Lyophilization market forecast to double in size by 2020

The global market for lyophilization equipment, used to freeze-dry drug compounds so they are dehydrated for easier transportation, is expected to double in value to $4.8 billion from $2.7 billion by 2020, according to a new report.

Transparency Market Research says the market for lyophilization equipment and services should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5%. The aggressive growth, the report says, is a result of the rapidly developing biopharma industry and increase in the number of contract medical organizations globally.

The biopharma industry itself, the research group said, is expected to grow 11% to 13% between 2014 and 2020, with the introduction of new biologics and biosimilars, which increases the demand for lyophilization equipment and services.

Lyophilization is essential for the majority of biologics before they can be marketed commercially and also makes transportation of pharma and biopharma products easier and more cost-effective compared to other conventional preservation methods, the group said.

Right now, the trend in pharma manufacturing is expanding biologics capacity. Recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) announced a new project in Ireland, which was followed by Amgen's ($AMGN) completion of a continuous processing facility in Singapore. AstraZeneca ($AZN) has also said it needs more biologics capacity and will spend in excess of $200 million to build out a facility in Maryland.

From a geographic view, the report said North America accounted for the largest market share (32% in 2013) in the equipment and services market, combined. Still, countries like Japan, China, India and Brazil are anticipated to emerge as lucrative markets in the future. According to the report, India's share of the global contract research and manufacturing services market would grow from 8% in 2012 to 21% in 2017, while China is expected to increase from 12% to 19% in the same period.

- see the report