Meeting the Growing Talent Demand in Cell and Gene Therapy & Biologics

October 1, 2019

Boom in cell and gene therapy

Among these segments is cell and gene therapy, where innovative science in areas such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and genetic disorders is driving rapid R&D activity to address critical unmet patient needs.

Recent scientific successes in cell and gene therapy are fostering robust venture investment in start-ups, as well as a flurry of mergers and acquisitions as larger industry players look to gain access to breakthrough products and expand their pipeline in new markets. All of this activity has brought exponential market growth that shows no signs of slowing down. According to Coherent Market Insights, the global cell and gene therapy market is projected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9% during the next eight years and reach $35.4 billion by 2026.

Growth in the biologics pipeline

Similar expansion is also taking place in biologics, where market growth is accelerating at a swift pace. According to a report from The Business Research Company, a market research and intelligence company, the global biologics market is expected to reach around $319 billion by 2021 at an annual growth rate of 9.6%.

The healthy growth of this sector, which includes monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and vaccines, has been driven by a number of key factors, including regulatory changes and the expiration of brand-name drug patents. Biologic developers have been moving quickly to fill the void – investing in robust research and development to develop novel therapies for patients with cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, and many other conditions. 

Talent is the missing piece

Healthy market growth in cell and gene therapy and biologics is driving increased need for top talent to manage critical activities in emerging cell and gene therapy R&D programs and late-stage biologics pipelines. Professionals who have a strong scientific foundation, coupled with the expertise to usher products through the clinic, establish GMP capabilities internally, and ultimately deliver a commercial-ready product are in high demand.

Today, top technical talent is also critical, particularly in cell and gene therapy. Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) in cell and gene therapy are struggling to provide capacity, and at times, can be costly for smaller organizations.

Hiring a manufacturing person internally provides companies with the opportunity to establish their internal manufacturing strategy early-on in the product development lifecycle. The addition of a technical professional who also understands the commercialization process can help cell and gene therapy companies streamline their processes and improve lead times, in some cases carving a year or two off of development timelines.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

In a marketplace where all companies are essentially competing for the same talent, organizations developing biologics and advanced therapies must implement proactive and strategic recruitment strategies that help them better attract skilled leaders. In working with clients in my practice, here’s the advice I give for staying ahead of the curve:

  • Start early. In a highly competitive market for talent, the time it takes to identify, recruit and close the right candidate will continue to grow.
  • Focus on the right cultural fit. Equally important to finding leaders who have the skills and expertise to help meet your scientific and business goals, is bringing on-board professionals who will embrace and advance your organization’s unique culture.
  • Cast a wide net. Evaluate a range of candidates before settling on the right mix of experience that are right for their organization.
  • Identify operational leaders who can straddle many worlds. Professionals who can bridge the worlds of science, technical operations and manufacturing in biologics and advanced therapies are effective in their roles advancing products into the clinic and eventually the market.

About the Author:

Todd Rosengarten is a Client Partner and leads Klein Hersh’s bioprocess development and manufacturing practice. He and his team have helped large biopharma organizations, small biotech companies, and CDMOs hire senior operational and technical executives to lead products out of discovery and into the clinic, manage global manufacturing networks, and drive product launch programs.

Authored by
Todd Rosengarten
View Contact Page Connect On Linkedin
About the Author
Todd Rosengarten is the leader of the bioprocess development and manufacturing practice at Klein Hersh International. He joined Klein Hersh in 2008 and has driven the growth of the practice, working closely with large biopharma companies and small biotechs developing cell and gene therapy products and novel biologics drugs. As the leader of the bioprocess development and manufacturing practice, Todd’s ...