Millipore said that the division, which is focused on providing products for the biologic drugs sector, suffered from a drop in demand from several key North American clients who were seeking to reduce existing product inventories.
The firm also cited the low level of biologic approvals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared only one in 2007, and the knock-on effect on the market as another factor in the division’s underperformance.
The result is in marked contrast with the first half of last year when turnover from bioprocess operations increased around 12 per cent, driven by a spike in demand as drugmakers ramped-up their biologics programmes.
Martin Madus, Millipore’s CEO commented that: “While we still expect bioprocess to resume modest top-line growth over the next six months, the division’s revenues will be slightly lower than we previously planned.”
Madus added that the decline had been partially offset by an increase in orders from smaller biotech producers for disposable products and those used in the manufacture of vaccines.
Bioscience and discovery take up the slack
On a more positive note for the Massachusetts-headquartered firm its bioscience division saw revenue grow 18 per cent to $184.4m, helping boost quarterly income some 26 per cent to nearly $70m.
Total revenue for the period reached $414.2m up 8 per cent on the comparable quarter last year and ahead of the $408.4m consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts.
Millipore attributed the turnover boost to its biotechnology and discovery operations, which it said had made significant gains in the period. This is particularly true of the latter division following expansion of the firm’s development centre in St Charles, Missouri which is involved in the manufacture of the Luminex multi-analyte assay platform.
In addition, Millipore’s laboratory water business made second quarter progress. Madus predicted that the firm’s recently launched Milli-Q integral water purification system would continue to drive strong growth during the remainder of 2008.
As Madus explained “we are in the process of launching Integral in the Asian market in Q3,” adding that “in addition to growing our growing presence amongst the existing customers, we also are reaching new lab water customers, our entry into clinical diagnostic markets through our partnership with Siemens.”