Featuring: Min Park, Chief Business Officer, Aton Biotech.
In an industry with no shortage of contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), it is vital to stand out and create unique value for customers. Aton Biotech branched off from its parent company, Henlius Biotech, in 2022 and has hit the ground running by focusing less on building excess biomanufacturing capacity and more on providing CDMO services with expertise in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) and process development. Park said that although Aton is less than a year old, it values the experience its seasoned team and continuing relationship with Henlius. At the same time, Park said, Aton embraces the nimbleness and flexibility characteristic of new organizations.
Unlike companies that specialize in drug products or drug substances, Aton offers services for both. Its current facility has 40,000 L of bioreactor capacity and is poised to expand further in the coming years. The company already has produced more than 600 commercial batches and is currently manufacturing five different products. Park explained that anybody can invest in the creation of a new CDMO, but only companies with the right experience will provide the best service to customers.
Drug developers seeking to advance with antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) need to overcome a great deal of complexity, including supply-chain issues that are prevalent across the biopharmaceutical industry, particularly as more businesses invest in the conjugate modality. The CMC heads of such companies need to spend time navigating logistical difficulties and performing due diligence, which can be especially straining for those tasked with managing multiple programs. Park said that businesses seeking to simplify the ADC supply chain can do so by leveraging services that cover all parts of the modality. He emphasized the value of CDMOs that operate as “one-stop shops,” because they accelerate timelines, mitigate risk, and create value.
Park also emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership between a CDMO and its customers. He said that Aton Biotech encourages frequent communication between its scientists and those from partner companies, inviting customers to leverage Aton’s experience and call upon it for whatever help they need.
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