“In the biologics industry there’s been little in the way of innovation,” Robinson told us. “Yes, upstream processing is seeing innovation, but on the downstream side very little has changed in the format of the technology used. Those downstream technologies are difficult to operate and subject to failures.”
“Companies have come to us and said we can’t take on innovation because it’s risky, ‘but will you take it on and develop it so they become adoptable at minimum risk for us?’” Innovation of process tech would “reduce failures and cost of goods,” he said.
Robinson predicted the UK’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, to be opened in 2015, would focus on downstream innovation in an interview with BioPharma-Reporter.com last week. Both Merck Millipore and GE Healthcare have echoed the view that underdeveloped downstream processing is creating bottlenecks in production.