Agilent: Biologics growth presents biggest consumables opportunity

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Biologics grwoth present opportunity for services and consumable firms such as Agilent
Biologics grwoth present opportunity for services and consumable firms such as Agilent

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The growth in biologics has given Agilent Technologies a “huge opportunity for services and consumables,” according to the firm’s CEO-Elect.

A year after splitting into two publicly traded companies​, Agilent’s Life Science, diagnostics and applied markets (LDA) business is seeing a core order growth described as “inspirational”​ by Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard with a 5% revenue growth year-on-year in the biopharma sector led by “a late-Q4 surge that suggests continued momentum into early-2015.”

Agilent makes tools for the biomanufacturing industry including liquid and gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and products that purify and quantitate target proteins, and Mike McMullen – who will take over the role of CEO next year – said in a conference call the growth in revenue was “driven by equipment refreshes from large and mid-size pharma customers, and continued specialty pharma demand.”

But it is biopharma’s focus on biologics which present some of the greatest opportunities for the firm, President of the Life Sciences and Diagnostics Group Fred Strohmeier added.

“The pharma industry is only at the moment growing in the area of around 3% to 5%,”​ he said. But “the most growing segment within that is at the moment biologics, which is growing about 18% and the overall size is about 20% of the entire pharmaceutical market. I think we are well-positioned with all products.”

New liquid chromatography platform

As well as net revenues of $1.04bn (€0.84bn) and orders worth $1.15bn, the fourth quarter saw the completion of the spin-out of Agilent’s electronic measurement company (known as Keysight) and the launch of a number of new products, including a new liquid chromatography platform.

“The 1290 Infinity II LC [liquid chromatography] System sets a new benchmark in analytical, instrument and laboratory efficiency,” ​McMullen said, replacing Agilent’s current offering.

“This allows the capture of opportunities in Pharma, Biotech and across the implied markets space. So this is a broad-based tool that will go across all of our key end markets.”

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