Skyepharma is part of the Vectura Group of companies and is a leader in drug development and delivery of oral technologies serving the global pharmaceutical, biotech and consumer health industries. Skyepharma’s controlled-release technologies and oral solids capability offer formulation, development and manufacturing services for oral solid tablets, as well as powders, pellets, beads and granules.

Over the last two years a significant and highly successful transformation has been taking place at the Skyepharma site in Lyon, France. The mission has been to transform the site into an end-to-end contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) with services extending from early stage development and manufacturing through to serialisation, aggregation and packaging. The journey began in July 2016 and has been organised around three core strands of activity – culture change, industrial equipment and business development.

Perhaps the hardest challenge of all in any transformation is changing culture, but here is where the company has had notable success, with progress made in delivering on time, reducing deviations and dramatically reducing absenteeism.

We’ve made a huge effort on quality. We follow the Japanese Gemba method, so every morning myself and senior leaders walk the floor to see the equipment and talk to staff. It helps us get in touch directly with our teams, focusing on helping them make decisions and present issues. It’s a very powerful tool.

David Lescuyer, President of Skyepharma

Governance has also changed at the site, with most meetings run as 30-minute stand-up meetings using large visual boards. “This enables us to reduce time spent in meetings and focus on efficiency,” said David.

Investment in the site since 2016 has seen the introduction of two new packaging lines for bottle and blister production. This, together with an initial investment in early stage development equipment, has enabled the true end-to-end service at the heart of the Skyepharma vision. Investment in business development has also expanded significantly, with a dedicated business development team, new website and attendance at high profile CDMO exhibitions such as CPHI and DCAT. The increased visibility and improved offering is now paying off, with almost 100 employees and an expanding client list.

Find out more on the Skyepharma website