Bioprocessing ‘running hot’ for Danaher with $1.3bn COVID windfall to come

Danaher Corporation reports double-digit sales growth at its bioprocess units Pall and Cytiva, inflated by COVID-related dividends it says will continue this year.

For the full year 2020, Danaher Corporation reported net sales of $22.3 billion, a 24.5% increase on the previous year. Life sciences pulled in $10.6 billion of this, up 52% on 2019.

While Danaher does not detail its individual business financial figures, the contributions from Cytiva – acquired for $21 billion last April –  and Pall Biotech were considerable.

Image: iStock/Anastasiia Yanishevska

According to Jefferies’ analyst Brandon Couillard, “bioprocessing is running hot.” He said in a note that the two bioprocess units, Pall and Cytiva, represented about 25% of Danaher’s total revenue and saw year-on-year growth of more than 30% in the fourth quarter. Orders, meanwhile, increased by more than 50%.

“We continue to see strong demand from our biopharma customers during the quarter and our non-COVID related biopharma business was up double digits,” in line with what the industry has seen over the past few years, Danaher CEO Rainer Blair told shareholders Thursday.

However, it is the activity surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics that is driving the “record bioprocessing demand,” he said.

“Our teams are playing a significant role in the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, while working to ramp up manufacturing capabilities on a massive and very compressed timeline.

“We are involved in the majority of more than 400 vaccine and therapeutic projects underway globally, including all of the vaccines in the US that have recently received FDA emergency use authorization or are in late stage clinical trials.”

As such, the firm has placed an estimate of $1.3 billion in COVID-related vaccine and therapeutic revenues for 2021 from Pall and Cytiva, “roughly twice the amount” recognized in 2020.

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