Article | December 7, 2018

Staying Flexible In Biomanufacturing

Source: GE Healthcare Life Sciences

By Firman Ghouze, GE Healthcare, and Uriel Kusiatin, Provista Diagnostics Inc.

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There are few industries that illustrate the notion of “high risk, high return” better than biopharma. In terms of the huge uncertainty in predicting who will succeed and who won’t, it’s probably comparable to the music industry – it’s a very risky business.

But what if you were able to quantify and, therefore, better manage this uncertainty? This may seem like a big ask, but a tool does exist to help businesses make better decisions in a highly uncertain environment: optionality. Essentially, optionality is the concept of keeping one’s options open so that you have multiple pathways you can take instead of committing to just one – retaining flexibility versus an “all or nothing” proposition.

But despite the high uncertainty biopharma faces, it is surprising how many people involved in the field, and especially in manufacturing, have little or no real understanding of how to best assess investments in the space, and how to apply optional approaches to help them do that.