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The global biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, according to a new report into its performance.

According to the report by market researchers IMARC Group, the key drivers are the increasing popularity of biopharmaceuticals along with increases in production capacity, advances in technology and the emerging trend of outsourcing.

The report, entitled Global Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Market Report 2017-2021, says that global biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity recorded a Compound Annual Growth Rate of more than 4% during 2009-2016, reaching a volume of 4.5 million litres in 2016.

The result, says the report, is that biopharmaceuticals currently represent the fastest growing segment in the global pharmaceuticals market.

IMARC says that the market will continue to grow because the high returns associated with production have prompted a number of companies to develop and manufacture biopharmaceutical drugs.

Moreover, it says, the emergence of biosimilars is further expected to bolster the market growth; indeed, according to the report, the global biopharmaceutical manufacturing market is projected to reach a volume of 6.6 million litres by 2021.

One of the major trends in the market, says IMARC, is the continuous improvement in technology aimed at increasing productivity.

According to the researchers, manufacturers are focusing on continuous bioprocessing and the use of single-use or disposable devices to increase their yield.

IMARC says that outsourcing is increasingly popular due to  the significant cost savings, the potential for innovation and access to specialist  capabilities.

The report says that contract manufacturers carry out activities ranging from the analytical testing of bioassays to testing cell line stability and product characterisation. A large number of contract manufacturers are based in emerging regions such China and India.

IMARC notes a division in the market, into mammalian and microbial cell cultures. Mammalian cell culture currently represents the largest category, accounting for the majority of the production volume because of the large number of drugs which are made using the technique.

IMARC says that the market has been segmented into recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, interferons, erythropoietin, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), recombinant human insulin, vaccines and human growth hormones (HGH).

North America currently represents the largest market, accounting for nearly half of the total market share.

New plant is inaugurated

Contract manufacturing company Boehringer Ingelheim has inaugurated its commercial production site for biopharmaceuticals in Zhang Jiang Hi-tech Park of Shanghai in China.

The site, with a first-phase investment of more than 70 million, is the first facility established by a leading multinational biopharmaceutical manufacturer in China using mammalian cell culture technology.

With its global network of biopharmaceutical production sites in  Germany, Austria, the USA and now China, Boehringer Ingelheim says it is well positioned to fulfil strongly increasing demands from the biopharmaceutical industry for its products worldwide.

Hubertus von Baumbach, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “Our Shanghai facility plays an important role in our globally leading biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing business and embodies our continuous and long-term commitment to China.

“With this investment, we expect to have a significant impact on the development of China’s biopharmaceutical industry to ultimately supply innovative medicines to patients following high quality standards.”