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Sep 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 16)

Users Are Sold on Single-Use Systems

Survey of Adoption Trends Shows Burgeoning Usage Across All Sectors of Industry

  • Reasons for Increasing Use

    We identified 28 reasons for the increasing trends toward the use of disposable and single-use system components. Figure 2 shows the top five reasons.

    The primary reason biopharmaceutical developers and CMOs use these products are to eliminate cleaning requirements (cited by 50.5% of respondents as “very important”). Second was “decreasing risk of product cross-contamination,” indicated by 40.6%. Third was “reduce time to get facility up and running” which was indicated by 37.6% as being “very important.”

  • Three-Year Comparison

    There are several reasons for the increased use of disposables over the last three years (2005–2007).

    The criteria that biopharmaceutical manufacturers and CMOs give for potentially increasing their usage of disposables are changing. This may reflect a maturation of this segment as the industry becomes more aware of attributes and benefits.

    “Eliminating cleaning requirements” now holds the top position, with 50.5% of respondents indicating it as a very important reason for why they choose to use disposables. This compares with 54.9% in 2005 and 55.5% in 2006.

    A surprising number of factors showed marked decreases in importance as well. This may be the result of the industry becoming accustomed to the use, risks, and benefits of disposables.

    One of the most interesting results is that “decrease risk of cross-contamination” dropped from the top spot in 2006, with 58.9% indicating it was a very important factor, to 40.6% of respondents in 2007. Interestingly, none of these respondents felt that “reducing initial installation time” was a very important factor in their decision to use disposables. This was a decrease from 27.3% in 2006.

  • Most Critical Reason for Increase

    When asked to indicate the most critical reason for using disposable technologies, respondents said that, “eliminating cleaning requirements” was the single most important factor (16.8%).

    “Reducing capital investment in facility and equipment” was the second most critical reason for using disposable technologies (15.2%), although it ranked fifth when participants were asked to rank the reasons for using disposables. This could be a function of where respondents were regarding stages of facility expansion or construction.

Readers' Comments

Posted 10/01/2008 by Product Manager Membrane Chromatography at Sartorius

The article gave a nice overview about the motivations and concerns of our customers using single-use products.
Very important for me that the market dynamic has been quantified the first time. Thanks to E.S.

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