Thermo: Cell & gene therapy key to further growth in 2021

Thermo Fisher Scientific says cell and gene therapy contracting, PPD and ongoing CAPEX investments will drive growth.

The tech and services firm outlined its plans during a Q2 call, explaining its belief that the cell and gene therapy sector prompted its recent investment in a manufacturing center at the University of California San Francisco.

CEO Mark Casper predicted the partnership would “will lead to new capabilities for our customers and ultimately better outcomes for patients.”

Image: iStock/jurgenfr

He added a desire to capture more business from the cell and gene therapy sector had prompted the launch of several new analytical systems.

“In our biosciences business, we launched several new products including two instruments to advance cell analysis.

“The Invitrogen Bigfoot Spectral Sorter is a powerful cell sorting tool based on the technology we acquired from Propel Labs in Q1, and the Invitrogen Attune CytPix Flow Spectrometer, which offers enhanced imaging capability to enable researchers and cell therapy developers to better understand cell biology.”


Thermo reported a strong second quarter.

It reported revenue of $9.27 billion for the period – an increase of 34% – explaining that organic growth was 28%. Within this COVID-19 related work brought in $1.9 billion. The contribution from acquisitions was 2%.

Casper said Thermo had seen growth in all its pharma and biotechnology manufacturing and services businesses, citing the established customer relationships as key.

“We had outstanding performance with growth of over 30% driven by strong underlying market conditions, the benefit of our unique customer value proposition, and our leading role in supporting our customers across a wide range of exciting therapeutic areas, including our significant role in COVID-19 vaccines and therapies.

“We saw excellent growth across all businesses serving these customers, including bioproduction, pharma services, biosciences, chromatography and mass spectrometry, and in our research and safety market channel. We are clearly benefiting from our trusted partner status that we’ve earned over many years with these customers.”


Casper also outlined Thermo’s plans for the rest of the year, explaining its plans to add capacity to ensure it is able to service increased demand from key markets.

“We’re executing on over $2.5 billion in capex to further expand our capacity and capabilities…For example, during the quarter we brought additional capacity online around the world to support customers’ production of vaccines and therapies.”

He cited the firm’s new sterile fill/finish lines in Italy and Greenville, North Carolina, and the expansion of its single-use technology facility in Logan, Utah as examples.

Casper also said the firm is increasing capacity at its facility in Lithuania for the production of essential raw materials used in the mRNA vaccines.

“These investments in our value proposition demonstrate our commitment to our customers who rely on us as an essential partner in their work,” he said.

CRO acquisition

Casper also predicted the acquisition of US contract research organization (CRO) PPD – plans for which were announced in April – would provide further growth opportunities.

He said, “This acquisition will establish Thermo Fisher as a leader in the attractive and high growth clinical research services industry and add highly complementary services for our fastest growing end market.

“The integration plan is going extremely well. I’ve been very impressed with the world-class talent I’ve met during the integration planning process. We’re looking forward to welcoming our PPD colleagues to Thermo Fisher upon closing of the transaction.”


Thermo raised its guidance for the full year. It increased its forecast by $300 million to $35.9 billion, which represents 11% reported growth over 2020.