Interesting post here from Fierce Biotech on emerging feasibility of virtual (even zero-person) biotech companies. It seems that there are may more vendor choices available now -- so-called outsourced drug developers (ODDs) -- instead of only the CROs that used to be the only game in town for outsourcing. The big difference being that ODDs have more skills (in particular niches) to augment the skill sets offered by CROs. As a result, a much greater gamut of the full drug develop process can be outsourced from highly competent partners.
The value is obvious -- keeping brick and mortar and overhead to a minimum. Plus these type of partnerships can be extremely flexible and highly innovative now, i.e. really good people with imaginatin and flair can be accessed in this virtual model. These are the type of people often who don't want to work in a Big Pharma company or CRO due to stifling rules. These ODD-types can now be had to design appropriately innovative studies that can be executed by the more by-the-book organizations, like CROs. This also has the benefit of breakng the drug development cycle down into its constituent parts and makes costs of the parts transparent. A new dawn has arrived -- at least as an option for more innovative drug developers.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Aug 5th 2013.