Speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week, Eric Krasnoff, Pall's CEO, said that rapid growth of the biopharmaceutical sector and the explosion of the market for vaccines are boosting the company's Life Sciences segment, which generates 40 per cent of Pall's business. The pharma industry has seen a biotechnology revolution in the past few years. With currently more than 300 drugs in late-stage clinical trials targeting more than 200 diseases, there is a growing thirst for raw materials, equipment and contract production to support bioprocesses found in a manufacturing flow sheet, such as mass cell culture, centrifugal cell separation, filtration, several types of chromatographic separation. Most of this demand comes from the US, which now comprises more than 1,500 biotech companies with revenues just over $72bn, according to recent industry data. The bioprocessing microfiltration and ultrafiltration business is dominated by two large multinational companies, Millipore, which is now only servicing the biopharmaceutical and research industries, having spun off its microelectronics business as a separate company, and the biopharmaceutical segment of the Pall Corporation. "We participate throughout from identification of target molecules right through scale up. But our real talent comes at the production phase," said Krasnoff. He said that his company has been devoting more resources to single-use technologies to be able to support its customers in the large scale manufacturing process. "We see more and more with our customers the desire to manufacture with entirely disposable processing suite, to dispose of it and save the expense and difficulty of re-validation and re-sterilisation," said Krasnoff. In addition, he said his company is now able to tie in for its customers' global requirements. "We understand what we need to do to make a drug in Japan or anywhere else in the world so that customers can conform to local requirements," he said. But more exciting for Pall and more immediate, said Krasnoff, is the ability to combine its biopharmaceuticals business and its medical business in the area of cell therapies. "We are a leader in cord blood collection, processing and cryopresevation products, and cell harvesting systems," said Krasnoff. These technologies are used for tailored immune therapies for individuals, which are going to be the next step in pharmaceuticals, Krasnoff said. Also speaking at the JPMorgan conference, Lisa McDermott, Pall's CFO, said the objective for the Life Sciences segment was to target sales growth of just over 7 per cent over the next three years. Pall Life Sciences generated sales of $193m in the first quarter of 2007 financial year, a jump from $169m in the first quarter of 2006.