Biosimilars: Emerging Opportunities for Lab Suppliers

Life science suppliers—companies that manufacture analytical instrumentation and consumables for scientific markets—are facing slow growth in their core markets, and are constantly seeking new ones. These growth headwinds are likely to continue as budget austerity trends occurring in the United States and Europe have diminished scientific research funding.

Life science suppliers therefore must look for new opportunities for growth outside of the academic research laboratory. Companies are approaching this challenge differently. Some are looking to the diagnostic labs for growth, while others are looking to provide products to other adjacent markets (food and beverage/environmental/chemical research laboratories, for example).

A third approach has been to look for areas within the life sciences that are likely to provide opportunities for faster growth than the market at large. The emergence of a new market opportunity can provide a fantastic opportunity for growth for companies who embrace it. These new opportunities have presented themselves occasionally and the most impressive examples include the emergence of genomics and the development of stem cells and regenerative medicine.

One new opportunity that analytical instrumentation suppliers should be considering is the imminent development of the biosimilars market for biotherapeutics. The opportunity for companies making these biosimilars is well documented, however, the opportunity for manufacturers of analytical instrumentation is less clear. Biosimilar manufacturers will necessarily need to demonstrate the physicochemical similarity of their new molecule to a reference standard. This will require an enormous investment in analytical instrumentation—and life science suppliers need to be prepared to help their customers working within these new regulatory requirements.

How well lab suppliers are situated to take advantage of this bump in demand may well determine their fortunes in 2013 and beyond. How is your company preparing for this shift? Let us know in the comments.

BioInformatics LLC is currently working to develop a market report for the manufacturers of analytical instrumentation in the life science market understand, embrace and support this emerging new market.

This report, titled Manufacture of Biosimilar Drugs for the U.S. Market: Defining the Market Opportunity for Life Science Suppliers will be produced on a multi-sponsor basis. Check out the prospectus (pdf) for a summary of objectives and pricing information.