Biopharma contract manufacturing to sizzle

Despite the economy, demand for biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing services is expected to grow at 16 percent annually over the next five years, from its estimated 2009 level of $2.6 billion, says consultancy HighTech Business Decisions.

The shift of biopharmaceutical business models toward more production outsourcing, as well as some big pharma players maintaining the status quo on internal capacities, are drivers of the contract manufacturing growth, according to the report, Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing 2009: Expanding Markets, New Capacities and Improved Performance.

The study--weighing in at 900 pages--reports that current contractor capacity utilization is slightly lower than 2006 levels. This temporary decline results from a combination of previous capacity investments; improved expression yields and the slowdown in biotech investments due to financial markets. Over the next few years, demand is expected to grow as pipeline biopharmaceuticals make their way to commercialization.

As if anticipating the positive market forecast, Indian contract manufacturer Kemwell is building a biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Bangalore, with technical assistance from Boehringer Ingelheim. DWS Pill Scribe reports that Kemwell will get access to Boehringer Ingelham's Bi Hex technology platform for cell line development.

- read the HighTech Business announcement
- see the DWS Pill Scribe report