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MANUFACTURING


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Equipment Trends Shiſt as the Industry Evolves


Building for decades, biologics remain the fastest-growing pharma- ceutical industry sector. Most companies operating in the space understand that in biopharma, “the process is the product” and that capital spending on bioprocessing equipment is inexorably linked to the product’s ultimate quality and therapeutic success. Similarly R&D spending is also shifting away from blockbusters and small-molecule NCE development and toward other targets like NMEs, orphan drugs and small-volume specialty drugs.


Reformulation, bioavailability tactics and dose forms requiring additional processing steps are prompting equipment purchasing and those dynamics are growing demand for contract services as well. According to the study, demand for new cell-culture techniques and biomanufacturing formats are also influencing equipment spending.


• Drug life extension, dose form and delivery strategies requiring new manufacturing and finishing capabilities;


• Capacity migration to serve shifting global market opportunities;


• Evolving regulatory frame now supporting technical innovation.


Other change agents impacting equipment purchasing include mergers and acquisitions, the globalization of pharmaceutical supply chains and the advent of serialization, track-and-trace regulations.


Equipment Spending on the Rise


Nice Insight’s 2016 Pharmaceutical Equipment Survey queried 489 highly qualified pharmaceutical and biotech industry professionals involved in specifying and purchasing new systems and technology. Equipment purchasing budgets are on the rise with a majority (69%) reporting an increase to their annual equipment purchasing budgets. More than a third (36%) of those involved in equipment buying decisions now have an annual budget of $50 million to $100 million, and another 21% have a budget of more than $100 million to spend strategically on equipment .1


Revealing their central role as equipment specifiers, Nice Insight’s survey revealed nearly all (93%) were interested in acquiring new pharmaceutical processing equipment for the formulation and manufacturing of small-molecule pharmaceuticals. A majority (81%) also intend to focus on buying biopharmaceutical processing equipment, 87% are interested in purchasing laboratory equipment and 77% are looking to buy fill / finish and packaging equipment.


56 | | May/June 2016


Vendors are simultaneously creating and answering demand for equipment that is safer, more efficient and less costly to operate. What’s influencing equipment purchases? What are the priorities? The study reveals quality and sterility initiatives are high on the list, as is responding to market demands and needs. Increasing capacity in response to rising demand for an existing product garnered a significant response, as did the desire to boost OEE.


What do equipment managers like in their equipment? Reliability was ranked by 36% of Nice Insight survey respondents as the leading driver of pharmaceutical equipment purchase decisions across Pharma’s major sectors. Next, in order of rank, came process integrity, customer service and total cost of ownership. These were followed by equipment efficiency and post-sale support, which were judged only marginally lower in priority among those purchasing equipment for their organizations.


Technology on Order


What’s being bought recently? Focused on three primary segments, the survey covered processing, bioprocessing and packaging equipment. According to the study, a consistent third indicated they had purchased single-use and similar disposable technologies in the last year to equip their upstream bioprocessing systems. However, incubators were revealed as the most purchased upstream bioprocessing equipment followed by general bioprocessing equipment. Not surprisingly, most responding from the bioprocessing ranks are constantly purchasing purification and filtration equipment, at 50% each. Fewer are buying separation equipment (38%) and chromatography systems and equipment (36%).


When it comes to general pharmaceutical processing, tableting and encapsulating equipment were the most commonly purchased production technologies for solid-dose form processors. About a third of equipment buyers purchased blenders, counting equipment, form/fill and seal equipment and high-shear mixers. According to the study, buyers are most interested in mixing/blending, heating and


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