• by Bruce Carlson
  • October 23 2018


$11 Billion Market for Downstream Bioprocessing

Our latest market study, Downstream Bioprocessing Markets (Chromatography Columns and Resins, Membrane Adsorbers, Filtration Systems, Sensors), has found that the downstream bioprocessing market reached $11 billion in 2017. Downstream bioprocessing involves the recovery and purification of biosynthetic products, often pharmaceuticals, from natural sources. These sources may be animal or plant tissue or fermentation broth. Downstream bioprocessing is an essential step in producing pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, hormones (insulin and human growth hormone), antibodies, and vaccines.

 At the forefront of driving growth in the global bioprocessing market is the greater emphasis on developing drugs targeting smaller, specific populations who have specific diseases. Global demand for biopharmaceuticals such as antibodies and vaccines to treat cancer, arthritis, and diabetes is increasing rapidly.

Production innovation is needed to optimize economics, flexibility, and quality while benefitting patient populations. Producers of biodrugs are generally making investments on a number of downstream fronts, including:

  • Continuous manufacturing in order to optimize scalability and to speed a product’s time to market, while at the same time lowering capital and operating costs.
  • New analytical tools that can optimize the robustness of a process, speed scale-up to commercial production, and harness a more efficient use of resources.
  • Single use systems that boost flexibility and reduce production lead times, while at the same time lowering capital investment and energy requirements.
  • Novel downstream processing techniques that optimize yields while lowering costs, and new production methodologies that help increase capacity, scalability, and flexibility.

Advances in technology and bioprocessing equipment are making it possible to develop quality biologic drugs. This is increasing the use of bioprocessing equipment, which drives the biopharmaceutical market. The growing numbers of elderly, notably those suffering from chronic illnesses, will help generate a continuing need for novel biotherapeutic drugs. And as demand increases, bioprocessors will need processing technologies and components that will facilitate the production of high quality products. As a result, the significance of the downstream bioprocessing market will grow.

Essentially, the need for cell therapy research, drug discovery, and antibody production all are presenting bioprocessors with niche market opportunities in personalized medicine. After the shortage of vaccines for the pandemic H1N1 virus in 2009, interest in single use technologies surged as vaccine manufacturers realized that they needed to adopt flexible approaches to avoid future vaccine shortages.

Companies in the downstream bioprocessing market – a such as ESI Ultrapure, GE Healthcare, Millipore, Natrix, Pall, Sartorius, and Thermo Fisher Scientific – must focus on cost effectiveness, so they will pay great attention to production technologies that generate higher productivity and yields. As many of these advanced processing techniques can find use in the production of mainstream biologic therapeutics, biopharmaceuticals of the future will benefit from any efficiencies. For bioprocessors, speed, process innovation, and operational excellence are must-win battles.

More findings and specific market estimates and projections for 2016-2021 can be found in Kalorama Information’s report, Downstream Bioprocessing Markets (Chromatography Columns and Resins, Membrane Adsorbers, Filtration Systems, Sensors): https://www.kaloramainformation.com/Downstream-Bioprocessing-Chromatography-Columns-Resins-Membrane-Adsorbers-Filtration-Systems-Sensors-11910459/.