Microbial Fermentation: Growing Microbial-Based Biologics Pipeline

The recent years have portrayed the renaissance in the domain of microbial fermentation, as microbial biopharma industry has once again gained attention towards the production of biologics using microbial expression system. The modification and innovation in the microbial fermentation based expression systems for the production of various biologics have side-lined some of the earlier concerns associated with them, such as folding of the biologics, and has led to high-quality biologics contract manufacturing in a larger quantity. The upscaled trend in adoption of production of biologics using microbial fermentation has been due to the advancements in the microbial fermentation companies offering novel technologies / platforms. Over time, microbial fermentation domain has significantly evolved and has led to production of various biologics, primarily proteins. However, an increasing bend can be observed towards the microbial contract biomanufacturing domain.

The microbial fermentation CMO market is one of the few businesses that has been relatively less impacted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, as the disease spreads, the demand for the effective preventive and treatment solutions for COVID-19, is growing at a rapid pace. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the need for a faster means to produce biopharmaceuticals and various other biologics have put the microbial fermentation sector under the spotlight. Moreover, in order to meet the growing demand for modalities targeting COVID-19 and other novel biologics, CMOs are actively engaged in making necessary investments to expand their existing capabilities and capacities. Further, in general, any strategy conceived / deployed in this crisis must be communicated in an effective manner, across both public and private stakeholders in the industry.

Companies Involved in Microbial Fermentation

Currently, over 115 industry players are actively involved in the microbial fermentation industry. The microbial fermentation CMO market is presently highly fragmented, featuring the presence of small companies (28%), mid-sized players (27%), large firms (25%) and very large firms (20%). Examples of well-established players engaged in this domain (companies having more than 10,000 employees) include (in alphabetical order) AbbVie Contract Manufacturing, GE Healthcare, Lonza, Pierre Fabre and Sandoz.

Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Market - sample highlights for service providers operating as per Roots Analysis

Location of Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Facilities

Europe emerged as the manufacturing hub for biologics produced using microbial expression systems, representing 43% of the total facilities presently. This is followed by North America (31%), and Asia Pacific and Middle East (26%). Within Europe, the UK (17%) and Germany (15%) emerged as the most prominent hubs for biologics manufactured using microbial expression systems. Whereas, North America, the US has emerged as the key hub for biologics manufactured using microbial expression systems. Further, in Asia Pacific and Middle East, it was observed that most of the manufacturing facilities are located in China (33%) and India (28%).

Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Market is growing but major players are limited to Western countries as per the industry data collated by Roots Analysis

Recent Developments in the Microbial Fermentation Market

Since 2016, partnership activity within the microbial contract biomanufacturing domain has increased with an annualized growth rate of 9.3%. Manufacturing agreements have captured a substantial share in the partnerships related to microbial contract biomanufacturing, during the period of 2016-2020.This was followed by process development agreements, which have captured a significant share of the partnerships inked in this domain. Further the domain has witnessed some consolidation during the period of 2016-2020 (till May). We were able to identify the key value drivers, such as geographical consolidation, geographical expansion, capability expansion, capacity expansion and access to new technology behind the various acquisitions reported during the given time period. Majority (64%) of the acquisitions in the microbial contract biomanufacturing industry were focused on geographical expansion, followed by capability (55%) and capacity expansions (55%). Further, most of the expansions (33%) initiated within this domain were for the establishment of a new facility, followed by initiatives carried out for expansion of existing facilities (28%).

Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Market distribution by expansion types or key value drivers triggering the acquisition as well as year when partnership was developed as per Roots Analysis

Likely Growth of the Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Market

The microbial fermentation CMO market is anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of approximately 9%, as the drug developers are anticipated to continue to outsource their manufacturing services in mid to long term.

Microbial Contract Biomanufacturing Market analysis done by Roots Analysis includes distribution by product type or biologic type or expression system

In the long-term, the projected opportunity is anticipated to be well distributed across scale of operation, size of contract service providers and various regions.

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