Single-use Bioreactor: An Indispensable Component for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

The limitations of stainless-steel bioreactors such as high risk of contamination, process related challenges and high operational cost have prompted innovators to develop more advanced single use bioreactor in order to meet the rising demand for safe and efficacious biotherapeutics. Conventional stainless-steel bioreactors require more energy as compared to the single use bioreactor for sterilization, cleaning and running. In addition, the material cost is also high in case of conventional bioreactors. Over the years, single-use bioprocessing technologies have gradually penetrated the mainstream commercial biomanufacturing industry as single use bioreactor have a great potential to mitigate majority of the challenges associated with the stainless-steel bioreactors. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that various advantages of disposable bioreactors have prompted biomanufacturers to adopt single-use systems in small scale R&D activities in the field of recombinant protein therapeutics, monoclonal antibody-based products, and cell-based products. Further, we believe that this shift from conventional bioreactors to single-use technology to is likely to present an opportunity to the stakeholders engaged in the development of single use bioreactor.

Disadvantages of Stainless-Steel Bioreactors

Advantages of Single-use Bioreactor

Single use bioreactor have garnered the attention of several stakeholders as they do not require cleaning or sterilization. The bags used in the process can be disposed off and replaced by new bags; this saves a lot of time and money. Moreover, using disposable bioreactors in bioprocessing also minimizes the risk of cross-contamination and increases the overall efficiency of the biomanufacturing process. Further, reduces the overall energy and water consumption, in turn contributing to cost-effectiveness making them more efficient than the conventional stainless-steel bioreactors. It is worth highlighting that the energy consumption of single use bioreactor is approximately 50% less than that of the traditional bioreactors. Furthermore, single use bioreactor are not complex in their structure and they do not require elaborate utility and piping infrastructure, which ultimately reduce total space required for installation. Additionally, it is comparatively easier to move than the conventional steel bioreactors since the disposable bag is empty. It is worth noting that owing to lesser complexity and ease of customization, disposable bioreactors are a good choice for continuous manufacturing. The below figure provides an illustrative summary of the advantages offered by single use bioreactor over conventional stainless-steel bioreactors.

Benefits of Single-use Bioreactor

Single-use Bioreactor: Current Market Landscape

Currently, over 60 firms claim to offer a more than 260 innovative single use bioreactor in order to cater to the rising demand for biopharmaceuticals. The below figure presents the distribution of single use bioreactor, based on type of bioreactors:

Single-use Bioreactor: Market Landscape

It is worth highlighting that majority of the single use bioreactor (57%) are stirred tank bioreactors. This is followed by wave induced / rocking bioreactor (9%) and fixed-bed bioreactor (6%). Notable examples of players that provide more than one type of bioreactors (in alphabetical order) include Applikon Biotechnology (Stirred Tank Bioreactor, Wave Induced / Rocking Bioreactor, Other Bioreactors), Celartia (Stirred Tank Bioreactors, Diffusion Bioreactors), Cercell (Stirred Tank Bioreactor, Other Bioreactors), PBS Biotech (Stirred Tank Bioreactor, Pneumatically Mixed) and Sartorius Stedim Biotech (Stirred Tank Bioreactor, Wave Induced / Rocking Bioreactor).

Evaluation of Top Companies Engaged in this Industry

Several single use bioreactor manufacturers are constantly making efforts to expand current capabilities to enhance their respective product portfolios and comply to evolving industry benchmarks.

Top Companies Engaged in Single-use Bioreactor

The Escalating Interest in this domain is also reflected in Partnership Activities

Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in partnership activity within this domain, growing at a steady pace during the given period (2007-2023). Further, the growing interest of biologic manufacturers in single use bioreactor is evident from the rise in partnership activity. For this purpose, mergers / acquisitions, product / technology integration agreements, product distribution agreements, product / technology development agreements, service alliances, supply agreements, supply / distribution agreements and others have been reported in this market, as technology providers strive to become one-stop-shops, to cater to the diverse needs for their clientele.

Partnerships and Collaborations in Single Use Bioreactors Market

As can be observed in the figure, the popularity and dominance of the service alliance model has decreased over the years. It is worth highlighting that post 2018, industry stakeholders are actively adopting other partnership models to enhance their offerings. For instance, there has been a gradual increase in the number of product / technology integration agreements in this domain since 2020. The considerable share captured by merger / acquisitions in this domain indicates that players are seeking opportunities to consolidate their respective portfolios. Research and development agreement and product distribution agreement emerged as another key type of partnership models adopted by players engaged in this domain, over the past years.

Comprehensive Analysis of the Single-use Bioreactor Market Reveals Promising Opportunities

In-depth market research conducted by our team has revealed a thriving landscape for the single use bioreactor market, growing at an impressive CAGR of the overall market. Our findings indicate that the market opportunities are diverse and well-distributed across various market segments, including scales of operation, types of bioreactors, types of cell cultures, type of biologics synthesized, end-users and geography. The growing demand for different types of biologics is anticipated to drive the growth of single use bioreactor market; Asia-Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing region. A closer examination of the market reveals that the majority of revenues generated in this sector come from vaccine and monoclonal antibodies manufacturing, accounting for majority share of the total market share. This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future, the single use bioreactor market is poised to experience a noteworthy growth over the coming years

Future Forecast in Single Use Bioreactors Market

Concluding Remarks

Owing to the increasing popularity of single-use bioreactor, combined with the attempts to lower their cost, we believe that this market will experience significant growth in the near future. Further, driven by the continuous technological innovations, this domain is anticipated to witness steady growth; single-use bioreactor that can be used to culture microbial cells and  manufacturing of cell and gene therapies are expected to gain significant traction in the near future.

For detailed insights about this domain, check out our report on Single Use Bioreactors Market