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Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market

Market Study on Small Molecule CMO/CDMO: PMR Foresees Various Opportunities, Analysing rising outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, increasing complexity in drug development, and the pursuit of cost efficiencies and flexibility in manufacturing processes

A Detailed Analysis of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market Based on Expanding Pharmaceutical Industry Outsourcing, Increased Demand for Specialized Expertise, and Cost-Effective Solutions in Drug Development and Manufacturing

Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market

The global small molecule CMO/CDMO market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 5.1% and thereby increase from a value of US$72.01 Bn in 2023 to US$ 1,02.01 Bn by the end of 2030.


Key Insights

Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market Size (2023E)

US$72.01 Bn

Projected Market Value (2030F)

US$ 1,02.01 Bn

Global Market Growth Rate (CAGR 2023 to 2030)


Historical Market Growth Rate (CAGR 2018 to 2022)


Revenue Share of Top Four Countries (2022E)


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Market Introduction and Definition

The small molecule CMO/CDMO market encompasses contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) specializing in small molecule drug production. These entities play a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry by providing outsourcing services for the development, manufacturing, and often regulatory support for small molecule drugs. Small molecules constitute a significant portion of pharmaceutical compounds, and outsourcing their production to specialized CMOs/CDMOs allows pharmaceutical companies to focus on core competencies, reduce costs, and expedite the drug development process.

The small molecule CMO/CDMO market is driven by various factors, including the growing complexity of drug development, increased outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical industry, and the need for specialized expertise in small molecule production. As pharmaceutical companies face challenges in managing diverse and intricate drug pipelines, they turn to CMOs/CDMOs to benefit from their expertise, infrastructure, and flexibility. Opportunities in the market arise from advancements in technology, particularly in areas like continuous manufacturing, which enhances efficiency and reduces production costs.

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Market Growth Drivers

Increasing Demand for Specialized Small Molecule Manufacturing Services

One of the key drivers propelling the higher market growth of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO (Contract Manufacturing Organization/Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) market is the growing demand for specialized manufacturing services. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are increasingly outsourcing their small molecule drug development and production activities to CMO/CDMO partners with specialized expertise. As the complexity of drug development rises, companies seek CMO/CDMOs that offer advanced technologies, specialized knowledge, and a track record of successful small molecule manufacturing. This trend fosters a competitive landscape where CMO/CDMOs are continually expanding their capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition, another significant driver fueling the growth of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is the strategic shift among pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies towards outsourcing to enhance cost-efficiency and focus on core competencies. Outsourcing small molecule manufacturing allows companies to reduce operational costs associated with in-house production, mitigate risks, and benefit from the specialized expertise offered by CMO/CDMO partners. This trend is especially pronounced in the small molecule segment, where intricate manufacturing processes and stringent quality requirements necessitate collaboration with experienced CMO/CDMOs.

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Market Restraints

Regulatory Compliance Challenges

A factor that might affect the market performance in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO (Contract Manufacturing Organization/Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) market is the intricate landscape of regulatory compliance. The pharmaceutical industry operates within a highly regulated environment, and compliance with diverse and evolving regulations is crucial for market dominance. CMO/CDMOs face the challenge of adhering to stringent quality standards, regional regulatory variations, and changing guidelines imposed by health authorities. Failure to navigate these complexities may result in delays, increased costs, or regulatory setbacks, impacting a company's dominance in the market.

Global Supply Chain Disruptions

One significant challenge facing the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO (Contract Manufacturing Organization/Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) market is the vulnerability to global supply chain disruptions. The interconnected nature of pharmaceutical supply chains exposes CMO/CDMOs to risks such as raw material shortages, transportation bottlenecks, and geopolitical uncertainties. These disruptions can lead to delays in production, increased costs, and challenges in meeting client demands. Navigating these complexities requires strategic risk management, agile supply chain strategies, and proactive measures to ensure continuity and resilience. Overcoming these global supply chain challenges is vital for sustaining growth and competitiveness in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market.

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Advanced Technologies Adoption to Propose Great Promise

The Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market can seize the opportunity to enhance revenue by embracing and implementing cutting-edge technologies. The integration of advanced manufacturing technologies such as continuous manufacturing, process analytical technology (PAT), and artificial intelligence can significantly improve efficiency, reduce production costs, and streamline workflows. Small Molecule CMO/CDMOs investing in these technologies can offer innovative and cost-effective solutions to pharmaceutical companies, thereby attracting a broader client base and maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Moreover, a strategic opportunity for revenue growth in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market lies in the production of niche and specialty drugs. As the pharmaceutical industry experiences a shift towards personalized medicine and targeted therapies, there is an increasing demand for CMOs/CDMOs with expertise in manufacturing small batches of specialized drugs. By positioning themselves as specialists in the production of niche pharmaceuticals, Small Molecule CMO/CDMOs can cater to the rising needs of pharmaceutical companies developing therapies for rare diseases and specific patient populations, fostering long-term collaborations and revenue expansion.

Analyst’s Viewpoint

The market witnesses robust growth fueled by increasing pharmaceutical outsourcing trends. Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) play pivotal roles in this ecosystem, offering tailored solutions to pharmaceutical companies. The market's upward trajectory is propelled by the rising demand for specialized expertise, cost-effective manufacturing, and streamlined processes. As pharmaceutical companies focus on core competencies, CMOs/CDMOs become strategic partners, driving innovation and efficiency. However, challenges such as regulatory complexities and the need for advanced technologies pose hurdles. The future promises evolution, marked by technological integrations and strategic alliances. The market's resilience lies in its ability to adapt to changing industry landscapes, addressing emerging pharmaceutical needs. Collaborative partnerships and innovative solutions are expected to define the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market's trajectory, presenting opportunities for sustainable growth and market leadership.

Supply-side Dynamics

The supply-side dynamics of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market are marked by a robust ecosystem of contract manufacturing and development organizations meeting the increasing demand for specialized services. As pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies focus on core competencies, they increasingly rely on CMOs/CDMOs for efficient, cost-effective, and flexible manufacturing solutions. The market benefits from a diverse range of service offerings, encompassing process development, analytical method development, GMP manufacturing services, scale-up and tech transfer, quality control, quality assurance, regulatory assistance, and technological innovation. This diversity allows clients to tailor services according to their specific needs, fostering a dynamic and responsive supply chain.

China plays a pivotal role in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market, emerging as a major supplier due to its expanding pharmaceutical industry and advanced manufacturing capabilities. The country offers a compelling combination of cost-effectiveness, skilled workforce, and state-of-the-art facilities, attracting global pharmaceutical companies to outsource manufacturing activities. As a key player, China's CMOs/CDMOs contribute significantly to the market's growth by providing a wide array of services, from early-phase clinical development to commercial-scale manufacturing. The country's strategic investments in research and development, coupled with a well-established regulatory framework, position it as a central hub for small molecule manufacturing services, influencing the market's supply-side dynamics on a global scale.

Market Segmentation

Which Product Are Expected to Benefit the Most from Revenue Generation?

Extensive Sales for HPAPI Due to Increasing Demand for Specialized and Targeted Therapies

The Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is notably dominated by High Potency Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI). The surge in demand for specialized and targeted therapies, particularly in oncology, has propelled the prominence of HPAPI production. Given their high potency and intricacy in synthesis processes, HPAPIs necessitate precise manufacturing capabilities. Furthermore, fastest-growing category is Standard Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). The increasing demand for generic drugs, coupled with the expanding pharmaceutical landscape, propels the growth of Standard API manufacturing. These APIs are essential components of widely used medications, and their production caters to the burgeoning need for affordable and accessible treatments.

What Service Will Be Targeted the Most for Installations?

Highest Percent Share Attributed to GMP Manufacturing Service Owing to Rising Requirements for Real-time Data Monitoring

The dominant category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is GMP Manufacturing Service. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a critical regulatory framework ensuring the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products during the manufacturing process. As pharmaceutical companies increasingly outsource their manufacturing needs to specialized contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), the demand for GMP-compliant services has soared. Furthermore, the fastest-growing category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is Technology and Innovation services. In an era of rapid technological advancements and evolving pharmaceutical landscapes, companies are increasingly seeking partners that offer cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions.

Which Area of Company Size to be Focused on the Most Regarding Sales?

Large Company Size to Widen Footprint Due to Extensive Resources and Diversified Pipelines

The dominant category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is Large Companies. Large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies hold a commanding position in the outsourcing landscape due to their extensive resources, diversified pipelines, and global operations. These industry giants often collaborate with Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) to leverage their specialized expertise and capacity. Furthermore, The fastest-growing category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is Mid-sized Companies. Mid-sized companies are experiencing rapid growth in outsourcing partnerships as they offer a unique combination of flexibility, specialized services, and a collaborative approach. Mid-sized CMOs and CDMOs cater to the needs of emerging pharmaceutical and biotech firms that seek tailored solutions and a more personalized engagement.

Which are Scale of Operation to be Dominant Regarding Sales?

Commercial to Dominate Sales Owing to Widening High-Volume Production Requirements

The dominant category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is Commercial Scale Operations. This dominance is driven by the critical role that Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) play in supporting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies during the commercialization phase. Furthermore, the fastest-growing category in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market is Phase III Operations. As pharmaceutical products advance through the drug development lifecycle, reaching Phase III clinical trials signifies a crucial stage before potential commercialization. The rapid growth of Phase III Operations is fueled by the increasing demand for manufacturing services that can support large-scale production for pivotal clinical trials.

Top Regional Markets

Why is Europe Emerging as a Dominating Region

Technical Expertise and Regulatory Compliance to Fuel Growth for Easier Market Adoption

Europe emerges as a dominating region in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market, primarily due to its strong pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities, technical expertise, and stringent regulatory compliance. The region hosts several established Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) known for their advanced infrastructure and adherence to high-quality standards. European facilities often specialize in handling complex processes, including the production of High Potency Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPIs), contributing to the region's prominence in the market. Additionally, the European regulatory framework ensures conformity with international quality standards, instilling confidence among pharmaceutical companies seeking outsourcing services, thus solidifying Europe's leadership in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market

What Opportunities Lies in South Asia & Pacific for Manufacturers?

Strategic Investments and Growing Pharmaceutical Landscape to Advance Growth

South Asia & Pacific emerges as the fastest-growing region in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market, driven by strategic investments and the flourishing pharmaceutical landscape. The region's attractiveness stems from the increasing outsourcing trend among pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, seeking cost-effective and specialized manufacturing solutions. Robust government initiatives and a favorable regulatory environment further contribute to the region's appeal. With a rising number of contract manufacturing organizations establishing a strong presence, South Asia & Pacific positions itself as a hub for small molecule CMO/CDMO services, experiencing unparalleled growth in response to the escalating demand for outsourced pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Competitive Intelligence and Business Strategy

Prominent organizations, including Pfizer CentreOne, Baxter BioPharma Solutions, Catalent, Lonza, are at the vanguard of this sector, competitive intelligence plays a pivotal role in shaping business strategies. Companies engaged in pharmaceutical outsourcing keenly analyze their competitors' capabilities, technological advancements, and service offerings. Insights into the competitive landscape aid in identifying market gaps, understanding pricing dynamics, and gauging customer preferences. Successful players leverage competitive intelligence to enhance their service portfolios, improve operational efficiency, and ensure compliance with evolving regulations. The ability to anticipate market trends and competitors' moves empowers firms to stay agile, fostering innovation and maintaining a strategic edge in a rapidly evolving industry.

The strategic landscape in the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market necessitates a multifaceted approach for sustained success. Proactive business strategies include forging strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, diversifying service offerings, and investing in cutting-edge technologies. To gain a competitive advantage, companies focus on operational excellence, ensuring a seamless transition from development to manufacturing. Moreover, fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement is paramount.

Key Recent Developments

New Product Launch

In July 2023, Adare Pharma Solutions which is a multinational CDMO driven by technology and specializing in oral dosage forms, announced that it has successfully divested its Adare Biome business unit-a leader in the creation and production of postbiotics-to dsm-firmenich, a company that pioneers in health, nutrition and beauty.

Market Impact: This move is poised to enhance the company's core strengths and operational efficiency, providing a strategic advantage in the competitive landscape of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market. The divestiture aligns with Adare Pharma Solutions' broader business strategy, aiming to optimize its portfolio for sustained growth and innovation.

June 2023 - Catalent announced that it has broadened the scope of its One Bio Suite solution, comprising development, manufacturing, and supply for a range of biotechnological modalities including antibody and recombinant proteins, cellular and gene therapy as well as mRNA.

Market Impact: The expansion of Catalent's One Bio Suite solution in June 2023 represents a strategic leap forward in its capabilities, encompassing a diverse array of biotechnological modalities. With a comprehensive offering spanning development, manufacturing, and supply for various segments like antibodies, recombinant proteins, cellular and gene therapy, and mRNA, Catalent positions itself as a versatile player in the evolving landscape of the Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market. This initiative fortifies Catalent's position, offering clients a holistic solution to address a wide spectrum of biotechnological needs.

Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market Report Scope



Forecast Period

2023 to 2030

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Market Analysis

US$ Million for Value

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Asia & Pacific
  • East Asia
  • The Middle East & Africa  

Key Countries Covered

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • GCC Countries
  • South Africa  

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Product
  • Service
  • Company Size
  • Scale of Operation
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Pfizer CentreOne
  • Baxter BioPharma Solutions
  • Catalent
  • Lonza
  • Syngene International
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Piramal Pharma Solutions
  • Wuxi AppTec
  • Patheon (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.)
  • Adare Pharma Solutions
  • Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives  

Customization & Pricing

Available upon request

Small Molecule CMO/CDMO Market Research Segmentation

By Product:

  • Standard API

By Service:

  • Process Development
  • Analytical Method Development
  • GMP Manufacturing Service
  • Scale-Up and Tech Transfer
  • Quality Control and Quality Assurance
  • Regulatory Assistance
  • Technology and Innovation

By Company Size:

  • Large
  • Mid-sized
  • Small

By Scale of Operation:

  • Clinical
  • Phase I
  • Phase II
  • Phase III
  • Commercial

By Region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia & Oceania
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Pfizer CentreOne
  • Baxter BioPharma Solutions
  • Catalent
  • Lonza
  • Syngene International
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Piramal Pharma Solutions
  • Wuxi AppTec
  • Patheon (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.)
  • Adare Pharma Solutions

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the projected period.

The Small Molecule CMO/CDMO market was valued at USD 72.01 billion in 2023.

The U.S. held the largest market share in 2023.

The prominent players in the market are Pfizer CentreOne, Baxter BioPharma Solutions, Catalent, Lonza.

Mid-sized segment is expected to grow at the fastest growth during the forecast period.

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