GEN What are Sartorius Stedim Biotech’s plans for introducing new technologies and new products in 2009?
Reinhard Vogt : We will launch several new disposable technologies including two new disposable bioreactor designs. If you look at marketing reports to see which technologies are expected to grow most rapidly over the next few years, it’s clearly disposable bioreactors and disposable chromatography. In both areas Sartorius Stedim Biotech has excellent and innovative technologies to offer.
Our philosophy has always been to distinguish between operational excellence and strategy, where I always say, operational excellence is to run the same race faster, and strategy is to run a different race. So in our strategic plan, we need clear positions where we differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
We have achieved this in the areas of cell culture and fermentation technologies. It all began in 2000 when we acquired B.Braun Biotech (BBI), the market leader for conventional fermentation technologies. The key for us, however, was not only gaining the fermenter itself, but the company’s engineering, automation, and software capabilities. All this expertise is also essential for disposable bioreactors technologies and designs, and we are now enjoying the real benefits of our acquisition of BBI and will continue to do so in the future.
In this respect, another key for us was the recent acquisition of Wave Biotech based in Switzerland. We already had a highly successful exclusive alliance with this company in place since 2006 and, hence, it was certainly important for us to secure this technology—the most established disposable bioreactor technology on the market. Together with our own developments, we will have the most comprehensive portfolio of reusable and disposable bioreactors in the industry.