‘Bioprocessing ecosystem is on fire,’ says analyst

Sales grew 21% year-on-year at Sartorius’ H1 2019, while Repligen reported preliminary Q2 growth of nearly 50%. The bioprocessing sector ‘is on fire,’ says Jefferies’ analyst Brandon Couillard.

Repligen Corporation published its preliminary Q2 results in an SEC filing last week, saying it expects sales of $70-71 million, compared to $47.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. This would represent a 48% increase year-on-year.

“The 8-K did not offer much color on specific drivers, but momentum across the portfolio clearly continued into Q2,” Jefferies equity analysis Brandon Couillard wrote. He noted the preliminary results include one-month of contribution from the $240 million acquisition of analytics firm C Technologies, which closed in May.

Image: iStock/Mateusz Atroszko

Repligen’s preliminary robustness reflects the broader bioprocess vendor space, which continues to see high growth due to demand for tools and equipment from biomanufacturers.

The “bioprocessing ecosystem is on fire,” said Couillard, adding “EU-based Industry bellwether Sartorius also reported very robust results for its Bioprocess Solutions segment last week.”

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) reported sales revenue of €709 million ($793 million) for the first half 2019, increasing 21% year-on-year organically. This was “fueled by continued healthy end-market dynamics,” according to CEO Joachim Kreuzburg. In Asia, momentum was even greater with reported sales growth of 29% to €170 million.

Meanwhile, momentum is set to continue with the firm reporting strong order intake, rising 23.5% to €778 million. As such, SSB has upgraded its revenue guidance from 7%-11% to 12%-16% for the full year.

And at Danaher Corporation, Pall Life Sciences saw another quarter of double-digit growth. This “was led by our biotech business where we saw broad-based demand across product lines,” Danaher CEO Tom Joyce said on a call (transcript here). He attributed single-use technologies and its iCELLis single-use, fixed-bed bioreactor – used to make AveXis’ recently approved gene therapy Zolgensma – as drivers.

Other vendors including Thermo Fisher, MilliporeSigma (Merck), and GE Healthcare are yet to have reported, but similarly positive data points are expected, according to Couillard.

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