NIBRT has presented results of its “2016 Trends in Biopharma Survey”. The survey assesses the key trends in biopharma pipelines, manufacturing technologies and staff development.
Key findings include:
- 38% of respondents were from the biopharma manufacturing sector. 45% of respondents have greater than 10 years experience in the sector.
- Overall, 69% of respondents are highly optimistic for the future growth of the biopharma sector.
- There is a strong consensus that monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are the dominant therapy for the immediate future. However, product pipelines will diversify in a 5-10 year period with products such as cell and gene therapies becoming increasingly important. A key challenge will be establishing cost effective manufacturing solutions for these newer therapies. Two thirds of respondents agreed that biosimilars would have a major impact on the market.
- With respect to biopharma manufacturing, 67% identified cell line development and optimisation as the highest priority area for further innovation. 73% indicated Single Use Technologies (SUT) as the technology which would have the most beneficial impact over the next 5 years. However, extractable and leachables (65%) and lack of standardisation (58%) of SUT remain key concerns. While many saw high potential in continuous manufacturing, the process development of these technologies is a major challenge for 63% of respondents.
- Recruitment and development of talent is seen as a key threat to the future growth of the sector.
In particular, 57% of respondents are having a high degree of difficulty in recruiting Bioprocess Engineers. Hands-on practical training, either on-the-job or in training pilot plant environment, are seen as the most effective methods of staff development.
- Overall access to skilled staff, manufacturing models for new therapies and cost issues were included as the main challenges to the growth of the sector. Key opportunities identified included cell therapies, gene therapies, biosimilars and standardised platform based, cost effective