A moderate year for bioprocess segment
The trend towards single-use fluid
handling bags, connectors and more critically the bioreactors was quite
evident as the industry focused on reducing its capital costs and speed
up its expansion and development time.
Production technology in biopharmaceutical industry is
currently witnessing a paradigm shift. The industry is increasingly
switching from stainless steel equipment to single-use products. Even a
highly cost-sensitive economy like India is witnessing increasing
acceptance of single-use technologies.
While the equipment business slowed down, in-line with the economic
scenario in 2009, the consumables and single-use devices registered
significant growth. The industry warmed up to the membrane-based
chromatography devices which saw it progress from R&D through
process development into commercial production with several customers
in vaccine industry, as it allowed the users to quickly scale up the
process. The trend towards single-use fluid handling bags, connectors
and more critically the bioreactors was quite evident as the industry
focused on reducing its capital costs and speed up its expansion and
development time. The Indian biopharmaceutical industry is exploring
the concept seriously—starting from disposable sterile connections on
aseptic areas, extending to assemblies for process unit operations,
mixing vessels at smaller scale and evaluating the pre-sterilized
The total market size for bioprocess equipment is estimated to be Rs
450 crore in 2009, in India, and has been growing at an average rate of
12 percent. Of this, consumables made-up for more than half. The
bioprocess and filtration business in India is dominated by four large
multinational companies. They are Millipore, which is servicing the
biopharmaceutical and research industries, Pall Life Sciences, GE and
last but not the least Germany’s Sartorius, which is gaining market
share in the hardware business in the same segment. Since the beginning
of 2010, Sartorius and Pall Life Sciences have bagged some large orders
for core equipments for large biopharmaceutical plants.
Clearly, these few large multinational principal companies
dominate the filtration/ bioprocess marketplace with perhaps 10-15 per
cent of the remaining sales going to 3M and Nishotech (distributor for
Novacep) and other companies.
Millipore leads the market with approximately 30 percent market share
followed by Pall Life Sciences with 25 percent share. GE holds another
17 percent of the business, Sartorius has 15 percent and the
north-based MDI is at 10 percent. Rest goes to other
All these companies have continued their expansion in India by
increasing the number of sales representatives, establishing dedicated
CoE/ Validation/ Manufacturing/ Application development facilities to
penetrate the market further.
While Pall Life Sciences is relying on biotechnology, specifically—the
vaccine segment, to fuel growth of its life sciences division in the
coming years the company differentiates itself from competitors by
working closely with clients to develop custom-filtration products.
Millipore still maintains a large catalog of water filtration devices
as well as filtration devices for drug manufacturing that competes
directly with Pall Life Sciences. However, Millipore’s filtration and
purification devices are used solely for research and drug
manufacturing purposes. The company was first to set up India’s first
Validation and PDS lab in Bangalore in 2004. Following which Pall Life
Sciences too boosted its infrastructure and services in the region by
creating a CoE in 2007.
Sartorius, too, is not lagging behind. The company invested nearly Rs
28.52 crore (€5 mn) in India in expanding the competencies, capability
and capacity to serve the group and Asian market requirements. The
company is one of the largest manufacturers of fermentors.