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The global fermenters and bioreactors market was estimated to be worth USD 20.4 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% during the forecast period. Since their introduction in 1982, biologics have gained popularity owing to their therapeutic efficacy, favorable safety profiles, and the ability to treat a wide variety of disease indications, which are otherwise hard to treat. In fact, in the past two decades, over 170 biopharmaceuticals have already been granted approval by the FDA and over 7,500 biological interventions are under evaluation in clinical trials. It is a well-known fact that the commercial and clinical scale manufacturing of such complex biomolecules require highly specialized bioprocessing equipment to facilitate the maintenance of ideal conditions, such as optimal temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, fluid delivery, and other critical bioprocess parameters that are essential for steady cell growth. Bioreactors are capable of providing such optimal conditions and are critical to the upstream manufacturing processes. These systems are designed to increase the concentration of viable cells, thereby enabling the production of large amounts of recombinant proteins, such as vaccines, fusion proteins, antibodies and enzymes. Apart from producing conventional therapeutic proteins, bioreactors can also be used to produce advanced medicinal products (ATMPs), namely cell and gene therapy, retroviral vectors for gene therapy and cellular components of 3D tissue. In contrast to bioreactors, fermenters are used for the anaerobic cultivation of microbial (fungal or bacterial) cell populations to produce biologics that do not require significant post translational modifications. It is worth highlighting that the use of fermenters for the manufacturing of biologics provides faster development, higher yields and quality, reduced variation between batches, better scalability, and lower production costs, in comparison to the manufacturing carried out in bioreactors.
The Global Fermenters and Bioreactors Market- Distribution by Type of Product (Bioreactors and Fermenters), Fabrication Material (Glass, Stainless Steel and Single-use), Type of Bioprocess (Batch, Fed-batch and Continuous), Type of Biologic (Antibodies, Vaccines, Cell Therapies and Other Biologics), and Key Geographical Regions (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America): Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2023-2035 market report features an extensive study of the current market landscape, market size, and future opportunities for the global bioreactors market and global fermenters market, during the given forecast period. Further, the market report highlights the efforts of several stakeholders engaged in this rapidly emerging segment of the bioprocess engineering industry. Key takeaways of the bioreactors and fermenters market report are briefly discussed below.
Over the past 25 years, there has been a steady increase in the sales of biologics, growing at a rate of 12–14% annually. In order cater to this growing market demand, over 1,500 commercial scale biomanufacturing and contract manufacturing organization (CMO) facilities, equipped with bioreactors and / or fermenters have been established, globally. In December 2022, Thermo Fisher Scientific opened a cGMP biologics manufacturing facility in Hangzhou, China. The facility is equipped with Thermo Fisher 2,000-liter HyPerforma single use bioreactors.
Further, during the COVID-19 pandemic, several companies enhanced their vaccine production capabilities (through capacity expansion / technology upgradation), resulting in a surge in the sales of bioreactors and fermenters. Moreover, the transition in the industry from high-volume biologics towards innovative specialized biologics, particularly those focused on treating rare conditions, has created a requirement for flexible manufacturing systems. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for a diverse range of bioreactor systems (in term of design and mechanism of action), which primarily include single use bioreactor, stirred tank bioreactor, mini bioreactor, and air lift bioreactor, along with other bioreactor systems such as, rocker, perfusion, wave bed, bubble column, fixed-bed, fluidized bed, membrane bioreactor, packed bed, fibrous bed and photobioreactors. All these developments represent an additional avenue for revenue generation in the growing fermenters and bioreactors market during the forecast period.
The design aspect of both bioreactors and fermenters, operational across different types of bioprocesses (batch, fed batch and continuous), is a complex engineering task, requiring extensive understanding of cell growth, metabolism, genetic manipulation, and product expression. As a result, industry and non-industry players producing biomolecules / cell and gene therapies, are relying on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that produce different components of bioreactors, and / or engineering, procurement, and construction (EPCs) companies that integrate all the equipment designed by OEM engineers into a complete performing system. Fermenter and bioreactor manufacturers that can offer their clients with modern bioprocess equipment and infrastructure upgrades, effective life cycle management for their products, responsive customer service, expert troubleshooting of equipment issues, and annual maintenance contracts to ensure efficient functioning of installed bioreactors without disruption, are the preferred partners.
Although single use bioreactors and fermenters have gained popularity due to their advantages, such as lower water and energy consumption (by approximately 45%), reduced initial investment costs (by 40%), and faster processing times for biologics (by 33%), they pose a risk of leachables and extractables (L&E). These bioreactors are constructed using plastic materials that can release organic or inorganic chemicals into liquid pharmaceutical products, potentially jeopardizing the safety of the drug and the well-being of the patient. The need for frequent purchases, variable costs per run, recurrent plastic disposal, and restricted capacity are some other potential bottlenecks restricting the widespread use of single use bioreactors. While bioreactor manufacturers are striving to tackle these challenges through innovation in design and manufacturing methods, the increasing costs of procuring raw materials still remain a pressing concern.
The global fermenters and bioreactors market landscape features more than 255 companies, which claim to possess the necessary technical expertise for manufacturing high-quality bioreactors and fermenters, in order to serve the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry. The market is currently dominated by small companies (1-50 employees), which represent 56% of the total number of players. Based on the requirement, bioreactors are produced using different fabrication materials, such as stainless steel bioreactors, glass bioreactors, and plastic bioreactors, and are available in varying dimensions and volumes, ranging from micro-mini (less than 1 mL and 1 to 10 mL) to large-scale (more than 10,000 L). It is interesting to highlight that companies manufacturing miniature and small-scale bioreactors represent nearly 30% of the total players in this market. These bioreactor models are essential for conducting high-throughput experimental studies related to media development, strain improvement or process optimization. Further, recent developments in this industry indicate that majority of the bioreactor manufacturers have switched to advanced bioprocessing technology by integrating an automated mode of operation.
Fermenters and bioreactors market for the biomanufacturing of biologics is estimated to be $20.4 billion in 2023. Specifically, in terms of types of biologics, the market is anticipated to be driven by the high demand for manufacturing different antibody formats, including monoclonal and bispecific antibodies. Currently, majority of the revenues are generated from the sales of bioreactors that operate in batch and fed-batch modes; however, during the forecast period, market size for bioreactors that operate in continuous mode is anticipated to grow at a relatively higher rate.
Currently, in terms of fabrication material, stainless steel bioreactors / stainless steel fermenters capture the largest share of this market. However, single use bioreactors / fermenters are likely to witness higher annual growth rates in the upcoming years. Single use bioreactors offer various advantages over conventional stainless steel bioreactors. These advantages include ~50% reduction in total energy and water consumption and ~40% cost saving by elimination of cleaning and sterilization processes after every batch production. Apart from the aforementioned benefits, use of single-use bioreactors also lowers the risk of cross-contamination, making these disposable bioreactors more user-friendly and efficient. Further, these systems are portable and have a smaller footprint as compared to the conventional systems, which reduces the total space required for installation. Owing to the aforementioned benefits associated with single use bioreactors, we believe that there is significant market growth opportunity for the companies engaged in this industry during the forecast period. PBS Biotech, a US based single use bioreactor manufacturer raised USD 22 million in January 2023. The company uses vertical wheel technology in its single use bioreactors for cell therapy manufacturing.
The bioreactors and fermenters market is witnessing the adoption of bioprocessing 4.0 solutions that leverage machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) for real-time bioprocess monitoring. For instance, a US based company, Culture Biosciences, has designed an integrated bioreactor platform to design, monitor and analyze experiments, remotely via the cloud. The industry is also embracing advanced modular bioreactors that can be configured sequentially or in parallel. Further, the integration of controllers and automated systems is another technological advancement, that not only ensures that the processes continue to run within precise limits but also make the necessary adjustments, while minimizing the risk of human errors.
Furthermore, the bioreactor manufacturers are also working on advancing the technology in order to allow the manufacturing of additional biologics / microorganisms. Technological developments will support the adoption of novel bioreactors, driving the market growth over the forecast period.
Examples of the key fermenter and bioreactor manufacturers in this industry (which have also been captured in this market report) include Applikon Biotechnology, Bionet, Cytiva, Eppendorf, Merck, Ollital Technology, Parr Instrument Company, Sartorius, Shanghai Bailun Biological Technology, Solaris Biotech, Solida Biotech and Zhengzhou Laboao Instrument Equipment (LABAO). The market report includes an easily searchable excel database of all the fermenter and bioreactor manufacturers worldwide.
Several recent developments have taken place in the field of fermenters and bioreactors market, some of which have been outlined below. These developments, even if they took place post the release of our market report, substantiate the overall market trends that we have outlined in our analysis.
The market report presents an in-depth analysis of the various firms / organizations that are engaged in the fermenters and bioreactors market, across different segments, as defined in the table below:
|Key Report Attributes||Details|
2023 – 2035
|Market Size 2023||
$ 20.4 billion
|Type of Product||
|Type of Bioprocess||
|Type of Biologic||
|Key Geographical Regions||
|Key Companies Profiled||
|Customization Scope||15% Free Customization Option (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)|
|PowerPoint Presentation (Complimentary)||Available|
|Excel Data Packs (Complimentary)||
The market report presents an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various stakeholders engaged in the fermenters and bioreactors market, across different regions. Amongst other elements, the report includes:
One of the key objectives of this market research report was to estimate the current market size, opportunity, and the future market growth potential of the global fermenters and bioreactors market over the forecast period. We have provided an informed estimate on the likely evolution of the bioreactors and fermenters market in the mid-to-long term for the forecast period, 2023-2035. Our year-wise projections of the current and forecasted opportunity have been further segmented based on relevant parameters, such as type of product (bioreactors and fermenters), fabrication material (glass, stainless steel and single use), type of bioprocess (batch, fed-batch and continuous), type of biologic (antibodies, vaccines, cell therapies and other biologics), and key geographical regions (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America). In order to account for future uncertainties associated with some of the key parameters and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three market forecast scenarios, portraying the conservative, base and optimistic scenarios of the industry’s evolution.
The opinions and insights presented in this study were influenced by discussions conducted with multiple stakeholders in this industry. The market report features detailed transcripts of interviews held with the following individuals:
All actual figures have been sourced and analyzed from publicly available information forums and primary research discussions. Financial figures mentioned in this market report are in USD, unless otherwise specified.