Vaccine Capacity Musical Chairs

By Devan Patel

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Last week Moderna announced that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is estimated to be 94.5% effective in clinical trial. This comes a week after we received similarly good news from Pfizer on their vaccine candidate.

My initial thoughts are WOW! In a year when the hits keep coming, this is news worth celebrating. My colleagues and I at Pii were confident that a vaccine would be developed quickly, but we were quietly confident, not wanting to overstate what we knew the pharmaceutical industry was capable of achieving. The speed at which this milestone was accomplished is remarkable considering pharmaceutical development is typically measured in years, not months. It is times like this that I am proud to be part of this industry.

My next thoughts were related to vaccine manufacturing capacity. In my role at Pii I speak with everyone who reaches out to us for manufacturing services. It is an exciting role as I hear about innovative scientific concepts that have been years, sometimes decades, in their development. In the past six months, I’ve spoken to more vaccine developers than I have in the previous eight years, all of them searching for production capacity.

From the developer’s perspective it is like global musical chairs. For those non-COVID-19 vaccine developers, the priority given to the pandemic has created tenuous conditions for their own vaccine production. Many are concerned that they will be affected if manufacturing capacity they are counting on is used, understandably so, for COVID-19 vaccine production.

With the good news from Pfizer, Moderna, and many other organizations completing their clinical trials and vaccine production, and distribution being maybe only weeks away, does this mean the music has stopped and it is time to grab a chair?

Let me know your thoughts on the state of non-COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity.

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ABOUT Pii

Pharmaceutics International, Inc. (Pii) is a US-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The experienced scientists, engineers, and staff at Pii pride themselves on adroitly employing a phase appropriate method of drug development for the prudent use of their client’s resources as they solve challenging problems. In addition to offering end-to-end development services, Pii manufactures a variety of dosage forms to include complex parenteral drugs and has a wealth of analytical testing capabilities. Its Hunt Valley campus has four aseptic suites with lyophilization capabilities. Our talented professionals stand ready to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devan Patel

Devan Patel
Senior Director, Project Management

Devan Patel joined Pii in 2012 as a member of the Project Management team.

Devan has held roles of increasing responsibility in Project Management leading key development and commercial programs for Pii for both the orals and injectables. With his leadership, Pii has built a world-class Project Management Organization (PMO) consistently characterized by superb customer experience. Over the years, Devan has used his knowledge and technical skills to play a vital role for the Operations team, managing key initiatives for the Parenteral/Sterile business unit, including managing the overall scheduling and planning of all Aseptic Operations. His collaborative style when working with cross-functional teams across Pii’s business units and ability to anticipate problems before they occur as raised the role of project management to an artform. Devan delivers a positive, outcomes-focused experience for our client-partners, from initial contact through successful completion of each project.

Devan earned his Bachelors in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland and a M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.