This interesting post from the BioProcess Blog examines the worldwide capacity for mammalian cell culture based manufacturing. It notes recent studies have concluded there is a worldwide excess. But, in looking deeper one really needs to examine the 10 companies that control 80% of the world's capacity.
Due to mega-merger activity, some capacity is being retired (or mothballed) as the merged firms rationalize their internal production. Examples would include Pfizer's shutting down capacity in Pearl River due to the Wyeth acquisition, and Roche's closing manufacturing in Nutley and mothballing Vacaville-2 near SF. Lilly is also closing one Erbitux plant (BB-36) due to its age. These reduce "world" supply but clearly are not needed by the companies shuttering them to produce their planned production.
A few new CMO facilities are slated to be coming on line - namely DSM's Australian facility in 2013 and CMC's expanded Seattle site. BI also announced last month that it will be taking over the Fremont manufacturing site from Amgen. There is some suggestion in this activity that CMO capacity needs to ramp up and that is further bolstered by Lonza's earnings report showing its capacity utilization is up.
The blog notes that 10 new products have progressed to phase II in the past few months and 50% will go to CMOs. This includes GSK utilizing Lonza to make 5 of its new antibody drugs. So with the growth on the CMO side, will that specific capacity be enough to serve the market's needs or will CMO space be scarce resulting in price competition between clients to secure needed space? We'll need to watch in the next few years.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 15th 2011.