in the industry for doing just that.

Their reputation should also tell you whether they have a record of adhering to pharmaceutical regulatory standards. This is particularly important for small companies without a regulatory department to keep compliance at the forefront.


You’ll need to find an organization who fits well with the scale of the drug development. Consider batch size when choosing the right partner to manufacture the drug substance. It may not be cost-effective to commit to a partnership with an organization too large or too small.

Overall, finding the right partner comes down to your individual goals and whether they can be achieved. Ensure that whoever you choose has the right record of timeliness, detail, and success in the pharmaceutical industry.