• 13 November 2009
  • News
  • By Jahanara Parveen

Pall intensifies Asia focus

Pall intensifies Asia focus

Pall Life Sciences has evolved from being a filtration and purification products vendor to becoming a complete solution provider to life sciences companies. As part of its growth strategy, Pall is investing significant resources in expanding its operations in Asia

Pall Life Sciences has been active in the Asian market for over two decades. The company’s  approach is in line with its corporate vision to serve the biopharmaceutical market as a ‘Total Solution Provider’, which is aligned towards its ‘Total Fluid Management’ concept. The US-based Pall Corporation recognizes Asia Pacific as high growth market, and is consistently experiencing double digit growth in this region. Over the last two years, it has made significant investments and restructured its business to better support customers in the changing business environment in Asia.
Two major steps in this direction were—the company understood the requirements of direct engagement with customers, and acted by coming out of the joint venture (JV) model. It established wholly-owned direct subsidiaries and/or facilities in India, China, and Singapore. As part of its growth strategy, Pall started fully-integrated Pall Centers of Excellence in China and India, offering a range of services to customers in process development and optimization.
Confirms Eric Garnier, president, Asia Pacific, Pall Life Sciences, “Today’s sales are especially important for what they portend for the future.  Asia is a crucible where our new products and selling strategies are tested. It is in these countries that our global customers are building new plants and selecting their filtration partners for their newest and most enduring brands.”
Products, applications and geographic diversity are among the company’s greatest assets and a potent competitive advantage. This diversity helps Pall to insulate itself from the natural rhythms of markets. It served well in fiscal 2009, allowing the company to grow revenues to nine percent for life sciences market in Asia as reported, despite challenges in two key markets—the US and Europe. Nearly 70 percent of Pall’s business is outside the US, with more focus on Asian markets.
India is a very important region for Pall’s continuing growth, and plays a major role for its success in the Asia region. The company started Center of Exellence (CoE) in Bangalore in 2007 to address the increasing demands of the Indian biopharmaceutical industry. Today, it claims of having the most versatile support and services group in India for filtration and bioprocess development using cutting-edge technologies.
“Our India CoE has two support groups that addresses diversified biopharmaceutical needs. The Protein Applications Development (PAD) group works on key aspects of protein purification. Our PAD laboratory is equipped with the most modern equipment in chromatography and mass spectroscopy,” shares Holly Haughney, VP, Strategy and Business Development, Pall Life Sciences. The number of filter validation conducted at the India CoE has grown by over 50 percent in the last two years, and it is expected to double its customer base this year.
The services provided from Pall CoE in India, and other Asian countries have been very critical for its accelerated growth in the APAC region. The CoEs have enabled the company to work more closely with its customers to help them optimize their processes and provide them most advanced filtration and purification solutions in the speediest way.
Pall is running few manufacturing plants in Asia, and has chosen to retain those that are most efficient, located closest to customers and in lower cost regions. Currently, it has manufacturing bases in China and India. The Pall Advanced Separation Systems (PASS) facility in Pune manufactures standard as well as custom designed filtration, separation and chromatography systems. The facility has the capability to manufacture automated, semi-automated and manual direct flow filtration systems, tangential flow filtration systems and chromatographic systems. The facility in India also supports other Asian markets need.

Growth forces

As the number of drugs in the FDA approval process increases, so does Pall’s sales of  biopharmaceutical products and systems. The biotechnology sector continues to be the major growth engine for Pall with increasing number of  biotech medicines and vaccines entering development phase each year. The company’s broad capability in the life sciences industry is a competitive strength and an important element of its strategy going forward. The company registered a sale of $389.9 million (about Rs 1,837 crore) in medical devices, and $550.6 million (about Rs 2,593 crore) from biopharmaceutical business in 2009.
The other factor driving Pall’s growth is increasing adoption of its single-use processing systems to produce drugs. “Disposables are an increasingly critical production component for the fast growing areas of monoclonal antibody, genetic medicine, protein therapeutics and vaccine manufacturing. Pall is a pioneer in the development of single use technologies and has amongst the broadest product portfolio,” says  Ken Frank, corporate vice president, Biopharmaceuticals Divison, Pall Life Sciences. The company has supplied single-use technologies for many years including self-contained filter capsules as an alternative to stainless steel filter housings. Its Allegro single-use disposable systems is increasingly popular, and offers  many advantages,  including more flexible use of space and speed in setting up of a new production line. Critical to the industry, they also can reduce or eliminate the need for cleaning and cleaning validation, and minimized the risk of cross-contamination between batches and products.

Addressing the pandemic

The development and production of vaccines to combat influenza among other diseases is an exploding market, believes Frank. Pall has a long history of  working closely with major vaccine manufacturers, both in India and worldwide. It has established several process solutions in flu vaccine manufacturing, both for traditional egg-based processes and newer biotech-based cell culture processes. Pall is working closely with those companies working on H1N1 influenza (swine flu) vaccine in Asia and globally, by offering technologies and solutions from the initial clarification stage with its Stax disposable depth filters through concentration, with its wide range of tangential flow microfiltration,  ultra filtration cassette and hollow fiber filter systems.
Says  Frank, “Pall products including our Biosepra chromatographic sorbents, Mustang membrane adsorbers, and our Allegro Single Use Systems (SUS) featuring Kleenpak filter capsules, Allegro biocontainers and the Kleenpak sterile connector, which is a market leader in sterile connections, are all critical to vaccine manufacturing.”
He further adds, “Our single use systems technologies have a very important role to play in speeding up H1N1 vaccine development which is absolutely crucial in the race for a solution to the current flu pandemic, Pall has the products and knowledge to help customers develop their products quickly, safely and economically.”
Thus, with the focus on China, India, Singapore and Korea, including customers working on solutions to emerging pandemic threats, Pall will continue investing in technologies, talents and state-of-art facilities to provide its APAC customers with solutions to their expanding needs.  

Jahanara Parveen

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