Biotech boom to fuel cold chain market

By Kirsty Barnes and Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cold chain Logistics Supply chain management

Drug makers need to put in place greater cold chain management
capacity, in house or by outsourcing the service, as the biotech
market continues to boom.

Big Pharma, which represent non-biotech companies with annual revenues over $10bn (€7.9bn), has historically focused on small molecules. However, a new report from Datamonitor found that this is set to change, with around 60 per cent of revenue growth forecast to come from biologic products such as therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, while small molecules are set to grow less than one per cent annually. The report predicts that annual sales of biologic products, which are temperature-sensitive, will have increased by $26bn by 2010, compared to a $13bn increase for small molecules. The arising issue is that many pharma companies don't have the cold chain supply and warehousing facilities and therefore are compelled to either invest heavily in new infrastructure or outsource the service to specialty services providers. One company, Sentry Logistic Solutions, has spotted the gap in the market, and launched earlier this year a new range of services dedicated solely to the cold-chain logistics, storage and packing of bulk pharmaceutical and biotechnology components. The company said it is one of the only cold chain storage and third party logistics (3PL) providers in the US to offer contract logistics and storage services dedicated specifically to meet the demands of the growing biopharma sector. Meanwhile UK-based Fisher Clinical Services said at a recent press event that they are developing further their cold chain supply services to keep up with the growing demand and are planning to put a lot more capacity for the management of these materials over the next few years. The firm has invested in new phase change materials (PCMs) to control shipping temperatures, so shipping containers can hold low temperature long enough to allow shipping and delivery any day of the week and therefore it decreases the amount of quarantined material being damaged out when the cold chain is broken. Enhanced cold chain supplies for short shelf life materials will continue to be the big subject for clinical supplies going forward, concluded the firm.

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