BioRegions

Japan

Japan is the third largest economy in the world. Its chemical (and classical drug) industry is fully mature, and it is a founding member and major participant in the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) project. The country’s aging population represents an attractive market to outside drug companies. Some well-known vendors to the bioprocess industry are headquartered in Japan, including Tosoh Bioscience and Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. “Japanese companies have become so…

Singapore

Begin a discussion about Singapore, and most likely the word hub enters the conversation. This small country is giving a full-force effort into earning a reputation for being the technical, financial services, and industrial center of the Asia–Pacific region. Its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (~$57,200 in 2010) is comparable with most Western developed countries. Like South Korea, India, and China, Singapore aims to grow its market share in the biosimilars sector. The difference, however, says Pete Gagnon (CSO…

Geographic Strategies in Biomanufacturing

In BPI’s June issue, we presented a supplement on geographical trends in biomanufacturing. We looked at the influence of a growing demand for biotherapeutics in emerging countries and the influence of new technologies that are driving interest in smaller, perhaps more geographically distributed production. We wanted to explore what a global bioeconomy would look like and where its primary capacity would be concentrated. Authors provided examples of how to balance cost with control issues. They talked about working in different…

Manufacture Locally, Market Globally?

    One response to a survey we sent out last year kept coming back to me as we prepared this issue. In answer to what a company does if a product in development doesn’t fit into the company’s platform technology, one answer was, “We innovate a solution.” Whether meant seriously or not, it rings true to the history of the industry’s ability to invent and reinvent solutions as necessitated by economic realities. When we began working on the topic…

How Geography Affects the Cost of Biomanufacturing

    As the biopharmaceutical industry undergoes restructuring, its focus shifts to the efficiency of drug development and overall costs of delivering affordable medicines. A question often raised concerns the manufacture of drug substances overseas to tap into a cheaper manufacturing base (1). There are many issues to consider when looking at overseas locations, such as intellectual property (IP), the availability of skilled labor, and the emergence of new markets. The situation is more complex with biopharmaceuticals because the products…

Biomanufacturing Locally, Thinking Globally

    Compared with other business sectors, the biopharmaceutical industry has been a high-tech laggard when it comes to outsourcing and off-shoring. That’s changing as companies acknowledge the strategic, cost, and market benefits. Over the past seven years of tracking outsourcing trends (1), I’ve seen interest in outsourcing grow, but that has kicked into high gear over the past couple years. Partly due to the economic and funding crisis and partly as a result of industry maturation, outsourcing is taking…

Planning Export Compliance for Cross-Border Growth

Business or research groups planning to expand research, manufacturing, sales, or distribution activities beyond the United States should plan for compliance with US and international export and import rules and understand how these rules apply to various technologies. Export and import requirements can be complex and highly technical. Failure to allow for the long lead times needed to frame and implement internal export policies and procedures as well as engage third-party export services can lead to additional expenses, delayed export…

Ireland for Science, Technology, and Innovation

Ireland is an exciting place when it comes to research, development, innovation, and commercialization in biologics and life sciences. The government of Ireland’s strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I 2006–2013) includes key deliverables stressing the importance of a dynamic infrastructure to enable further growth in these important fields. A strong foreign direct investment policy has secured >US$5 billion from global players including Genzyme, Centocor, Merck, Wyeth, and Pfizer in recent years. Ireland also has built a strong indigenous biotech…

Growing the Future

      No segment of the biotechnology industry has received more public scrutiny than agricultural biotech — except maybe its application to food. And none has been subject to more “hype” and high hopes for instant results than biofuels. By contrast, industrial biotechnology seems almost invisible to the public at large. In general, the more immediate the effects on consumers, the more likely they are to pay attention and either laud or loathe the associated technology. The general public…

A World of Possibilities

      Biotechnology truly is global, with some form of the industry in progress on every continent but Antarctica. Countries such as Brazil are even outpacing Europe and North America in the advancement of biofuels technology. But as in the developed world where this industry began, we see other countries looking first and foremost to the medical applications of biotech — because historically that’s where the money has been. Some countries are building their own fully integrated bioindustrial sectors.…