Biologics contracting worth $2.6bn this year, says HiTec

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Demand for biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing will grow 16 per cent a year over the next five years, according to analysis by US market research group HighTech Business Decisions.

In a report released this week, HighTech predicted that the worldwide market for biopharmaceutical contract manufacture services will be worth some $2.6bn (€1.8bn) this year alone.

HiTech’s analysis suggests that although current capacity utilisation levels are below those in 2006, progression of biologic candidates into late stage trials coupled with the need for new products will help the sector recover.

The authors also believe that demand for contract services will shift away from development towards production and processing as “some large pharmaceutical companies [are] choosing not to expand their internal capacities​.”

From a technology standpoint, the authors argue that: “expression yields have improved significantly, and new technologies such as better expression systems, more efficient cell lines and improved media present new opportunities to improve productivity.”

HighTech president William Downey explained that the conclusions are based on interviews with the directors of 48 biomanufacturing and outsourcing companies worldwide.

He went on to say that researchers also spoke with contract manufacturing oganisations (CMO) and explained that: “There [was a] general consensus that the CMO industry as a whole will remain strong and grow, but [that it] will undergo consolidation​.”

If accurate, HiTech’s forecast will be welcomed by contract services firms like Lonza, Covance and PPD all of which have invested in biologics manufacturing capacity in recent years.

In addition, the difficulties inherent in making biologics will mean that, assuming the market does rebound to the extent HiTech predicts, only major industry players have the financial clout to set up manufacturing operations.

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