CEO SPOTLIGHT: JOHN CHIMINSKI
CP: When did that shift happen at the company from being a pure
contract manufacturer to a CDMO?
JC: It hasn’t been a shift in strategy for Catalent. It’s been an emphasis all along. I’m in my ninth year here as CEO. When I arrived
in 2009, Catalent was a series of a dozen or so acquisitions and most
of those companies had 30 to 40-year histories. If you took a look at
those dozen or so acquisitions their model was to follow the molecule. They had these unique technologies to solve problems, like our
Zydis platform, which went into a lot of fantastic products. Within
our businesses, we had this model of working with customers in formulating their molecules with their unique dosage forms and taking
it to fruition. Our strategy is really in advanced delivery technologies
and development. The model we have is to make sure that we have
the broadest suite of services that will help us to attract companies to
solve problems for their molecules.
CP: The pharma industry has evolved and diversified from the
blockbuster era. We’ve seen the rise of virtual companies and specialty companies, the advent of precision medicine driving niche drug
products, etc. How have these trends diversified competition amongst
JC: There are two sides to this from my perspective. On one side,
it turns out that the industry wants fewer, bigger and better suppliers. Partners that you know are going to be around for a long
time and can endure and meet the increasing regulatory compliance requirements. On the other end, you’ve got a lot of folks that
are going into a lot of different specialized areas and there can
be even more competition that arises from smaller players with
unique offerings. Moving forward we’ll continue to see the creation of smaller specialized providers, manufacturers, and technologies, but you’re also going to have the constant consolidation
of those guys with some of the bigger players because they can’t
survive in this environment by themselves.
So ultimately in my opinion it comes back to fewer, bigger and
better suppliers. That’s the biggest trend with the industry. The regulatory rigor in our space is significant and continues to grow. The
regulatory bodies are getting even better at what they do and oversight in the industry requires significant investments by companies,
both in terms of people and processes, equipment, and facilities, and
you can’t do all those things as a small company.
At Catalent we’re spending 7-8 percent of our topline on CapEx. We’re going to spend more than $135 million in CapEx this
year alone. These are mega-projects. Some of them are for compliance, some of them are for expansion,.
CP: From your perspective as a business leader, what does the industry
need to be doing better?
JC: I’ve been in the industry for about 10 years now and from
my vantage point I would say that, first and foremost, the cost
Photo courtesy of Catalent Pharma Solutions
“[O]ver the last 10 years,
pharmaceutical services companies
have become much more credible
partners as our quality, reliability,
operational excellence and capability
to innovate has improved.”