Vendors highlight another standout year for bioprocessing

Demand for bioprocessing technology remains strong as GE Healthcare, Thermo Fisher, Pall and Sartorius all report high annual growth.

With the financial season in full swing, four of the major industry suppliers have reported their Q4s and end-of-year results, and all have one thing in common: high growth across their bioprocessing segments.

GE Healthcare, which is being prepped to separate from parent company General Electric, reported revenues of $19 billion (€16.5 billion) for the full year, up 4%. The division includes the firm’s Life Sciences division, incorporating a range of upstream and downstream technologies, and while GE does not produce specifics for this segment, for the fourth quarter it grew 10% year-on-year contributing to the $5.4 billion of Healthcare sales.

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Orders taken in Q4 stood at $5.8 billion. “On a product line basis, Life Sciences orders were up 13% organically with bioprocess up 20%,” GE’s CFO Jamie Miller said on the investor call.

Good market conditions

Meanwhile over at Thermo Fisher Scientific, its Life Sciences Solutions Segment division pulled in $6.27 billion (€5.5 billion) in 2018, up 9% on the year prior. According to CEO Marc Casper, bioprocessing had a very strong year:

“More and more of the molecules have gone from small molecule to large molecule and that really bodes well for the bioprocessing business,” he told stakeholders. “We are enjoying strong growth because of our strength of the position and good market conditions.”

Thermo Fisher is the market leader in cell culture media and sera, and in single use technologies, but does not “play in a very large way in purification or filtration,” he added.

“When I think about the outlook, I would say we feel good about the assumptions of high single-digit growth for Pharma and Biotech in aggregate. And we will work hard to continue to drive to the highest possible growth in that end market.”

Pall and Sartorius

Danaher Corporation’s Life Sciences business saw 2018 sales of $6.5 billion, up 13% year-on-year. The division incorporates the bioprocessing business of Pall Corporation, including filtration, separation and purification technologies, though specific financials are not separated.

“Biotech was up double-digits, led by strong performance in single use technologies where demand for new products like the iCELLis bioreactor system continues to help drive share gains,” Danaher CEO Tom Joyce said on the call.

And over at Sartorius, the Bioprocess Solutions Division reported another year of double-digit growth, up 14.8% to €1.14 billion. Order intake increased 14.9% year-on-year to €1.23 billion, driven by equipment and Sartorius’ single-use product portfolio.

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