Vendors optimistic for future despite slowdown in growth

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: istock/phototechno
Image: istock/phototechno

Related tags Thermo fisher Economics Investment

Bioprocessing suppliers have recently expressed optimism in the sector despite a slowdown in growth, and one expert believes this will drive investment in new tech and markets.

Another quarter’s financial reporting is over, and when stepping back and looking at the bioprocessing equipment and consumable space there is a clear drop in levels of revenue growth across the board.

“Bioproduction growth was a bit more muted this quarter, and you've seen that across the industry,”​ Thermo Fisher’s CEO Marc Casper said earlier this month.

Compared with the same period last year, Thermo Fisher​ saw its life sciences business grow just 3%, while Sartorius​ reported an increase of 7%, GE said its bioprocessing business was up 5%, and Pall meanwhile reported low single-digit core revenue growth.

This is all a long way from the double-digit growth spurts​ these companies have been used to for the past couple of years.

But the sector is far from panicking. Not only did these firms explain the slowdown was due to the space stabilising after a number of exceptionally strong quarters but they all had an optimistic outlook for the future.

“Nothing is changing on the long-term outlook,”​ Casper told investors. “We would expect that growth will pick up over time.”

Repligen, which reported a low year-on-year growth despite its highest ever quarterly sales​, also expressed confidence for the future. “What was encouraging for us was that all our direct customer products all grew double-digit growth,” ​CEO Tony Hunt said. “Clearly, we feel really good about where we’re going as a company, and how our products are doing in the market.”

And according to Eric Langer, managing director of life sciences market research firm BioPlan Associates, these attitudes reflect supplier’s optimism as seen in his company’s 14th​ Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing​.

“Bioprocessing vendors/suppliers this year indicated a very significant increase in their ‘optimism,’” ​he told Biopharma-Reporter. “This may not seem all that important, but supplier optimism is directly connected to investment into their R&D, and their bullishness for the future. 

“The more optimistic, the more they will invest in new technologies, new markets, and medium-term risks.”

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