For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Devendra Mishra
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Phone: 818-224-1552
Email address:
“Digitalization Opportunities for Cell and Gene Therapy”
Q&A with Mandar Paralkar, Senior Director of SAP Systems 
Calabasas, January 8, 2020: The 12 th Annual Conference of BSMA in Burlingame, CA, on October 15, brought together over 170 executives discussing Commercialization of the embryonic industry of Cell and Gene Therapy. Subsequently, Devendra Mishra Executive director of BSMA had the opportunity to interview Mandar Paralkar , Senior Director and Digital Innovation Advisor of Life Sciences at SAP , who had made the presentation, “Leveraging the Digital Supply Chain to Deliver Personalized Patient Solution“, at the conference.   Mandar’s comprehensive answers to the questions provide significant insights into the potential for accelerated advancement of the revolutionary therapy. SAP, a $29 Billion global company leading the market in enterprise application software, has been committed to “improving patient outcomes, safety, and quality of care by enabling collaboration across the digital health sciences” through software solutions.
Mandar Paralkar is the Senior Director of the Life Sciences Industry at SAP and Advisor for Digital Innovation . He engages with Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Device segments to understand trends and challenges in the industry and advise IT solution to resolve the business pain points in the value chain. Mandar Paralkar holds MBA from St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, PA, USA and B.S (Mechanical Engineering) from VJTI, Mumbai University, India.
Here are the highlights of the conversation:
MISHRA : Leveraging the Digital Supply Chain for delivery of personalized patient solutions in case of Cell and Gene Therapy is more urgent and stringent than it is for traditional bio-pharma. What do you think?
PARALKAR : Large pharmaceutical companies are acquiring biologics and therapy companies to grow their businesses and diversify their portfolios. Time constraints for personalized patient treatments with typical delivery timeframes within a month make the situation urgent and the cold chain nature of these costly drugs with temperature monitoring, and time in/out of refrigeration makes requirements more stringent for traceability of the chain of identity (the patient) along with chain of custody (status of drug) for the therapy or drug through-out the supply chain. SAP Digital Supply Chain covers planning, sourcing, process manufacturing and distribution along with analytics and can provide transparency and visibility across the Health Sciences value chain.
MISHRA : What are the uniquely differentiating characteristics of the value chain of personalized patient solutions which have to be addressed by technology enablers?
PARALKAR : Traditional drug manufacturing involves a make-to-stock strategy and has a demand-driven supply chain involving buffer inventory with stock managed over period of several months or years. Rough-cut demand plans come from sales depots, matching demand with supply from sites. Heuristics determine supply network plans, which tighten the production plan for manufacturing and detailed scheduling for resources and machines on the packaging line. Billing is traditionally simple with invoicing of prescription/over-the-counter drugs sold via wholesalers thru retail pharmacies.

Conversely, the cell and gene therapy supply chain require a make-to-order manufacturing strategy with a batch size of one per patient lot and the time period is less than a month from blood sample collection to drug infusion. However, the patient enrollment /dropout rate at the hospital can change over period and communication to the manufacturing site is critical as changes directly impact available capacity to manage demand planning accuracy and patient appointment slotting on the calendar.  Additional factors like patient parameters need to be captured such as cell count, weight, etc., that will trigger appropriate adjustments during the biologic manufacturing process to supply medicine at the right place and at the right time. Billing must be more agile with a focus on outcome-based reimbursements based on the recovery of a patient’s health status after consuming the medicine. 
For the complete interview...
About BSMA ~ Driving Innovation in the Life Sciences Supply Chain
Since its inception in 2007, BSMA is a global organization that fosters Innovation and Adoption of disruptive technologies within the end-to-end supply chain of the Life Sciences industry. With offices in California (USA), Brussels (Belgium) and Mumbai (India), BSMA promotes collaboration and networking between professionals of the biotech, pharmaceutical, academic and medical diagnostics enterprises. The Alliance partners with industry, academia, foundations, suppliers, technology enablers, research institutions, trade organizations and the government to improve productivity, quality, product and service integrity, risk mitigation, managerial talent development and patient care globally. It is also the home of start-up companies engaged in business development and scale up.