Market Size for Disposable Downstream Technologies
Five years ago, there was substantial interest in alternatives to protein-A chromatography; according to our 10th Annual Report and Survey of Biomanufacturing1, 60% of the industry was evaluating these options for new production. Today, that number has dropped by nearly half, to just 33% of biomanufacturers. However, other options continue to grow in interest due to the continued pressure on downstream purification technologies to keep up with improvements in manufacturing and yield. As a result, the potential market for these new technologies, especially those with disposable applications in larger-scale manufacturing, are likely to be substantial.
For example, the current size of the market for prepacked disposable columns used in bioprocessing (typically greater than 1 liter size), is around $45–$55 million. This estimate includes resins, materials, and services associated with prepacked columns. We note that some manufacturers pack columns using their own resins, while others provide packing services-only, using customer-provided or specified materials. This makes direct competitor comparisons difficult, especially given the high cost of some resins.
Prepacked column suppliers that pack using their own resins include GE Healthcare and EMD Millipore. Other suppliers prepack using various manufacturers’ resins as a service including Atoll Bio, Repligen, and other smaller service companies. As noted, in some cases, suppliers use their clients’ resins, and the high cost of these resins may not be included in market estimates.
The market for prepacked disposable columns is currently dominated by GE Healthcare, which launched its Ready-to-Process® columns 4–5 years ago. This has given GE a leading position spanning development- to commercial-scale. GE’s share of the chromatography resins market is substantial, and contributes to their dominance of the prepacked market, with around 55%. This share may be greater if resin revenues at retail levels are included (for example, GE’s largest Protein A columns may cost in excess of a quarter million dollars). Other companies, such as Repligen (>20% market share), Atoll Bio (~8% market share), Thermo Fisher/Life Tech, and EMD Millipore, Biotoolomics, Bio-Rad, Qiagen, and others, each with less than 10% market share.