A Global Industry…
In previous blogs we’ve made note of the globalization of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and how “made in China” is shifting to include “discovered or developed in China” as life science companies conduct an increasing amount of research there. Likewise, India is transforming from a nation of reliable generics manufacturers to pharmaceutical innovators, and Korea and Taiwan are partnering with companies throughout the world to expand their already solid biotech capabilities. Drug discovery and development is becoming a global endeavor.
That is true of clinical trials, too. As the American clinical trials market becomes saturated, companies are looking abroad. They report that researchers and patients are eager to participate. In China, for example, 8,140 clinical trials are underway, just slightly fewer than the number of trials conducted in Canada and a 10-fold increase from four years ago. China is hardly alone. The number of trials is increasing rapidly throughout the developing world, as countries sometimes view clinical trials as a first step to developing their own pharmaceutical industries.
The globalization of the life sciences industry means that cold chain shipping is becoming increasingly important and widespread and that customer service logistics to support clinical trials shipping needs to keep pace. Some estimate the annual market for shipments at or below freezing (0° C) at more than 4 million shipments, globally.
Today, approximately 95 percent of the shipments of blood, stem cells, cancer biopsies and patients’ specimens are shipped at or below freezing temperatures. Some of those items – notably embryos and semen – must be shipped at cryogenic or deep frozen conditions, below the -136°C “glass-point”. Such deep frozen shipping constitutes approximately 5 percent of all cold chain shipments today.
Logistics service providers (LSPs) are watching these trends keenly, and responding. Several traditional LSPs have entered the cold chain market with offerings specifically geared towards life sciences. Federal Express and DHL are among them, partnering with CryoPort to use our CryoPort Express® cryogenic dry shipper and CryoPortal™ to enhance their global logistics operations.
CryoPort has been watching the industry, too, and recently expanded its customer service operation to provide 24/7/365 availability. With round-the-clock accessibility every day of the year, clients, regardless of where the are around the globe, never need to watch the clock and wait for the start of the day in a different time zone to request information or support. Additionally, CryoPort’s customer care operation has client representatives fluent in multiple languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese.
As the pharmaceutical cold chain industry continues to grow globally, CryoPort is ready to be the premier cold chain logistics provider. With our innovative dry shipper keepping shipments frozen even on long haul routes, and a web-based order tracking portal backed by 24/7/365 customer service, our clients increasingly recognize that specialty couriers are an unnecessary expense.