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August 10, 2015

Top 20 R&D Spenders among Tool and Tech Companies

These Businesses Invested the Most toward Developing Instruments for Innovative Life Science Research

Top 20 R&D Spenders among Tool and Tech Companies

Most of the top life science tool and tech firms upped their R&D investments in novel instrument system development last year. [iStock/Avatar_023]

  • Biotech tool and technology companies are seeing the same cost spiral and consolidation wave that has reshaped drug developers in recent years. On the cost side, the lowest-ranked firm on this year’s GEN List of Top 20 R&D Spenders among Tool and Tech Companies spent $48 million-plus, which is $10 million more than the number-20 company spent in 2013 (see GEN’s 2014 List). Three companies failing to make the latest top 20 (Fluidigm, Luminex, and Sartorius Stedim Biotech) all spent more on R&D than the $38 million-plus reported by the bottom company for 2013. Fluidigm’s $43.423 million in 2014 is more than double its R&D spending a year earlier.

    Sartorius Stedim Biotech made our top-20 R&D spending list published last year for the years 2012 and 2013. And the company actually spent 7.1% more last year (€38.563 million, or $42.450 million) compared to 2013. But the Euro’s value has fallen significantly since then, explaining the company’s absence from this year’s list. All companies reporting their results in Euros saw a year-over-year dropoff when their figures were converted to dollars. The other company that appeared in our list in 2014 that does not appear this year, Sequenom, cut its R&D spending to $25.005 million in 2014, which is 25% below its 2013 level, as part of a companywide restructuring that included layoffs.

    Only four top-20 companies reduced R&D spending between 2013 and 2014—and to be fair, two of those four cut their budgets by less than 2%. That contrasts with the drug development world, where companies increasingly pursue R&D through external collaborations or acquisitions rather than in-house.

    As for consolidations, the wave continues in tools/tech. This year’s list is likely to be the last hurrah for two tools companies that are being bought by larger suitors—Sigma-Aldrich (being acquired by Merck KGaA) and Pall Life Sciences (part of Pall Corp., being acquired by Danaher). In a similar vein, the 2013 list marked the final appearance for Life Technologies (acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific) and Complete Genomics (acquired by BGI Shenzhen).

    Below are 20 publicly-traded life science tool and technology providers listed in ascending order by R&D spending as disclosed in regulatory filings, annual reports, and/or press announcements. Listings include R&D spending for 2014 and 2013, and the percentage difference between the two years.

  • #20. Pacific Biosciences

    2014 R&D spending: $48.230 million

    2013 R&D spending: $45.217 million

    % Change: 6.7%

  • #19. Affymetrix

    2014 R&D spending: $50.227 million

    2013 R&D spending: $47.670 million

    % Change: 5.4%

  • #18. Integra Biosciences

    2014 R&D spending: $51.596 million

    2013 R&D spending: $52.088 million

    % Change: -0.1%

  • #17. Sigma-Aldrich1

    2014 R&D spending: $65 million

    2013 R&D spending: $66 million

    % Change: -1.5%

  • #16. Pall Life Sciences2,3

    2014 R&D spending: $65.594 million4

    2013 R&D spending: $61.483 million4

    % Change: 6.7%

  • #15. Cepheid

    2014 R&D spending: $96.851 million

    2013 R&D spending: $80.197 million

    % Change: 20.8%

  • #14. Waters

    2014 R&D spending: $107.726 million

    2013 R&D spending: $100.536 million

    % Change: 7.2%

  • #13. PerkinElmer

    2014 R&D spending: $121.141 million

    2013 R&D spending: $132.400 million5

    % Change: -8.5%

  • #12. Mettler-Toledo International

    2014 R&D spending: $123.297 million

    2013 R&D spending: $116.346 million

    % Change: 6.0%

  • #11. Qiagen

    2014 R&D spending: $163.627 million6

    2013 R&D spending: $146.070 million

    % Change: 12.0%

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