Injectables jolt global contract manufacturing vendor revenue
By Mia Burns
The combination of cost benefits and a desire within the pharma industry to focus on core competencies has created an increasing need for outsourcing and spurred the global pharmaceutical contract manufacturing market. Expiring blockbuster drug patents will reduce manufacturing capacity utilization rates and boost outsourcing further. Frost& Sullivan has released new analysis in which analysts say that the market earned revenue of $13.43 billion in 2012. In addition, analysts estimate this to reach $18.49 billion in 2017. The research explores solid dose, liquid and semi-solid dose, and injectable dose formulations.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnological emphasis on complex disease areas, trends in disease control, growth in emerging markets, and reformulation of existing products have widened the scope of the contract manufacturing market.
“With the patent expiry of blockbuster drugs, the utilization rates of manufacturing plants of innovator companies are expected to reduce by half within the next couple of years due to the invasion of cheaper generic equivalents in the market,” says Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Aiswariya Chidambaram. “This is likely to propel big pharma companies to outsource manufacturing to contract manufacturing organizations, as this works out to be more profitable for innovators and big pharma companies tend to increasingly focus on their core competencies such as R&D and manufacturing of technically challenging formulations.”
The global pharmaceutical contract manufacturing market remains highly fragmented with many contract manufacturing organizations relying on one client for more than 50 percent of their revenue. According to Frost & Sullivan analysts, coupled with huge tax incentives and lower inventories for low-volume products, this creates immense pricing pressures for contract manufacturing organizations. Chidambaram told Med Ad News Daily, “Some of the key strategies adopted by contract manufacturing organizations to attract more clients include: capturing projects during early life-cycle stage such as offering preclinical development services and transition from offering clinical services to commercial manufacturing to integrate throughout the value chain of clients, thereby establishing long-term relationships; and certain contract manufacturing organizations (DPT Laboratories and Patheon Inc. are the best examples) have adopted a differentiation strategy that includes repositioning themselves among clients by promoting more services such as formulation improvements, alternate dose formulations, real-time order tracking, and logistics support.”
In particular, cytotoxics manufacturing offers immense growth potential because of the demand from the cancer research and therapy segments. “Cytotoxics such as anti-cancer drugs can be manufactured as solid as well as injectable dose formulations,” Chidambaram told Med Ad News Daily. “However, cytotoxics are expected to be the key growth driver for the injectable dose formulations segment because of the robust demand for oncology and other high-potency drugs such as antibody conjugates, steroids, and IV fluids that require quick onset of action.”
Currently, the United States and Europe are major markets for outsourcing finished dose formulations and sterile preparations, while Asian contract manufacturing organizations are preferred destinations for active pharmaceutical ingredients, intermediates, and generics. However, given the immense cost benefits, Asian contract manufacturing organizations located in India, China, and Singapore are likely to emerge as favorable destinations, particularly for solid dose formulations. To maintain a competitive edge amidst rigid competition, contract manufacturing organizations are striving to provide a greater value proposition for clients by engaging in early life-cycle stage projects and establishing long-term relationships. Promoting additional services such as formulation improvements, alternate dose forms, real-time order tracking, and logistics support will also be necessary to attract new customers, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Chidambaram says that consolidation in the form of acquisitions and strategic alliances to gain access to new, emerging markets and niche segments will be crucial for both small and large contract manufacturing organizations. “Niche segments include specialty therapeutic areas such as oncology, neuropsychiatry, and so on which, include complex and technically challenging formulations, for which it is difficult to produce generic version of drugs,” he told Med Ad News Daily. “However, this might vary depending upon the exact context of use.”
Posted: September 2013