Innovation to improve bioprocessing efficiency is in high demand and the global biopharma industry is increasing their development spending by $300 million in 2015, according to the 12th Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production from BioPlan Associates.

One of the key trends listed in the study was that budgets for operational aspects of bioprocessing have increased across-the-board, from 1.9% average budget increase for R&D, to 6.1% for new capital equipment, and 5.3% for process development. In addition, improvement in productivity from bioreactors, where average titer for clinical-scale biologics rose to 3.4 g/L this year, compared with 1.9 g/l in 2008, noted the report.

Many new facilities and expansions are recently completed, underway, and planned. Survey respondents reported an average 69.9% capacity utilization for mammalian cell culture and 57.9% for microbial fermentation.

Purification/downstream processing continues to be the most problem area. Nearly half the biopharma industry (41%) points to downstream purification as the cause of their most significant capacity problems. Easing these will involve developing more efficient, cheaper, single-use and stainless steel filtration and chromatography devices. Single-use device innovation was noted by 69% of the industry.

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