By Eric Langer, Kamna Jhamb, and Ronald Rader
The Covid-19 pandemic is adversely affecting nearly all global industries and social functions. The biopharmaceutical industry and bioprocessing stand out as something of an exception. Because of the urgent demand for treatments, vaccines and assays, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries are experiencing disruptive, often chaotic, increased demands on its resources. This has begun to catalyze and accelerate a number of significant changes, including many preexisting trends. Essentially, the industry has been in a position to handle, or has already been preparing for this global, catastrophic event. A benefit of the rapid growth the industry has faced over the past 15 years has been that the industry has learned to be flexible, and to adapt quickly to change. ‘Flexibility’ has become a major consideration in facility design, and the selection of technologies, equipment and CMOs. This industry adaptability is already helping the industry re-tool for rapid development and production of pandemic vaccines, therapeutics, equipment and diagnostics; while also responding to changes that this worldwide mobilization of resources will bring to the industry.