Special Edition: Continuous bioprocessing

Continuous bioprocessing market to be worth nearly $200m within six years

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Urupong
© GettyImages/Urupong

Related tags: Continuous bioprocessing, Biologics, COVID-19, Filtration, purification

A new report published by Meticulous Research shows the continuous bioprocessing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9% from 2020 to 2027 to reach US$197.8m by the end of the period.

The growth in the continuous bioprocessing market is mainly attributed to the boost in demand for biopharmaceuticals, the fast pace of development in new technologies and products related to continuous bioprocessing, and rising government support for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, finds the report.

Continuous bioprocessing 

Continuous bioprocessing consists of integrated continuous unit processes without intermediate holding tanks through which product travels into containers in a constant flow.

Continuous unit operations are characterized by extremely intensified processing with short downtimes.

An end-to-end bioprocess includes perfusion bioreactors, multi-column chromatography systems, and multi-column intermediate purification systems.

Some pharma and biopharma manufacturers are adopting a hybrid approach to continuous bioprocessing in which only upstream or downstream process is operated continuously.

Source: Meticulous Research

In addition, the analysts noted that significant opportunities in Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is also speeding up developments in the continuous bioprocessing field.

“With the growing vaccine and therapeutic candidates in the pipeline, the demand for novel manufacturing approaches like continuous processing is accelerating, positively impacting the market.”

And as the biopharma industry is focusing on adopting adaptable approaches, this will necessitate the greater take up of such flexible manufacturing strategies, noted the authors.

Growing demand for higher standards of filtration tech

The continuous bioprocessing market is segmented on the basis of product: filtration, chromatography, centrifuges, consumables, on the basis of application: commercial including vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, and R&D related work, on the basis of end users: pharmaceutical firms, biotech companies, CROs, and on the basis of geography.  

“Based on product, the filtration systems and consumables segment accounted for the largest share of the overall continuous bioprocessing market in 2020. The growing demand for higher standards of filter operations in biopharma manufacturing is one of the major drivers for this segment's growth. Filter manufacturers are developing filtration technologies for continuous bioprocessing to achieve both separation and purification through a combination of physical removal capabilities of filtration and size exclusion.”

Looking at the application category, the analysts said the commercial segment accounted for the largest share of the overall continuous bioprocessing market in 2020. “Growing investments in constructing facilities compatible with continuous bioprocessing for biopharmaceuticals' commercial manufacturing is a key market driver.”

In terms of end user, the report forecasts the CDMOs and CROs segment will grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period due to the increasing outsourcing biologics manufacturing trend and favorable regulatory reforms for CMOs.

Risk factors

However, factors such as the high risk of contamination with continuous bioprocessing, the complex nature of adopting such techniques in downstream processes, and the shortage of bioprocessing professionals are expected to hinder, somewhat, the adoption of continuous bioprocessing in pharmaceutical and biopharma manufacturing, reads the report.

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