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No Capacity Crunch in Sight

By: Tom Ransohoff and Patti Seymour
Reprinted with permission of Pharmaceutical Technology, May 2012

The global pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2014 and nearly $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. With all of this growth in the biopharmaceutical market and recent concerns about pharmaceutical product shortages, companies and patients have been concerned about the availability of manufacturing capacity to produce these products. In BPTC’s recent analysis of global biopharmaceutical capacity, we find that overall capacity utilization rates have remained low despite the continued growth in sales of biopharmaceutical products and the associated requirement for increasing mammalian cell culture capacity to meet this market demand. To add to the capacity equation, there are many companies developing biosimilars, but the projected requirements for biosimilars currently in development is unlikely to significantly impact the global biopharmaceutical pipeline or the capacity demand for manufacturing within the next five years. While we forecast utilization rates to increase in the near-term future and understand the concern for a potential capacity shortage, we do not believe that an overall capacity shortage for biopharmaceutical manufacturing is imminent.